Voices of the enemy oratio recta and oratio obliqua in Caesar's De bello Gallico /
Abstract (Summary)According to his contemporaries and critics, Julius Caesar was an eminent orator. Despite the lack of any extant orations written by Caesar, however, one may gain insight into Caesar’s rhetorical ability in his highly literary commentaries, especially the De Bello Gallico. Throughout this work, Caesar employs oratio obliqua (and less frequently oratio recta) to animate his characters and give them “voices.” Moreover, the individuals to whom he most frequently assigns such vivid speeches are his opponents. By endowing his adversaries in his Commentarii with the power of speech (with exquisite rhetorical form, no less), Caesar develops consistent characterizations throughout the work. Consequently, the portrait of self-assured, unification-minded Gauls emerges. Serving as foils to Caesar’s own character, these Gauls sharpen the contrast between themselves and Caesar and therefore serve to elevate Caesar’s status in the minds of his reader.
School:The University of Georgia
School Location:USA - Georgia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: