Retorica e ambivalenze lessicali e intertestuali in Ar. "Nu." 412-419

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The chorus’ ambiguous characterization plays a critical role in Aristophanes’ "Clouds". It has been noted that the Clouds communicate doubly: at the same time, they state the Weaker Argument openly and the Stronger Argument secretly. This peculiar style mirrors (and mocks) the verbal traps based on polysemy, which Aristoteles recognized as a prominent manipulative tool of sophistic rhetoric ("Rhet." 1404b37-39). This paper deals with interpreting ll. 412-419, exploring the equivocal use of diachronic and synchronic polysemy and of intertextual reference to the Homeric poems. We will argue that the conditional promise of the Clouds is a deliberately ambivalent one. While superficially requiring eristic intellectual faculties and values, they covertly point rather to traditional moral and civic qualities.
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)111-127
Numero di pagine17
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Aristophanes' "Clouds"
  • ambiguity
  • ambivalence
  • chorus
  • intertextuality
  • polysemy

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