Cicero

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R73nvRPNSHA

The death of Cicero in the HBO series Rome, which (the pathos of this scene aside) pretty much portrays him as Frye suggests below.

On this date in 43 BCE the Roman orator and philosopher Cicero was assassinated.

Frye in notes 52:

Anyway, wherever it goes, the first chapter [of Words with Power] is beginning to involve some consideration of the social conditioning of writers as reflected in their prose styles.  I notice how completely we are committed today to what I see as the direct descendant of the “prophetic”: to writers of piercing if often partial insight.  For anyone who values, for example, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Rimbaud, Dostoevsky, for whatever reason, such an author as Cicero is the pits: he’s nothing but a ragbag of platitudes and cliches.  Yet Cicero represented the summit of style, good taste and authority down to the 18th c., because he was the spokesman of the acknowledged social structure.  I find this Ciceronian majesterial style still in Samuel Johnson and Edward Gibbon in the 18th c.: they would have seldom agreed with each other, but they have in common a sense of speaking out of the centre of social rationality. (CW 6, 470)

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