Abstract

This article interprets Horace’s Sermones 2.5 as a short play intended for spoken performance. It identifies and examines the dramaturgical cues encoded within the satire, in particular the stage directions, metrical prompts, and ethopoeia of supporting characters. These elements inform an actor’s reading of the poem and spotlight the theatricality inherent in the patron-client relationship, the satire’s central subject. I argue that Horace intentionally activates the language of the stage in order to characterize the client as an actor and to underline the scripted nature of his words and gestures toward his patron.

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