Irony in De Civitate Dei
Cuneen, Mary Florena
Classics , Catholicism
Irony in the "De Civitate Dei” is a vital force and power of expression by which right is defended and truth avenged. In the above work, this figure so forms the basis of its logical treatment, that each situation, freighted as it is with meaning, is readily apprehended in the light of its proper perspective. |The purpose of this thesis is to show by experimentation the frequency of the use of irony in Books I, II, and III. Throughout these books irony is at times very marked; and again, it appears as though it were a statement of fact in the light of the present day usage. In a few instances, irony seems to engender confusion, to appear figurative, and to contradict a previous state or purpose of things; but this irregularity is rather apparent than real. On close scrutiny, in every instance, irony furthers the argument, immunizes against deception, and reveals a real wealth of insight when obscurities are pierced through and analyzed, frequency of irony increases as the intensity of the argument increases; and in this, Saint Augustine is shown truly representative of the sophistic training of his time. |In the three hooks of the City of God read for this thesis, one hundred eighty-three examples have been noted. These are classified under the following rhetorical forms of irony; |1. Irony as Contrast |2. Irony as Veiled Sarcasm |3. Irony as Sarcastic Laudation |4. Socratio Irony |The Latin ironic passages corresponding with the English translations are included in this thesis. The Dombart-Kalb, and the Welldon editions of the "De Civitate Dei" have been used, Where necessary, the Dods and the Healey translations were also used. Other references are listed in the bibliography.
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