In Phaedra 450, Seneca alludes to Virgil georg. 3, 66-68. This is not an isolated case, since Seneca is here blending materials from didactic poetry and, especially, from Georgics 3. The same Virgilian lines are quoted in the Epistulae and De brevitate vitae, where they are defined as salutare carmen; in Phaedra’s quote there is no ethical purpose: on the contrary, the Nurse aims to persuade Hippolytus to enjoy his youth and yield to love. The addition of an allusion to Horace’s Ode 4, 7, that ends up with the mention of Hippolytus’ death, makes this passage an interesting case of intertextual irony, a narrative tool frequently exploited by Ovid in his Heroides. By evoking different literary contexts, Seneca then transforms the salutare carmen into a rhetoric exercitatio, a suasoria that will not lead to any consequence for the development of the play. Even though poetry, by its arta necessitas, adds to the efficiency of the message, this can become a true ethical admonitio only through the interpretation given by the philosopher.

Optimi vitae dies: il salutare carmen di Virgilio e un caso di ‘ironia intertestuale’ nella Phaedra senecana

Pieri Bruna
2018

Abstract

In Phaedra 450, Seneca alludes to Virgil georg. 3, 66-68. This is not an isolated case, since Seneca is here blending materials from didactic poetry and, especially, from Georgics 3. The same Virgilian lines are quoted in the Epistulae and De brevitate vitae, where they are defined as salutare carmen; in Phaedra’s quote there is no ethical purpose: on the contrary, the Nurse aims to persuade Hippolytus to enjoy his youth and yield to love. The addition of an allusion to Horace’s Ode 4, 7, that ends up with the mention of Hippolytus’ death, makes this passage an interesting case of intertextual irony, a narrative tool frequently exploited by Ovid in his Heroides. By evoking different literary contexts, Seneca then transforms the salutare carmen into a rhetoric exercitatio, a suasoria that will not lead to any consequence for the development of the play. Even though poetry, by its arta necessitas, adds to the efficiency of the message, this can become a true ethical admonitio only through the interpretation given by the philosopher.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/654757
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