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Satire and the Threat of Speech in Horace's Satires Bk. 1 by Catherine Schlegel

Satire and the Threat of Speech in Horace's Satires Bk. 1

Part of the Wisconsin Studies in Classics Series


Satire and the Threat of Speech in Horace's Satires Bk. 1 by Catherine Schlegel

In his first book of Satires, written in the late, violent days of the Roman republic, Horace exposed satiric speech as a tool of power and domination. Using critical theories from classics, speech act analysis, and other fields, Catherine Schlegel argues that Horace's acute poetic observation of hostile speech provides insights into the operations of verbal control that are relevant to his time and to ours. She demonstrates that, though Horace is forced by his political circumstances to develop a new, unthreatening style of satire, his poems contain a challenge to our most profound habits of violence, hierarchy, and domination. Focusing on the relationships between speaker and audience and between old and new style, Schlegel examines the internal conflicts of a notoriously difficult text. This exciting contribution to the field of Horatian studies will be of interest to classicists as well as other scholars interested in the genre of satire.


A gracefully written, refreshingly lucid study that yields a number of fine observations along its way to reaching important conclusions. - Daniel Hooley, University of Missouri

About the Author

Catherine Schlegel is associate professor of classics at Notre Dame.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st July 2005


Catherine Schlegel

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University of Wisconsin Press


192 pages


Literary studies: classical, early & medieval



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