Based on the legends used in Greek drama, Seneca’s plays are notable for the exuberant ruthlessness with which disastrous events are foretold and then pursued to their tragic and often bloodthirsty ends. Thyestes depicts the menace of an ancestral curse hanging over two feuding brothers, while Phaedra portrays a woman tormented by fatal passion for her stepson. In The Trojan Women, the widowed Hecuba and Andromache await their fates at the hands of the conquering Greeks, and Oedipus follows the downfall of the royal House of Thebes. Octavia is a grim commentary on Nero’s tyrannical rule and the execution of his wife, with Seneca himself appearing as an ineffective counsellor attempting to curb the atrocities of the emperor.
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Table Of Contents
Seneca: Four Tragedies And OctaviaIntroduction Acknowledgement
Thyestes Phaedra (or Hippolytus) The Trojan Women Oedipus Octavia
Elizabethan translations and imitations Appendix II. Passages from Seneca’s prose
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life, for which he had been trained,… More about Seneca
Published by Penguin Classics Oct 30, 1966| 320 Pages| ISBN 9780140441741