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2019 Vol. 10 № 2

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The hagiographic genre of the life of Alexander (Plutarch’s Comparative biographies)



The article describes the main features of the hagiographic genre in the Life of Alexander from Plutarch’s Comparative Biographies. I use the comparative, reverse and structural-semantic methods to analyse the biography of Alexander the Great, the images of the protago­nist and the narrator, the unreality and the deification of the protagonist. There is a certain typological convergence between bios as a genre and Plutarch’s ancient biographies. This convergence is reflected in the structure of Alexander’s biography, which is built according to a certain model, a plot-scheme pattern, and includes Alexander’s birth, childhood, upbring­ing, adolescence, maturity, his victories, lifetime deification and death. The correlation of the two genre forms helps to reveal and explore the biographic image of Plutarch’s main character as well as his human fate, the aim of life and the freedom of choice. These aspects are reflected in the hagiographic genre. I analyse the similarities and differences of the narrative strategies employed since the narrative (non-diegetic narrator) in the hagiography genre is clearly relat­ed to the non-diegetic “multiple” narrator of Plutarch's biography. I argue that the genre of ancient biography with its topos of private life and its entertaining and instructive functions serves as a nutrient substrate for the formation of the genre of bios.


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