Attic Oratory and Performance

Attic Oratory and Performance

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In a society where public speech was integral to the decision-making process, and where all affairs pertaining to the community were the subject of democratic debate, the communication between the speaker and his audience in the public forum, whether the law-court or the Assembly, cannot be separated from the notion of performance. Attic Oratory and Performance seeks to make modern Performance Studies productive for, and so make a significant contribution to, the understanding of Greek oratory. Although quite a lot of ink has been spilt over the performance dimension of oratory, the focus of nearly all of the scholarship in this area has been relatively narrow, understanding performance as only encompassing 'delivery' - the use of gestures and vocal ploys - and the convergences and divergences between oratory and theatre. Serafim seeks to move beyond this relatively narrow focus to offer a holistic perspective on performance and oratory. Using examples from selected forensic speeches, in particular four interconnected speeches by Aeschines (2, 3) and Demosthenes (18, 19), he argues that oratorical performance encompassed subtle communication between the speaker and the audience beyond mere delivery, and that the surviving texts offer numerous glimpses of the performative dimension of these speeches, and their links to contemporary more

Product details

  • Hardback | 156 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 15.24mm | 368g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138828351
  • 9781138828353

Review quote

Seraphim has revolutionized the way we read the Attic Orators. For so long works which were composed for oral delivery to a live audience have been read as written text. Seraphim changes all that not only by emphasizing aspects of oral performance such as the delivery or the gestures, but also by paying attention to the relationship between the speaker and his audience, the construction of the audience by the speaker, the cognitive and emotional relations which develop between the audience and the speaker, and the overall communicative effects of techniques such as the ethopoeia and ekphrasis. The holistic approach to the speeches of the Attic orators which Seraphim adopts brings these texts to life, and allows a modern audience to appreciate them in their full complexity. - Konstantinos Kapparis, Director, Center for Greek Studies, University of Florida, USAshow more

About Andreas Serafim

Andreas Serafim is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and Adjunct Lecturer at the Open University of Cyprus. He has also been Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Cyprus (2014-2015) and Honorary Research Fellow (2013-2015) and Assistant Lecturer in Ancient Greek (2012-2013) at University College more

Table of contents

Introduction Current perspectives and approaches What this book is about Performance Studies and Attic oratory Audience and speaker in the law-court Four case studies The Embassy Case The Crown Case Outline Chapter 1. The Hermeneutic Framework: An Analytical Approach The notion of performance: conceptual groundwork Performance in the theatre and the law-court Judicial oratory in/as performance: Aeschines 2, 3 and Demosthenes 18, 19 Constructed audience Other strategies to influence the audience Reconsidering ekphrasis through the lens of ancient theory The depiction of litigants, ethopoiia Conceptual groundwork The performative dimension of oratorical portraiture Inter-generic portraiture Hypocrisis - Delivery Script, revision and extemporisation A note on the use of ancient sources Chapter 2. Construction and manipulation Addresses to the audience and civic community Law-court "Big Brother"! Emotional appeals Direct/explicit appeals to emotions Indirect/inexplicit appeals to emotions Defence versus prosecution The language of performance: imperatives and questions Chapter 3. Aeschines and Demosthenes in the Theatre of Justice Political thespians in the law-court The use of quotations "He is proud of his voice": oral excess in the law-court "Drive him away and hiss him out": inviting the audience reaction Chapter 4. Ethopoiia: an inter-generic portrayal of character Comic or laughter-inducing ethopoiia Comic stereotyping Inversion of tragedy into comedy Ridiculing sexuality Character portraiture: tragedy and epic Identification with tragic and epic characters Cursed or unlucky? Chapter 5. Hypocrisis! Hypocrisis! Hypocrisis! Hypocrisis of emotions Divine hypocrisis Deixis Figures of speech Embassy speeches Crown speeches Direct speech, narrative and questions Occasional aspects of hypocrisis Chapter 6. Conclusion Indexshow more