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Word as ActionRacine, Rhetoric, and Theatrical Language$
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Michael Hawcroft

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151852.001.0001

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Self-Persuasion: Monologues

Self-Persuasion: Monologues

(p.183) 5 Self-Persuasion: Monologues
Word as Action

Michael Hawcroft

Oxford University Press

If it is the persuasive interaction of characters that constitutes the theatricality of Jean Racine's discourse, what becomes of verbal action if characters speak when they are alone, or accompanied by silent and anonymous followers? When d'Aubignac says that in 17th-century French tragedy to speak is to act, he gives the example of Emilie's monologue at the beginning of Cinna. If persuasion is central to an understanding of verbal action involving two or more characters, can it not be useful in appreciating monologues? Does the definition of verbal action have to change to incorporate any features that might be peculiar to monologues? This chapter explores answers to these questions. It also compares lyricism with persuasion and discusses deliberative oratory and judicial oratory in Racine's monologues.

Keywords:   Jean Racine, monologues, persuasion, verbal action, lyricism, judicial oratory, deliberative oratory

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