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6. Characterization in the Ancient Novel

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Chapter Summary

Characterization provides a good example of the rule of the game. They represent real persons along lines that are specific to fiction. Those lines belong to the core of the novelist's craft. In the ancient novel they are many and diverse. Greek novels represent the bigger part of the extant texts and therefore they constitute the main basis of this study; but of course Latin novels will not be ignored. Greek and Latin novelists picture a crowd which they endow with specific attributes. To portray their characters as individuals, they grant them a social position, some personal features, and also compare them with prominent figures in literature, mythology and religion. As for the heroes, their individuality gradually emerges as the result of the adventures through which they are going before the eyes of the gods.

Keywords: characterization; Greece; Greek novels; Rome

10.1163/9789004217638_007
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