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Chapter 1 - Didactic Epic

from Part I - Didactic Poetry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Emily Kneebone
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

Didactic poetry has fallen firmly out of favour as a contemporary genre: it is a literary form rarely used by modern authors and seldom read by the twenty-first-century public. A remark in Shelley’s preface to Prometheus Unbound (1820) offers one enduring explanation for its demise: ‘Didactic poetry is my abhorrence; nothing can be equally well expressed in prose that is not tedious and supererogatory in verse.’ Why write in verse, the argument runs, if one aims at clarity and pedagogical precision; conversely, why aim to communicate factual information if one values sublimity and the poetic imagination? A technical manual in verse fits the perceived role of neither poetry nor prose.

Type
Chapter
Information
Oppian's Halieutica
Charting a Didactic Epic
, pp. 25 - 43
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Didactic Epic
  • Emily Kneebone, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Oppian's <I>Halieutica</I>
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108892728.002
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  • Didactic Epic
  • Emily Kneebone, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Oppian's <I>Halieutica</I>
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108892728.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Didactic Epic
  • Emily Kneebone, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Oppian's <I>Halieutica</I>
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108892728.002
Available formats
×