Marcus Tullius Cicero: Orator [The Orator]

(2611 words)
  • James May (St. Olaf College)

Cicero composed his Orator in 46 BC, following upon the earlier publication of Brutus in that same year. It stands as the last major critical rhetorical work of his life. Internal references in the treatise (1, 3, 52, 174), as well as a letter to Atticus (14. 20), make it clear that it was written to comply with Marcus Brutus’ insistent requests, and, from Cicero’s point of view, perhaps even to counter the younger orator’s Atticist leanings in terms of style—an objective that Cicero subsequently admits with regret he failed to achieve (Att. 14. 20. 3). The Orator, as Fantham notes (1989: 237), represents “a sort of utopian counterpart to the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
May, James. "Orator". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35072, accessed 23 July 2014.]