By Seneca

Contributor note: R. Scott Smith (Annotations)

Living in Rome lower than Caligula and later a educate to Nero, Seneca witnessed the extremes of human behaviour. His surprising and bloodthirsty performs not just mirror a brutal interval of heritage but in addition exhibit how guilt, sorrow, anger and hope lead contributors to violence.

The hero of Hercules Insane saves his family from slaughter, basically to devote additional atrocities while he is going mad. The scary loss of life of Astyanax is acknowledged in Trojan Women, and Phaedra offers with forbidden love. In Oedipus a frightened guy discovers himself, whereas Thyestes recounts the sour family members fight for a crown. Of doubtful authorship, Octavia dramatizes Nero's divorce from his spouse and her deportation.

The merely Latin tragedies to have survived whole, those performs are masterpieces of bright, muscular language and mental perception.

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Extra info for Phaedra and Other Plays

Sample text

90 The body politic was supposed to be contained within the natural body of the Queen. When lawyers spoke of this body politic they referred to a specific quality: the essence of corporate perpetuity. 91 The theatrical union of Mary and Respublica, then, represents the monarchy at its most complete; the unification of the political and personal, as the body natural of the reigning queen contains the actor representing the body politic within her arms. The highly affective tenor of much of the polemic of the early years of Mary’s reign was crucial to its initial successes, as Mary’s Guildhall speech, quoted above, indicates.

5 Julian’s concern to fix maternal meaning upon the figure of Jesus reminds us that ‘mother’ asserts a human figure as much as a metaphysical idea. The word always foregrounds its material meaning – the individual person, the mother figure; so that ‘mother’ is always signifier as much as signified. This quality had informed an allegorical tradition which allowed the concept of motherhood both to focus and to represent a complicated and shifting set of meanings. 6 Astell shows, importantly, how this is the consequence of ‘the fusion of two histories’: that of the evangelical biography of Mary, and the literal meaning in the Song of Songs, leading to the construction of a figure where the literal bleeds into the allegorical, enhancing her affective power.

Qxd 3/11/09 14:57 Page 33 The transformation of tradition 1111 2111 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 1211 31 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 42111 33 audience that must be engaged emotionally if the serious matter of the drama is to be appropriately received. Vanhoutte shows how Bale echoes Morison’s polemic strategy, quoting Morison’s tract A Lamentation in Which is Showed what Ruin and Destruction Cometh of Seditious Rebellion, in which a personified England bemoans the rupture that treason has wrought: ‘I am one, why do you make me twain?

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