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The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity$
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Anna Marmodoro and Jonathan Hill

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.001.0001

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‘When I read my Cato, it is as if Cato speaks’: the birth and evolution of Cicero’s dialogic voice

‘When I read my Cato, it is as if Cato speaks’: the birth and evolution of Cicero’s dialogic voice

Chapter:
(p.123) 4 ‘When I read my Cato, it is as if Cato speaks’: the birth and evolution of Cicero’s dialogic voice
Source:
The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity
Author(s):

Sarah Culpepper Stroup

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.003.0005

Cicero not only wrote dialogues (among other genres), but was one of the ancient authors most explicitly and consciously interested in the literary issues thrown up by use of the dialogue form. Moreover, his use of, and understanding of, the form developed throughout his literary career. This chapter focusses on the introductions to his dialogues, where Cicero speaks about the literary task of creating and re-creating his authorial voice (or voices). In the earlier works, Cicero presents his dialogues as if they were historical events, keeping his ostensible authorial voice wholly exterior to the ‘conversation’; but the later ones become more theatrical, with Cicero himself participating actively within them, inviting his readers to imagine what it must be like to eavesdrop on a discourse that is both ostensibly private and actively public.

Keywords:   Marcus Tullius Cicero, Caius Verres, De oratore, Brutus, dialogues

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