Divided Audience and Figured Speech in Cicero’s Pro Balbo

Author: Kenty, Joanna
Title: Divided Audience and Figured Speech in Cicero’s Pro Balbo
Review/Collection: "American Journal of Philology", 142, 1
Editor: Johns Hopkins University Press
Year edition: 2021
Pages: 67-101
Keywords: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence, Politique - Politica - Politics, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: [Kenty, Joanna][Abstract] Ancient rhetorical theorists described figured speech (oratio figurata) as a strategy for expressing criticism safely, through a screen of ambiguity. I argue that Cicero's Pro Balbo can be read as figured, communicating criticism of Pompey. Cicero's panegyric to Pompey in this speech would have appeared to be factually accurate and commendable to pro-Pompeian members of the audience, but factually wrong or even insincere to anti-Pompeians. Multiple readings of Cicero's intentions are latent as possible interpretations of the speech because of political divisions and divergent prejudices at the time of its delivery.
Link: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/787551
Author initials: Kenty 2021