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

Seneca: Oedipus - Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy (Paperback)

Paperback 176 Pages / Published: 17/12/2015
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Oedipus, king of Thebes, is one of the giant figures of ancient mythology. Through the centuries, his story has inspired works of epic poetry, lyric poetry, tragedy, opera, a gospel musical and more. The myth has been famously deployed in psychology by Sigmund Freud. It may not be too bold to claim that Oedipus is the name from Greco-Roman mythology best known beyond the academy at the present time, thanks to Freud's famous phrase 'the Oedipus complex'. The most famous version of the Oedipus myth from antiquity is the Greek play by Sophocles. But there is another version, the Latin drama by the Roman philosopher and politician Seneca. Seneca's version is an entirely different treatment from that of Sophocles and reflects concerns special to the author and his Roman audience in the first century AD. Moreover, the play actually exercised a much greater influence on European literature and thought than has usually been suspected. This book offers a compact and incisive study of the multi-faceted Oedipus myth, of Seneca as dramatist, of the distinctive characteristics of Seneca's play and of the most important aspects of the reception of the play in European drama and culture. The scope of the book ranges chronologically from Homer's treatment of Oedipus myth in the Odyssey down to a twenty-first century Senecan treatment by a Lebanese Canadian dramatist. No knowledge of Latin or other foreign languages is required.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781474234788
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 233 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 13 mm

What makes Braund's Companion stand out is the depth of her interpretation, the powerful section on the reception of this play, and her sure guidance through aspects of the play that are puzzling or difficult to explain. ... This is a fine introduction to Seneca's play and will benefit students and scholars alike. * Exemplaria Classica *
[Braund] has produced a clear and comprehensive companion to Seneca's Oedipus. * Classics For All Reviews *
In this short study of Seneca's Oedipus Susanna Braund has made a significant contribution to the steadily growing study of Senecan tragedy and its reception. * The Classical Journal *
[Braund] has made a valuable contribution towards raising the profile of this unconventional tragedy. * The Classical Review *
Braund's Oedipus not only introduces readers to the complexities of this distinctively Roman tragedy, but cuts a fascinating path through the remarkable story of its reception from earlier English and French drama through to Freud, Stravinsky and Ted Hughes and on to theatre and film in the twenty-first century. -- P. J. Davis, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Adelaide, Australia, and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Tasmania, Australia
It is hard to imagine any study of Seneca's Oedipus of these dimensions that could match Susana Braund's highly readable style of presentation, her breadth of coverage in locating the drama in its Roman historical, cultural and sociological context, her insightful probing of the drama's thematic complexities, and the conciseness with which she relates the Oedipus both to the Greco-Roman literary past and to the drama's reception in later ages. Seneca's Oedipus has drawn significant scholarly attention in recent times, but Braund's individuality of vision and voice sets this volume apart. -- Gareth Williams, Professor of Classics, Columbia University, USA
It would be hard to think of a more refreshing and revealing case-study in tragic myth than Seneca's Oedipus. Braund is a generous guide to student and scholar alike. She introduces the play in its original Roman context, opens it up for new interpretation, compares it with better-known and lesser-known versions, and traces its fascinating influence from antiquity to the present day. -- James Ker, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and author of A Seneca Reader (2011)
Braund's treatment of the question of Senecan tragedy's ancient performance amounts to a masterful precis of this vexed scholarly debate, into which she manages to introduce decisive clarity ... Braund's volume constitutes an exemplary addition to the expanding corpus of 'companions' or 'handbooks' to classical literary texts. In fact, I have never encountered a work of this genre that does a better job of 'opening up' for students the text it addresses. Braund's treatment of themes in chapter 3 deserves special mention. She isolates a set of themes that are urgently relevant to Seneca's Oedipus and whose identification has the added benefit of being hermeneutically provocative. Moreover, Braund's discussion of them, which usually amounts to brief analytical comments on a handful of relevant passages, gives students a sense of the sort of additional textual evidence they might adduce, as well as of how they might pursue sustained interpretations of these or related themes on their own. * Classical World *

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