The present sketch deals with the speaking possibilities of heroines in epic poems. In accordance with former social practices, heroines cannot make speeches at meetings and gatherings, at feasts, or during intervals on hunting expeditions. Their utterances are of an anti-rhetorical nature. Heroines may take part in dialogues and also makes use of internal speech. An excellent example of an internal monologue in a romantic narrative poem is Telimena's monologue in Book V of 'Master Thaddeus', consistently maintained in apparently reported speech. The monologue in question is distinct both from the narrative into which it is neatly mounted (it is accompanied by the accounts about behavior) and from the words the heroine herself utters in her dialogues. It does not inform the reader of any facts, rather it reveals her train of thought, weighs up the possibilities and - like the figure of Telimena in general - has comic overtones. In presenting her train of thought, the monologue is highly innovative. It anticipates phenomena that would appear in novels only in the final decade of the nineteenth century.
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