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Prose And Poetry In The Prosimetra

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Chapter Summary

In the Consolation, poetry functions in a number of different ways. The text begins with verse and ends with prose, so the two modes of composition represent in a very rough way the prisoners self-indulgent, elegiac state of mind as the text opens, and his newly reawakened rational awareness by the Consolations end. Philocosmia and Philosophia perform the primary speech acts in the De eodem as they define the destinies of their mortal opponents in elegiac couplets. The other prosimetrum writers do not privilege verse in this way, but for them, it nevertheless plays a prominent role in terms of quantity, variety, and purpose. For the most part, however, the twelfth-century writers compose in hexameters or elegiac couplets. In both Hildebert and Lawrence, the magisterial figure at a certain point in the work announces that the verse presented is in fact a quotation of the narrators own poetry.

Keywords: Boethiuss Consolation; twelfth-century prosimetrum writers



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