Can a speaker's words ever be faithfully reported? History, philosophy, ethnography, political theory, linguistics, and literary criticism all involve debates about discourse and representation. By drawing from Plato's theory of discourse, the lively analysis of speech presentation in thisbook provides a coherent and original contribution to these debates, and highlights the problems involved when speech becomes both the object and the medium of narrative representation. The opening chapters offer fresh insights on ideology, intertextuality, literary language, and historiography, and reveal important connections between them. These insights are then applied in specific critical treatments of - Virgil's Aeneid, of Petronius' Satyricon, and of scenes involvingmessengers and angels in classical and European epic. Throughout this study, ancient texts are discussed in conjunction with examples from later traditions. Overall, this book uses Latin literature to demonstrate the theoretical and ideological importance of speech presentation for a number ofcontemporary disciplines.