Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca
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Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca

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Robert S. Miola
440 g
223x145x20 mm
Charts the influence of Seneca - both as specific text and inherited tragedies. It re-evaluates the work of Seneca and reassesses his influence on Shakespeare which extends beyond the tragedies to the tragicomedies.
Heavy Seneca; Senecan revenge - "Titus Andronicus", "Hamlet"; Senecan tyranny - "Richard III", "Macbeth"; Senecan furor: "Othello", "King Lear"; light Seneca - "A Midsummer Night's Dream", tragicomedy.
This book charts the influence of Seneca--both as specific text and inherited tradition--through Shakespeare's tragedies. Discerning patterns in previously attested borrowings and discovering new indebtedness, it presents an integrated and comprehensive assessment. Familiar methods of source study and a sophisticated understanding of intertextuality are employed to re-evaluate the much maligned Seneca in the light of his Greek antecedents, Renaissance translations and commentaries, and contemporary dramatic adaptations, especially those of Chapman, Jonson, Marston, Garnier, and Giraldi Cinthio. Three broad categories organize the discussion--Senecan revenge, tyranny, and furor--and each is illustrated by an earlier and later Shakespearean tragedy. The author keeps in view Shakespeare's eclecticism, his habit of combining disparate sources and conventions, as well as the rich history of literary criticism and theatrical interpretation. The book concludes by discussing Seneca's presence in Renaissance comedy and, more important, in that new and fascinating hybrid genre, tragicomedy. Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy makes an important contribution to our understanding of Shakespeare and of his foremost antecedents, as well as throwing light on the complex interactions of the Classical and Renaissance theatres.