Lucan Writing Styles in The Pharsalia

Lucan
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Epic Features

Lucan composed his epic in Virgil's shadow. But he absorbed and transformed Virgil and the whole epic tradition back to Homer. He was forced to jettison the traditional gods, not so much by the use of his Stoic education, but because the Virgilian epic and Julio-Claudian propaganda had so closely associated the traditional pantheon with Caesar. His choice and development of the witch Erictho and of the image of Anateus are good examples of his subversion of the Virgilian epic.

Point of View

It is important to distinguish between Lucan and his narrator. Lucan the poet depicts situations and characters so that we look at them one way, while the narrator insists we look at them in another. It is an interesting, if pointless question to ask how the point of view would have changed if the conspiracy against Nero had succeeded.

Setting

The action of Pharsalia...

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This section contains 962 words
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Epics for Students
The Pharsalia from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.