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Plutarch's Rhythmic Prose$
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G. O. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198821717

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198821717.001.0001

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Daggers and Dangers (Brutus 1.5, 16.4, 52.1–4, 7–8; 19–20)

Daggers and Dangers (Brutus 1.5, 16.4, 52.1–4, 7–8; 19–20)

(p.143) 10 Daggers and Dangers (Brutus 1.5, 16.4, 52.1–4, 7–8; 19–20)
Plutarch's Rhythmic Prose

G. O. Hutchinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The consideration of one specific Life—see ch. 9—is expanded by a look at passages which show density but more briefly than the criteria require, and at a substantial passage which exemplifies writing in a lower key. The passages more briefly or intermittently dense are more engaged with violent action—tyrannicide by an ancestor of Brutus’, a false alarm before the killing of Caesar, and Brutus’ last hours and suicide. The lesser extent of the density throws light on the Life, which portrays Brutus—with some straining of the evidence—as a gentle soul, guided by his philosophy. The rhythmically looser passage, like that from the Timoleon in ch. 5, shows loosening and tightening of rhythm to fit the content—particularly that of Antony’s incendiary speech. Passages from Appian and from Plutarch’s own Life of Caesar throw light on the specific treatments in these extracts.

Keywords:   Tyrannicide, Ahala, Mark Antony, Appian, Life of Caesar, Cinna, Brutus

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