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Simplicity.

Next, in contrast with the Sicilian school of rhetoric, Lysias is characterised by a general avoidance of ornamental figures. Such figures as occur are mostly of the kind which men use in daily life without rhetorical consciousness,—hyperbole, metaphor, prosopopoiïa and the like1. As a rule, he expresses his meaning by ordinary words employed in their normal sense2. His panegyrical speeches and his letters are said to have presented a few exceptions to this rule; but all his business-works, as Dionysios calls them—his speeches for the ekklesia and for the law-courts—are stamped with this simplicity. He seems, as his critic says, to speak like the ordinary man, while he is in fact the most consummate of artists3,—a prose poet who knows how to give an unobtrusive distinction to common language, and to bring out of it a quiet and peculiar music4. Isokrates had the same command of familiar words, but he was not content to seek effect by artistic harmonies of these. His ambition was to be ornate; and hence one of the differences remarked by Dionysios: Isokrates is sometimes vulgar5; Lysias never is. There is one kind of ornament, however, which Lysias uses largely, and in respect to which he deserts the character of the plain style. He delights in the artistic parallelism (or opposition) of clauses. This may be effected: (1) by simple correspondence of clauses in length (isokôlon); (2) by correspondence of word with word in meaning (antitheton proper); (3) by correspondence of word with word in sound (paromoion)6. Examples are very numerous both in the public and in the private speeches. This love of antithesis—shown on a larger scale in the terse periodic composition—is the one thing which sometimes blemishes the êthos in Lysias.

1 As an instance of a common prosopopoiïa see e.g. Or. XXI. § 8 οὔτω παρεσκευασμένην τριήρη πόσα οἴεσθε...τοὺς πολεμίους εἴργασθαι κακά; Other common figures which occur in Lysias are synekdoche, e.g. Or. XXXIII. § 9 τὰς ἐλπίδας τῆς σωτηρίας: antonomasia, Or. § 15 σεμνὸς Στειριεύς: metonymia, Or. XII. § 60 τὰς πόλεις ἐπάγοντες: epanaphora, Or. XXX. § 3 πολλὰ μέν... πολλὰ δέ: synathroismos, Or. XXXIII. § 3 καί...καί...καί...καί: periphrasis, Or. XVIII. § 3 τρόπαιον ἱστάναι, &c.

2 Dionys. De Lys. c. 3 (ἀρετὴ) διὰ τῶν κυρίων τε καὶ κοινῶν καὶ ἐν μέσῳ κειμένων ὀνομάτων ἐκφέρουσα τὰ νοούμενα.

3 ib. ὁμοίως δὲ τοῖς ἰδιώταις διαλέγεσθαι δοκῶν πλεῖστον ὅσον ἰδιώτου διαφέρει.

4 ib. κράτιστος ποιητὴς λόγων λελυμένης ἐκ μέτρου λέξεως, ἰδίαν τινὰ λόγων εὑρηκὼς ἁρμονίαν, τὰ ὀνόματα κοσμεῖ τε καὶ ἡδύνει, μηδὲν ἔχοντα ὀγκῶδες μηδὲ φορτικόν.

5 Dionys. De Isocr. c. 3 σχηματίζει φορτικῶς.

6 Isokôla and homoioteleuta constantly occur together. see esp. Or. XII. (§§ 1, 4, 6, 19, 26, 32, 39, &c.) and Or. XXXIII. passim. A speeial form of the paromoion, viz. paronomasia, is frequent in Lysias: e.g. Or. XXXI. § 11 γνώμῃσυγγνώμης: § 24 τιμωρηθήσεταιτετιμήσεται: Or. XXX. § 29 τὰ πάτριακατὰ πατέρα.

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