Brill's Companion to the Reception of Senecan Tragedy

Scholarly, Theatrical and Literary Receptions


In Brill's Companion to the Reception of Senecan Tragedy, Eric Dodson-Robinson incorporates essays by specialists working across disciplines and national literatures into a subtle narrative tracing the diverse scholarly, literary and theatrical receptions of Seneca's tragedies. The tragedies, influential throughout the Roman world well beyond Seneca's time, plunge into obscurity in Late Antiquity and nearly disappear during the Middle Ages. Profound consequences follow from the rediscovery of a dusty manuscript containing nine plays attributed to Seneca: it is seminal to both the renaissance of tragedy and the birth of Humanism. Canonical Western writers from Antiquity to the present have revisited, transformed, and eviscerated Senecan precedents to develop, in Dodson-Robinson's words, "competing tragic visions of agency and the human place in the universe."
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Biographical Note

Eric Dodson-Robinson, Ph.D. (2009), University of Illinois, is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His publications explore violence and agency, especially in Senecan and Shakespearean tragedy.

Contributors are: Florence de Caigny, Francesco Citti, Peter J. Davis, Eric Dodson-Robinson, Patrick Gray, Gianni Guastalla, Joachim Harst, Siobhán McElduff, Tomàs Martínez Romero, Ralf Remshardt, Helen Slaney, Christopher Star, Christopher Trinacty, and Jessica Winston.

Table of contents

List of Contributors

1 Introduction
Eric Dodson-Robinson

Part 1 - Antiquity
2 Imago res mortua est: Senecan Intertextuality
Christopher Trinacty
3 Seneca Tragicus and Stoicism
Christopher Star
4 Senecan Tragedy and the Politics of Flavian Literature
Peter J. Davis

Part 2 - Renaissance and Early Modern
5 Seneca Rediscovered: Recovery of Texts, Reinvention of a Genre
Gianni Guastella
6 The Reception of Seneca in the Crowns of Aragon and Castile in the
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries 101
Tomas Martinez Romero
7 The Reception of the Tragedies of Seneca in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in France
Florence de Caigny, Translated by Eric Dodson-Robinson
8 Germany and the Netherlands: Tragic Seneca in Scholarship and on Stage
Joachim Harst
Early ‘English Seneca’: From ‘Coterie’ Translations to the Popular Stage
Jessica Winston
10 Shakespeare vs. Seneca: Competing Visions of Human Dignity
Patrick Gray

Part 3 - Seneca in the Modern Age and Beyond
11 Senecan Gothic
Helen Slaney
12 Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Receptions of Seneca Tragicus
Francesco Citti
13 Seneca Our Contemporary: The Modern Theatrical Reception of Senecan Tragedy
Ralf Remshardt
14 Rereading Seneca: The Twenty-First Century and Beyond
Siobhan McElduff



Classicists and comparatists interested in reception studies, as well as scholars and graduate students with interests in the "heavy" role of Senecan tragedy in Western dramatic, literary, and cultural traditions.