Marguerite Yourcenar Writing Styles in Memoirs of Hadrian

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Point of View

Memoirs of Hadrian is told from a first person point-of-view ion the past tense. The novel is epistolary in frame, with the entire narrative told by the emperor Hadrian at the end of his life in a letter to his successor Marcus Aurelius. The only slight difference in the point-of-view is in the final paragraph, when Hadrian is preparing to die. Only the tense changes to the present.

Hadrian is by-and-large a reliable narrator. Well-educated and relentlessly self-examining, he precisely describes the events of his life and acknowledges when he is relying on hearsay and conjecture. Moreover, he regularly editorializes when describing an event, waxing poetic on the importance of Rome to the world and the correct role of a ruler. These moments could well obfuscate the events if told by another, less lucid character. In this case, Hadrian uses these opinionated moments to clarify his...

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This section contains 910 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Memoirs of Hadrian Study Guide
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Memoirs of Hadrian from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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