Rhetorical Scheme or Individualisation of Female Characters in Tacitus’ Annales Cover Image

Schemat retoryczny czy indywidualizacja postaci kobiecych w Annales Tacyta
Rhetorical Scheme or Individualisation of Female Characters in Tacitus’ Annales

Author(s): Karolina Kozioł
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: literatura współczesna; literatura klasyczna; humanistyka; żródła literackie; żródła języka; dziedzictwo kulturowe; kultura europejska; humanizm

Summary/Abstract: The general aim of this article is partly to present how Tacitus portrayed female characters in Annales and partly to find an answer for the question whether he used any kind of rhetorical scheme in creating the portraits or he tended to individualise them. Some unequivocal parallels and similarities can be observed inside the literary description when we focus on six most significant female characters who are: Livia Augusta, Agrippina the Younger, Poppea Sabina, Valeria Messalina, Julia Livilla and Agrippina the Older. First of all they seem to be deprived of individual traits as Tacitus assigned some kind of unified consolidation of qualities to most of them. Not only are their biographies depicted in Annales more or less the same, but also the main goal they try to achieve is a desire for power. The author characterised them as persons who had the great impact on Caesars and other significant people around them. If all of these mentioned above is true—is it consistent with the literary aim of Tacitus to write the whole truth or is there something behind it like political matter or propaganda?

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 175-189
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish