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Topics: Demonstration, Word, Lie Pages: 2 (835 words) Published: October 25, 2014

How does Pliny Demonstrate the Courage of Arria in lines 1-16? Pliny demonstrates Arria’s courage very firmly in this passage through his tremendous choice of words, use of superlatives, tricolons, sentence structure, punctuation and religious symbolism. He illustrates in great depth how Arria had the ability to conceal her grief by putting on a brave face seemingly at the flick of a switch and hide the death of her son from her husband. Pliny’s use of the superlative greatly demonstrates Arria’s courage. Arria’s son was a “Iuvenis pulcherrimus” making his death seem all the worse. Pliny’s use of the superlative is very powerful as he wasn’t just a young man but the most handsome of young men. The fact that Arria “duxit exsequias” shows how much courage she could muster in the strength she had to not succumb to her grief when in view of others; Pliny’s use of the superlative to describe her son highlights and strengthens this demonstration of courage. Pliny’s use of tricolons exhibits Arria’s courage impressively. For her son, Arria “ita funus paravit, ita duxit… ignarus esset maritus” shows her fortitude in being able to prepare and even lead her son’s funeral procession, all while Paetus her husband was completely unaware of his own son’s death. The writer’s demonstration of Arria’s grit here is quite poignant because it shows she has made the conscious decision not to tell her husband that their son has died, and conceals this from him. Whether she was trying to protect him and keep him healthy because he “aegrotabat… gravissime” the reader will never know although it is a reasonable assumption to reach. Pliny’s general choice and position of words display the depth of Arria’s mettle even when confronted with her beloved husband. “Quotiens” Arria entered Paetus’ bedroom, she would “simulabat vivere filium etiam commodiorem”. The word “Quotiens” shows that she didn’t pretend that her son was alive just once but ‘every time’ she entered...
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