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Licentia poetica
(786 words)

The concept of poetic licence or freedom (Latin licentia, “liberty [to do something]”), that is, the liberty to deviate from established literary norms, was primarily a formal one, unlike the thematic freedom of speech (Greek/Latin parrhésia) familiar in rhetoric. In its original sense, it denotes the freedom of the poet to depart from linguistic and technical conventions of portrayal. These included particularly spelling, punctuation, grammar, diction, and word formation, as well as appropriacy to situation, imagery, factual accuracy, chronology, and ca…

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Stockhorst, Stefanie, “Licentia poetica”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_023388>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801



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