Original Research

The utilization of space in Martial 1.86

M. J. Mans
Literator | Vol 8, No 3 | a870 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v8i3.870 | © 1987 M. J. Mans | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 1987 | Published: 07 May 1987

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M. J. Mans,, South Africa

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Abstract

This article examines the form and function of space in Martial’s epigram 1.86. It comments on the important aspect of verbal creation of space, i.e. the concept of selectivity, which results in an incomplete description of space. It is demonstrated, however, that the reader, with the aid of spatial indicators in the text, is able to fill in the spatial gaps. With the support of these indicators an attempt is made to determine whether space is given special prominence in 1.86. The horizontal dimension of space, i.e. the concept of the binary opposition far vs. near is delineated as an important and special implement in the hands of the poet to convey the poem’s message. The narrator’s point o f view, or focalization, is also touched upon. In conclusion the predominant theme in this epigram, i.e. space, is defined as lyric space. It is argued that space can be exploited in different ways so as to convey meaning through it, and thus contributes towards a better understanding of the poem.

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