Abstract

My argument concerns ways of communicating with divinities, by detailed analysis of the suasoria in a diachronic route through Greek and Latin comic and tragic theatrical texts. Particular attention is paid to the Latin palliata and, through the epic filter, to the Senecan tragic corpus. The trait d'union is the prayer of the faithful to the gods who are “orati” for favours received (e.g. as happens in the Plautine corpus), or for favours to be received (as can be seen paradigmatically in the Senecan Hercules Oetaeus). I present an interdisciplinary analysis of the intersection of rhetoric, religion, and theatre, looking into sub specie suasoriae through the linguistic examination of the “text present” to eventually the “text absent,” that is, the epochal social, religious and anthropological dimension linked to the “word.” Study of “linguistic rejects” is of great help, that is, of the rhetorical and stylistic forms that are extremely effective above all in the religio-liturgical context. Through this research that also highlights the captatio benevolentiae connotative of the suasoria, I would like to add to the results relating to the decodification of religious and behavioural codes even through the use of parody.

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