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Word as Action : Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language - Michael Hawcroft

Word as Action

Racine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language

Hardcover Published: 16th April 1992
ISBN: 9780198151852
Number Of Pages: 288

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France's greatest tragedian, Jean Racine, is often admired for his poetic and tragic qualities. This book, on the other hand, explores the theatrical qualities of Racine's language and takes as its analytical tool two neglected parts of rhetoric, inventio and dispositio. How does Racine write exciting dialogue? He makes the persuasive interaction of characters a key feature of his dramatic technique and Word as Action shows how he 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.

Industry Reviews

'Racine himself was to use, in his tragedies, a suppler form of rhetoric more in tune with the original intentions of the ancients. In so doing he produced a lively and gripping theatre in which speech is action. We are indebted to Hawcroft for this fascinating and original study of the techniques which made this possible.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'A fresh and powerful approach to Racine's verbal theatricality, the book perfectly complements David Maskell's recent examination of the non-verbal aspects of Racine's stage-art.' FMLS, February 1993 'Hawcroft's analyses are meticulous and have the very great virtue of drawing out the immense subtlety and variety in Racine's presentation of the arguments ... a significant contribution to Racinian studies.' Henry Phillips, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, French Studies, Vol. 47

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Notep. xi
Abbreviationsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Verbal Action and Rhetorical Theoryp. 12
Formal Oratory: Trials, Embassies And Councilsp. 61
Informal Oratory: the Protagonistsp. 113
Informal Oratory: the Confidantsp. 160
Self-Persuasion: Monologuesp. 183
Persuasive Narrationsp. 218
Conclusionp. 243
Appendix Scheme of Inventio and Dispositiop. 254
Bibliographyp. 255
Index of Rhetorical Termsp. 269
Index of Racine's Worksp. 271
Index of Namesp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198151852
ISBN-10: 0198151853
Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 16th April 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.13 x 15.8  x 2.31
Weight (kg): 0.48

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