Monday, August 25, 2003

Lucan's Anti-Epic: Bellum Civile

"To the extent that circumstance allowed, the Aeneid was used as a negative compositional model for the Bellum Civile. Lucan skillfully adapts (often by inversion or negation) the traditional elements of the genre to his new, 'anti-epic' purpose. Throughout the poem, the challenge of stylistic innovation called for in the narration of the nefas (wickedness) of civil war is forcefully met."

"A fierce passion can be detected in almost any passage of the Bellum Civile, most often a relentless, seething anger directed at those held responsible for the collapse of the Roman Republic, or a deeply-felt horror at the perversity and cost of civil war. "
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