The two-faced poet: the complementary personas of Horace's Satires and Epodes
The poet Horace was simultaneously active in the two kindred ancient genres of satire and iambic, famous for criticizing and mocking others. Building on Ellen Oliensis’s concept of ‘face’, I argue that the two genres offer Horace two contrasting faces. Horace’s iambic face adheres to the traditional stance of the mocking poet punishing wrongdoers as described by Ralph Rosen. Horace’s satiric face rejects this function of his poetry in favour of a more philosophical outlook. This puts the satirist at some distance from his material, and allows him to discuss it humorously. However, it precludes him from treating more serious matters, such as violence and civil war. Horace the iambist, on the other hand, is directly involved with the topics and people he discusses. As such, he can treat matters such as violence and civil war directly, albeit without humour.
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