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Scurra Atticus ? Le comique de Socrate d’Athènes à Rome

Abstract : Our Greek sources on Socrates place the philosopher in two types of contact with the comic idea : first, as a character in a comic play ; and second, as an ironic and self-aware comic subject using humour for philosophical ends. We can then define an objective, "passive" comic mode, in which the philosopher is predominantly the object of ridicule, and a subjective, "active" comic mode in which Socrates mocks his interlocutors for psychagogical ends, their laughter revealing the successful transmission of his ideas. In Rome, these modes of thought undergo significant evolution. In Plautus, Socrates has metamorphosed into the "cunning slave," effecting a successful translation of the Socratic voice into the Roman theatrical idiom. In Lucilius' satires, conversely, this voice falls short, and is portrayed instead as incapable of proposing solutions to emotionally laden problems. For many Romans, the Socratic model is disqualified as ineffective in the oratorical domain and his followers become objects of derision. Nevertheless, it is eventually by way of the farcical Socrates that the comic genre reacquires a protreptic and moral dimension, its stock figures reborn as vectors of philosophy.
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Contributor : Mélanie Lucciano <>
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Mélanie Lucciano. Scurra Atticus ? Le comique de Socrate d’Athènes à Rome. Revue Mosaïque (revue électronique), 2013, Thalie dans tous ses états : le comique hors de la comédie dans la littérature latine, 9, pp.40-70. ⟨hal-02398970⟩



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