By Emma Scioli
through treating desires as a style for viewing, an analogy urged via different historical authors, Emma Scioli extracts new details from the poetry of Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid concerning the Roman notion of seeing” desires. via comparability with different visible modes of description, corresponding to ekphrasis and simile, in addition to with similar forms of visible adventure, comparable to myth and voyeurism, Scioli demonstrates similarities among artist, dreamer, and poet as creators, selecting the dreamer as a specific form of either viewer and narrator.
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Extra info for Dream, Fantasy, and Visual Art in Roman Elegy
Vergil’s highly alliterative and euphonious phrase “voces et verba vocantis / visa viri,” which various commentators have claimed conveys woe, horror, or solemnity,27 refers (perhaps ironically) to the illusion of sound, rather than its actual perception. 28 Yet the “episode” dream of Aeneas to follow will differ from the “epiphany/message” dream of Sychaeus, with which this prelude experience at the tomb seems to be aligned. The repetition of visa in line 461 (at the tomb) and videtur in 467 (in the dream) twice indicates for the reader the subjective response of Dido in her madness—she seems to hear sounds (Sychaeus’s voice) and see images (the dream of Aeneas’s pursuit and her search for the Tyrians) that terrify her and contribute to her break from reality.
Dreaming in the First Person: Monologue, Enargeia, and Dream Description As Joseph Farrell reminds us, anyone approaching the definition of Roman elegy as a genre would do well to define parameters. 46 Acceptance of divisions, however, should not inhibit the reader’s appreciation of common features among the diverse types of poems encountered in the corpus. Rather, by acknowledging where the types of elegy diverge, one is able to appreciate points of convergence between individual poems or passages without insisting upon a dominant unifying feature.
The reader lacks both commentary on the dream by others in the scene and explanation of its consequences by an omniscient narrator. The dream is disconnected from its surrounding narrative, and thus the episode leaves the reader with a strong impression of witnessing as closely as possible the dreamer’s reaction to a dream, while still in the grip of its intensity. As Otto Skutsch observed, “The dream is remarkable. 31 Ilia’s sense of confusion about what has happened is conveyed through her three uses of the verb videre in the passive voice as she tries to describe the dream to her sister and nurse.