The Pharsalia Essay

Lucan
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In this essay, the author examines the uses of divided communities in Lucan's Bellum Civile.

Lucan's Bellum Civile is riven with ethical contradictions. It is not simply that different voices within the poem disagree about the proper moral evaluation of particular actions and patterns of behavior; such disagreement is widely present in ancient epic. Rather, these voices, including the narrative voice itself, are collectively enmeshed in a web of competing ethical discourses and modes of valuation that are more or less equally authoritative yet irreconcilable. Thus actions can be evaluated in more than one ethical framework—not only by different voices embracing alternative modes of valuation, but even by a single voice as it applies now one evaluative framework and now another. This paper will contend that these competing ethical discourses, and the contradictory moral judgments that derive from them, are necessary features of the condition of civil...

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This section contains 9,262 words
(approx. 24 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pharsalia Study Guide
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The Pharsalia from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.