|Suspense in Philostratus' Apollonius
|This paper aims to show the ways in which suspense works in Philostratus' Apollonius. The author tries to keep his narrative unsurprising by making use of the ‘basic narrative pattern', a template which guarantees Apollonius' victory over any rival character he meets during his worldwide travels. We repeatedly find the protagonist gaining an upper hand over other socially distinguished figures and, through that process, come to be able to keep ourselves calm in the face of whatever happens to the Tyanean sage. The established pattern also allows the author to arrange his episodes in any order he wants because whatever he tells us in a given episode, his goal is always the same --the winner is Apollonius. So basically we have no choice but to acknowledge that Apollonius' conversations, which cover a large part of the work, are predictable and that the whole narrative is quite loosely structured. We, however, have the two important exceptions: the Nero episode and the Domitian episode. In these episodes, we can find Philostratus taking special care of his narrative arrangement to make the episodes exciting to read. More precisely, the author offers us various kinds of suspense, by which he makes the reader uncertain of the future of the protagonist, who is confronted with Nero's and Domitian's threatening antipathy. Even though we can expect Apollonius' victory over the tyrants relying on the ‘basic narrative pattern', still we cannot easily dismiss the possibility of his subordination to them. From these observations, we can conclude that Philostratus is not always an unthinking cataloguer. At least in the two episodes that feature Apollonius' conflict with the ‘anti-philosophy' emperors, the author can be seen as a sophisticated storyteller who struggles to entertain his readers by carefully arranging narrative components.
|Appears in Collections:
|XXVI (SCRIPTA IN HONOREM DR. HIROYUKI TAKAHASHI)
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