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His use of Figures.

Next to this general characteristic, luxuriance, the special marks of the periodic style in Isokrates depend on his use of figures. In order to see just what Isokrates does here, it will be a help to keep in mind the strict distinction between a ‘trope’ and
‘Trope’ and ‘Figure.’
a ‘figure’ (whether of language or of thought). A trope is the use of a particular word in other than its normal sense—as ‘fire’ for ‘zeal’ (metaphor) or ‘steel’ for ‘sword’ (synekdochê)—to take two of the commonest tropes. A ‘figure’ is an affair of whole clauses or sentences1. The ‘figure of language’ is a combination of words (each of which may be used in its normal sense) for the artificial expression of an idea—as antithesis. The ‘figure of thought’ depends on no special combination of words, but on an assumed attitude of the speaker's mind—as irony. Now Isokrates rarely uses ‘tropes’ —indeed, his avoidance of them was expressly noticed as a cause of tameness in his diction2; nor— with one exception to be noted presently—does he often use ‘figures of thought.’ But he uses abundantly certain ‘figures of language.’ It was Gorgias who first brought a throng of the ‘figures of
Figures of Language.
language’ into Greek Rhetoric3. In so far as Isokrates saw more clearly than Gorgias where the line falls between prose-rhythm and verse-rhythm, Isokrates moderated the Gorgian use of these figures. On the other hand he established some of them as the distinctive ornaments of the ‘florid’ Rhetoric by developing them artistically within certain limits. The specially Isokratic figures of language are those which depend on a parallelism. These are chiefly three4. (1) A parallelism in sense—Antithesis: which may arise either (i) from two words of opposite sense used in the expression of a single idea—‘let the rich give to the poor:’ or (ii) from the contrast of two ideas without contrast of words: ‘he did them good, but they took away his good name;’ or (iii) from the contrast both of ideas and of words—‘he did them good but they did him evil.’ (2) A parallelism in form and size merely between two or more clauses or sentences—Parisôsis. (3) A parallelism of sound—Paromoiôsis: when the latter of two clauses gives to the ear an echo of the former, either in its opening or at its close or throughout5.

The idea of all these three ‘figures’ is the same— that idea of mechanical balance in which the craving for symmetry is apt to take refuge when it is not guided by a really flexible instinct or by a spiritual sense of fitness and measure. No one can read Isokrates without feeling with what a leaden weight this elaborately wrought ornament lies on much of his work, often chilling the thought and almost crushing out its life6. But a distinction must be noticed between his earlier and his later manner. The

Earlier and later manner of Isokrates.
practical life of Athens had a gradual reflex action on that Sicilian Rhetoric which had been drawn into its sphere; and this was felt even by Isokrates7. In the Philippos and still more plainly in the Panathenaikos he intimates that he had outlived much
Figures of Thought.
of his early taste for the ‘figures of language.’ As for those vivid reflections of the speaker's own mood which are called the ‘figures of thought,’ they belonged, generally, to a later and more animated school8; the large use of them by Andokides being precisely one of those points which show how little his natural faculty had been tamed to the technical Rhetoric of his day. Least of all were the figures of thought congenial to the smooth and tranquil manner of Isokrates. There is perhaps but one exception; he is fond of the rhetorical question in concluding an argument9.

1 See Volkmann, Die Rhet. der Gr. und Römer, pp. 392 f. Cp. Quint. IX. 1 § 4.

2 Dionys. Dem. c. 18: Hermog. περὶ ἰδ. ά, c. 12 (referred to above).

3 Dionys. Thuc. c. 24. Quintilian (IX. 3 § 2) subdivides the ‘figures of language’ as (1) grammatical— mere peculiarities of pathology or syntax, with no rhetorical purpose —e.g. the schema Pindaricum: (2) rhetorical—where a certain effect is meant to be wrought by the combination. Volkmann (who refers the distinction between σχήματα λέξεως and διανοίας not to Caecilius of Calacte, but back to Theophrastos, p. 392) analyses both kinds in detail, pp. 396—430.

4 Cp. Sandys Ad Dem. and Panegyr. p. xiv.

5 Hermogenes has an excellent remark (περὶ ἰδ. ά c. 12, Sp. Rh. Gr. II. 331) on the use of these two last figures—παρίσωσις and παρομοίωσις—by Isokr. and Demosthenes respectively. Demosth. has rarely a direct and absolute symmetry or consonance of clauses— Hermog. says he remembers only one instance, In Androt. § 1. Elsewhere Demosth. disguises the παρίσωσις either by ‘cutting it in two’ —inserting a clause (ἐπεμβολή) between the two balanced clauses— or by taking care that the clauses equal in length shall not be symmetrical in structure: while he avoids the direct παρομοίωσις by shifting one of the two words which would have jingled.

6 Gellius (N. A. XVIII. 8) quotes some lines from Lucilius in which the satirist ridicules those ‘tasteless persons’ (apirocali) who wish to seem Isokratic, and who accordingly overload their sentences with ὁμοιοτέλευτα, πάρισα and the like. Dionysios, greatly as he admires Isokr., repeatedly blanies his ‘puerile’ or ‘vulgar’ use of the Gorgian figures. He instances Panegyr. §§ 71—81 (De Isocr. c. 14): Trapez. §§ 9, 11 (especially—ib. c. 20): De Pace, §§ 41—50 (Dem. c. 20). Nothing, he says, more ‘paralyses his force,’ nothing more averts the ear, than these frigid figures.

7 This is well marked in two passages: (1) Philip. (v) § 27,—346 B.C.; (2) Panath. § 2,—342 B.C.— where he says that he has quite given up attempting ‘antitheses and parisôses and those other figures which compel applause.’ Quintilian expressly recognises the two phases: IX. 3 § 74. Cp. Rauchenstein Introd. p. 12.

8 See above, Vol. I. p. 99: cp. Volkmann, pp. 416 f. The great master of the ‘figures of thought’ was Demosthenes: Cic. Orat. § 136.

9 For examples of this ἐρώτησις, see Panegyr. (iv) §§ 121, 183: De Pace (viii) §§ 11, 100, 105, 113: Panath. (xii) §§ 121 f. Volkmann (p. 424) notices an instance of the figure called ἀντίφρασις or παράλειψις—when the speaker says that he will not mention a thing, but does—joined with hyperbole, in De Pace §§ 56, 81.

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