Modes of reporting speech in Latin fictional narrative
The thesis reviews the techniques employed by Latin authors up to the second century A.D. to report the spoken words and articulated thoughts of their characters. The study is principally devoted to continuous narratives of a fictitious kind: epic, 'epyllia' and prose fiction, although some consideration has been given to narratives in other genres for comparative purposes. Several means are at the disposal of a narrator for presenting the discourse of his or her characters. What is supposed to have been said or thought may be conveyed by quotation in direct speech, some form of indirect or free indirect discourse, or by the simple mention that a speech act has occurred. The Introduction sets out the terminology used in this enquiry and surveys the modes of reporting speech in Latin. Some attention is given to the views of ancient literary critics and theorists on speech presentation. The first chapter on martial epic examines the reporting of speech in Virgil and Lucan in particular. The second chapter on poetry reviews epyllion and Ovidian narrative, and compares the practices of authors working in different genres. Divergences in style between authors working in the same genre are also considered: the techniques of four poets who report speech in scenes involving the dictation and delivery of messages are compared. The final chapter treats the prose fiction of Petronius and Apuleius. For all the texts taken into account, it will be shown that concentration on speech presentation can broaden our insight into some fundamental features of Latin narrative.