TIlE RHETORIC OF A STOIC POET (PERSIUS SATIRE 5)

J. C. Zietsman

Abstract


The narrative style in Persius Satire 5 produces a poem which is not so much a sermon, as
a sermo or conversation. Persius' technique of using a quick exchange between poet!
speaker and adversary/interlocutor (whether real or imaginary) is derived from the kind of
philosophical discourse referred to as diatribe, a moral lecture focussing on a general issue
and aiming at the improvement of mankind as a whole.2 The employment of this dramatic
structure aids the development of the argument and theme of the satire by giving the
question and answer process of thought in a form which is more accessible to the
imagination of the recipient/audience.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/40-3-4-494

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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