Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

La Parrhêsia tragique: l'exemple d'un échec

Valéry Laurand


How can we speak to Phaedra, a woman madly in love? By analyzing what might be understood as a failure of the nurses parrhêsia in Senecas tragedy (Act I, v. 85-173), I aim to interpret frankness of speech (in the transition from Greek to Latin) as an art of truth-telling, between rhetorical pomposity and an excess of licentia, as this failure makes implicitly clear. Frankness of speech is authorised by the bond that exists between the two speakers, so that three essential questions can be asked: what to say and how to say it ? Who is the parrhesiast speaking to? And finally who is speaking?

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