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Title: Group identity, discourse, and rhetoric in early Greek poetry
Author: Romney, Jessica M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 0214
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation asks how individual Greek poets of the seventh and sixth centuries interact with and manipulate the group identities shared with their audiences. By employing a framework derived from Critical Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis, I a~alyze these poems both as instances of discourse (,language in use') and as pieces of 'literature'. I ground my analysis in the socio-political context for the Archaic period, during which time intra-elite conflict dominated, and in the performance context of the συμπόδιον, the all-male elite drinking party. I begin with Tyrtaeus, Alcaeus, and Solon in a targeted analysis of their poetry. I examine how each body of work interacts with social, political, and martial identities in the context of Archaic Sparta, Mytilene, and Athens respectively. The three poets, though the identities they present to their audience depend on the particular conditions of πόλις and socio-political situation, use a common set of rhetorical strategies to make their concepts of groupness appealing to their audiences. The fourth chapter examines the body of seventh- and sixth-century monodic poetry, where I found that the same set of rhetorical strategies are fairly consistent across the corpus. These rhetorical strategies work underneath the surface of the poetic text to support the identities and behaviour suggested by the more overt devices of allusions to Homeric heroes, insults, narratives, and so forth. The literary and rhetorical methods for encouraging sameness with the poet/speaker thus complement one another as the poetic text delivers a social message along with its cultural or literary one. This thesis demonstrates that sympotic poetry is 'group poetry' that served to negotiate a group's sense of shared sameness, whether in periods of crisis or not. It presents an analysis of how group identities operate within sympotic poetry along with the methodology for doing so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available