Word as Action: Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

Word as Action: Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

Word as Action: Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

Word as Action: Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

Synopsis

Hawcroft presents an exploration of the theatrical qualities of the language of France's greatest tragedian, Jean Racine, taking as its analytical tool two neglected parts of rhetoric--inventio and dispositio. Racine's dialogue is exciting, Hawcroft argues, because he makes persuasive interaction of characters a key feature of his dramatic technique. This book shows how Racine deploys persuasion in well-defined contexts: trials, embassies, and councils; informal oratory as protagonists try to manipulate each other and their confidants in order to make their own views and wishes prevail; self-persuasion in monologues; and narrations, often used by characters with persuasive intent. The book draws illuminating and provocative comparisons with other playwrights and offers a closer and better documented description of the specific nature of Racine's theatrical language than has previously been available in any one study.
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