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Title: Performing justice : aspects of performance in selected speeches of Aeschines (2, 3) and Demosthenes (18, 19)
Author: Serafim, A.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Although it has never been doubted that Athenian oratory was performed, only a limited amount of scholarly attention has been devoted to this dimension of the corpus. Scholarly opinion has often considered it an impossible task to reconstruct performance through an interpretation of the text. At best, scholars have tended to connect performance with delivery, but without examining texts in such a way as to reconstruct a holistic view of it, or they have examined the convergences between oratory and theatre. This thesis aims to enhance current research by arguing that performance encompasses the possibility of more subtle communication between the speaker and the audience than mere delivery and that aspects of the transmitted texts allow glimpses into the performative dimension of speeches, whether or not these connect with the practice in the theatre. This work examines direct/sensory and cognitive/emotional performative techniques in Aeschines 2, 3 and Demosthenes 18, 19. Direct/sensory performative techniques refer to gestural and vocal ploys of delivery, as well as information about the staging of the speech – everything that has to do with the senses of sight and hearing. Cognitive/emotional techniques include the portrayal of characters as well as a wide range of rhetorical strategies that have an “audience-orientated” end: to enable the speaker to elicit the audience’s verbal or non-verbal reaction, engage their emotions, create a certain disposition in them towards himself and his opponent, and hence, affect their verdict. The introduction to the thesis offers a discussion of performance and explains the aims and methodology of the research. Part I analyses the performative dimension of the oratorical techniques that are outlined briefly in the Introduction. Part II (embassy speeches) and Part III (crown speeches) explore the way Aeschines and Demosthenes write for performance and what the impact of their choices was for their audience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available