Word As Action: Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

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Overview


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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Product Details

Table of Contents

Note
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Verbal Action and Rhetorical Theory 12
I Action and Verbal Action 12
II Some Affinities between Rhetoric and Drama 26
III Racine's Rhetoric 29
IV Rhetorical Theory: Inventio and Dispositio 34
2 Formal Oratory: Trials, Embassies, and Councils 61
I Forensic Orators in Les Plaideurs 62
II Three Ambassadors: Mathan, Ephestion, and Oreste 74
III A Family Embassy: Racine's and Du Ryer's Esther 92
IV Family Oratory in Britannicus and Mithridate 102
3 Informal Oratory: The Protagonists 113
I Masked and Unmasked Orators: Iphigenie and Astrate 114
II Inquisitorial Oratory: Anaximenes and Mithridate 134
III Berenice: Elegy, Verbal Action, and Corneille's Tite et Berenice 142
4 Informal Oratory: The Confidants 160
I Corneille's Sophonisbe: The Dangers Illustrated 162
II Racine's Persuasive Confidants: The Example of Albine 167
III When Confidants Meet their Partners after the Exposition: Andromaque and Phedre 174
5 Self-Persuasion: Monologues 183
I Lyricism versus Persuasion: Antigone, Antiochus, and Atalide 188
II Deliberative and Judicial Oratory in Racine's Monologues 197
III Accompanied Monologues: Phedre, Racine, and Pradon 211
6 Persuasive Narrations 218
I Dramatic Narrative: Bajazet 219
II The Death Recit: Andromaque, Britannicus, and Phedre 225
Conclusion 243
I Arguments 243
II Problems 245
III Rhetoric and Tragedy 250
Appendix: Scheme of Inventio and Dispositio 254
Bibliography 255
Index of Rhetorical Terms 269
Index of Racine's Works 271
Index of Names 273
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