Edited by Rosario López Gregoris and Cristóbal Macías Villalobos
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 23] 2020
► pp. 103–128
Horrible deaths, grotesque deaths
Inversion of the heroic model and construction of the reader-viewer
The aim of this essay is to analyze several instances of the reversal of the hero’s glorious death, the critical moment of his/her career. In order to achieve this goal, I have selected some of most outstanding passages from Lucan’s Civil War, for instance Sceva’s aristeia (6.138–262), and the episode of the Asbyte’s death by the flavian epicist Silius Italicus (Punica 2.189–210).
After having studied the resources employed by the Roman writers, I compare them with the means of description of the grotesque deaths in the TV series Spartacus (2010–2013), a product of mass culture alien to the academic world. Both the similarities and the differences raised by this comparison are relevant to understanding the meaning of this kind of representation.