BITING OFF MORE MAN ONE CAN CHEW: A RECENT TREND IN THE INTERPRETATION OF JUVENAL'S 15TH SATIRE

P. M. W. Tennant

Abstract


In his discussion of Juvenal's 15th Satire, entitled "Philosophers and Cannibals", Richard
McKim (1986:58) observes that the poem "has traditionally been an object of distaste and
neglect".1 He describes the tirade against the Egyptians as "a tissue of hysterical racism,
stupid morbidity, and smug self-congratulation" and concludes that "on the traditional
assumption of identity between the Satire's first-person bigot and its author, it seems
merely another unpleasant document in the history of bigotry". McKim endeavours to give
a more palatable interpretation of the Satire's purpose, and scope for this is provided by
the dichotomy which the persona-theory postulates between the author and his "speaker".
Rejecting the assumption that Juvenal is giving expression to his own views, he suggests
that Juvenal is presenting the character of his "speaker" to the reader for critical inspection
and that his intention is to direct the reader's scorn "not against the Egyptians whom his
speaker is attacking but against the speaker himself for his delusion that Roman society is
superior" (McKim 1986:59).

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/40-3-4-495

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



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

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.

http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/public/site/images/scholar/g3010_768

Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help