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Discourse Modes And Bases In Vergil's Aeneid

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Chapter Summary

The main story of the Aeneid starts when Aeneas is sailing towards Italy and ends when the hero has reached these shores and kills Turnus, thereby ending a war and paving the way for Rome’s foundation. This chapter gives an indication of the different ways in which Vergil presents his epic. These ways of presentation may be described by means of two parameters: discourse modes and the base from which the narrator chooses to use these discourse modes. The chapter discusses the characteristics of the four discourse modes occurring in the Aeneid, focusing on tense usage. Then, it explains, by means of the concept base, that the narrator does not only present his story from his own point in time, but that he also has another point in time available for his presentation, namely reference time. Finally, it considers one of these transposed modes, the directing mode, in more detail.

Keywords: Aeneid; directing mode; discourse modes; Vergil



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