Martina Björk

Martina Björk

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Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD) was one of Rome's greatest poets. The object for my thesis is the so called "single letters" of the Heroides (or Epistulae Heroidum), fifteen fictitious letters written by women from Greek-Roman mythology. Recipients are their absent lovers. Penelope writes to Ulysses, Briseis to Achilles, Medea to Jason. Something is preventing love, and the women complain about their situations.

Ovid's opus has often been called his most rhetorical work. Despite this fact, few studies from a rhetorical point of view have been made. My thesis aims to explore a long-lived yet uninvestigated notion of the poems as ethopoeiae. The ethopoeia was a progymnasma, a rhetorical exercise practised in ancient grammar school, which aimed at capturing the speaker in a certain situation. I will argue that a relationship between the ethopoeia and Ovid's heroical poems exists and I will discuss what such a connection entails.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Languages and Literature


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