Stealing the poet's voice: re-reading Propertian elegy through Cynthia and Acanthis Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Wise, Jessica
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • Propertian elegy presents a battle of speech, in which the male poet-lover tries to win his puella's affection with poetry. In Book Four, two particular women, the lena Acanthis in 4.5 and Cynthia in 4.7, hijack the dominant voice of the male speaker and impose their own feminine point of view onto the relationship. In this paper, I examine the manner in which Propertius purposely inserts these authoritative female voices into his final book of elegy in order to force a radical re-reading of his prior three books of poetry. First, I examine the manner in which Acanthis usurps verses from the rest of the Propertian corpus and uses them against the poet-lover, undermining the authority of his verse. Next, I examine Cynthia's autonomous speech in 4.7 and her dissenting account of the relationship. These new voices encourage a re-reading from the perspective of the elegiac puella.
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  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Classics.
  • James, Sharon
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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