[INDOLOGY] rhetorical questions in Sanskrit

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Sun Mar 8 05:55:08 EDT 2020


Dear friends,

The use of the rhetorical question as a figure of speech has been often noticed in Sanskrit epic, poetry, drama and philosophy. But is there a proper technical term in Sanskrit itself for "rhetorical question"?

In the commentarial treatments that come to mind, the question is paraphrased so as to make explicit the rhetorical intent, but without reference to a precise term to identify the figure. Am I perhaps missing something? Or is it merely treated as falling under some broader category, perhaps vakrokti?

with thanks in advance for your responses,
Matthew

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études, émérite
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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