Seneca: Hercules Furens - Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy (Paperback)
  • Seneca: Hercules Furens - Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy (Paperback)
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Seneca: Hercules Furens - Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy (Paperback)

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£28.99
Paperback 168 Pages / Published: 23/08/2018
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Hercules is the best-known character from classical mythology. Seneca's play Hercules Furens presents the hero at a moment of triumph turned to tragedy. Hercules returns from his final labor, his journey to the Underworld, and then slaughters his family in an episode of madness. This play exerted great influence on Shakespeare and other Renaissance tragedians, and also inspired contemporary adaptations in film, TV, and comics. Aimed at undergraduates and non-specialists, this companion introduces the play's action, historical context and literary tradition, critical reception, adaptation, and performance tradition.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350080812
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 204 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This slender yet richly informative book does much to cultivate greater appreciation for Seneca's Hercules Furens ... Its prose is lucid, engaging, and remarkably well-edited (I did not notice a single typographical error), and it offers a wealth of insights and a multiplicity of perspectives on Hercules Furens, and on representations of Hercules in Greek and Roman antiquity and beyond. It should inspire more people to read and teach this underappreciated play. One can envision it being effectively utilized in an undergraduate Advanced Latin Course focusing on Hercules Furens, or in an undergraduate mythology course that looks closely at the figure of Hercules. * New England Classical Journal *
Illuminating ... thorough and precise ... This study may prove of interest, not only as an introductory guide to students of theatre and of Roman political and cultural history, but to all interested in specific topics such as the societal interplay of writing, spectacle, ideology, performance, and power. I believe also that its reading will enhance the understanding not just of ancient drama, but also of its post-classical revival. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
[Seneca: Hercules Furens] provides concise, but informative and engaging discussions of the themes of the play, stylistic and rhetorical elements, modern critical approaches, historical context, literary and philosophical traditions, and performance ... The audience for whom Bernstein's book is designed will find it an excellent and welcome resource. * Classical Journal *
[Bernstein's] fine introduction will be an excellent guide to students and their instructors who may have been raised on the Disney cartoon and are ready for something more. * The Classical Review *
This volume is very recommendable ... It is an excellent reading guide. * Revue des Etudes Anciennes (Bloomsbury Translation) *
Bernstein's study will become a go-to resource for understanding the Hercules Furens, its complex relationship to Rome's political, cultural, and literary milieu, and its decisive impact on the dramatic tradition. -- Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Cincinnati, USA
Bernstein offers strong and persuasive readings of the Hercules Furens in its various contexts (e.g. philosophical, performance, historical). It will be both useful and enjoyable for students and scholars of Seneca and the theatrical tradition. -- Christopher Trinacty, Assistant Professor of Classics, Oberlin College, USA
No Roman playwright before Seneca had dared to tackle the grim tale of Hercules' slaughter of his wife and sons after successfully completing his twelve labours. Bernstein admirably explains why Seneca chose to confront the issues latent in the myth, such as the nature of courage and masculinity, the justification of suicide, the influence of family and ancestry, the moralized landscape. He contextualizes these themes by sourcing them in Seneca's philosophical writings. Bernstein is in full command of all the recent scholarship devoted to the play, and he subjects it to clear and fair-minded assessment. Notable is his convincing interpretation of the opening speech of the goddess Juno as key to the interpretation of the action which unfolds in the drama. Finally, he shows how the trajectory of Seneca's Hercules from 'hero to zero' has been adapted in contemporary theatre to highlight the veteran's difficulty in reintegrating into a peacetime community. -- Roland Mayer, Emeritus Professor of Classics, King's College London, UK

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