miles gloriosus

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See also: Miles Gloriosus



Borrowed from Latin mīles (soldier) + glōriōsus (glorious).


miles gloriosus (plural milites gloriosi)

  1. (literary, performing arts) A standard character in ancient comedy and in modern comedy depicting ancient military figures: the bravado-filled, self-important, swaggering soldier.
    • 1898, "The Army against the War Department," New York Times, 8 Sept. (retrieved 4 Dec 2010):
      [I]t of course ought not to be said that the General who assumes the responsibility behaved "generously" on one occasion and "magnanimously" upon another. About such expressions there is a reminiscence of the classical "Miles gloriosus" of the British Nelson, or of the American Winfield Scott.
    • 1932, John W. Draper, "Sir John Falstaff," The Review of English Studies, vol. 8, no. 32, p. 414:
      He placed Falstaff in the tradition of the miles gloriosus, the type of rascally braggart soldier borrowed from Roman comedy.
    • 2003, Roberta Barker, "Tragical-Comical-Historical Hotspur," Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 54, no. 3, p. 303:
      It is possible, then, to read the text of 1 Henry IV as exploiting Hotspur's contradictions for maximum effect, producing a figure who is neither tragic hero, comic miles gloriosus, nor historical reenactment but exuberantly all three at once.

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