The Gatekeeper: Narrative Voice in Plato’s Dialogues Margalit Finkelberg offers the first narratological analysis of all of Plato’s transmitted dialogues. The book explores the dialogues as works of literary fiction, giving special emphasis to such topics as narrative levels, focalization, narrative frame, and metalepsis.
The main conclusion of the book is that in Plato the plurality of the speakers’ opinions is not accompanied by a plurality of points of view. Only one perspective is available, that of the narrator. Contrary to the widespread view, Plato’s dialogues cannot be considered multivocal, or “dialogic” in Bakhtin’s sense. By skillful use of narrative voice, Plato unobtrusively regulates the readers’ reception and response. The narrator is the dialogue’s gatekeeper, a filter whose main function is to control how the dialogue is received by the reader by sustaining a certain perspective of it.
obligations implied by them, to voice the expectations that go with them, to signify that one accepts those obligations and to acknowledge the other as a partner in a χάρις relationship. Within this script, the phrases χάριν ἔχειν 121 and χάριν εἰδέναι represent the introspective, or internalized, moments in
similar script recurs in funerary epigrams of deceased youths—albeit with a different, somewhat twisted, perspective: the epitaphs are conventionally cast in first-person perspective, formally giving voice to the deceased youth and suggesting internal focalization, but in effect voicing the parents’ grief
, saying he is “engaged in other business” (ἄλλα πράττω)—an intervention framed by the authorial voice as “bantering” (ἐπισκώψας) and “pretend-coquetry” (ὡς δὴ θρυπτόμενος), 206 in conformity with the lighter mood (παιδιή) associated with the symposiastic setting. 207 The symposiastic quality of the
between different spheres of exchange. However, Kurke distinctly focuses on what counts as the long-term order. 26 The emergence of coinage is related to the establishing of the city as an embodiment and symbol of the long-term order. In this context, voices that dismiss coinage as belonging to the
subjective connection between expecting a return and not giving a gift: the expectation of a return is, according to Aristotle’s voice, a denial of the gift. In this line of reasoning, the difference between a gift and a loan lies not only in the flexibility and explicitness of the exchange, but also in the
voices in popular discourse as we see reflected in oratory and drama, were articulating conceptions of the relatively new phenomenon of the market, were negotiating and revising existing conceptions of φιλία, and were developing ideas about the demarcation of different types of reciprocal exchange. They
: Speaking in Two Voices’. In Saxonhouse’s essay on parrhêsia (which she recasts as ‘shamelessness’), she argues convincingly that Socrates refashions the meaning of shame from being other-directed that binds the community together to being a concern with justice and virtue, ‘irrespective of the
discussion had been allowed both for and against it. 14 These norms worked for several hundred years, though not always smoothly, not only giving people a voice in the political system, but also mediating some of the conflict between the patricians and the plebeians. 15 From this perspective, the most
narrative voices, and marks out the progress of history against the cycles of ritual time. The Fasti itself thereby becomes a narrative res publica of the legends, etymologies, and monuments that comprise Romans’ shared sense of civic identity. Ovid’s Metamorphoses , a compendium of myths from the