Roman notes - Lucan on figure of Cato: Cato is introduced...

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Lucan on figure of Cato: Cato is introduced as a heroic man of principle; as abhorrent as civil war is, he argues to Brutus that it is better to fight than do nothing. After siding with Pompey – the lesser of two evils – Though the Pharsalia is an historical epic, it would be wrong to think Lucan is interested in the details of history itself. As one commentator has pointed out, Lucan is more concerned "with the significance of events rather than the events themselves." Lucan emphasizes the despair of his topic Events throughout the poem are described in terms of insanity and sacrilege. Most of the main characters are terribly flawed and unattractive; Caesar is cruel and vindictive, while Pompey is ineffective and uninspiring. Far from glorious, the battle scenes are portraits of bloody horror, where nature is ravaged to build terrible siege engines and wild animals tear mercilessly at the flesh of the dead (perhaps reflecting the taste of an audience accustomed to the bloodlust of gladiatorial games). The grand exception to this generally bleak portrait is Cato, who stands as a Stoic ideal in
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Roman notes - Lucan on figure of Cato: Cato is introduced...

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