The Senecan Aesthetic: A Performance History

Hardcover | January 9, 2016

byHelen Slaney

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Alongside the works of the better-known classical Greek dramatists, the tragedies of Lucius Annaeus Seneca have exerted a profound influence over the dramaturgical development of European theatre. The Senecan Aesthetic surveys the multifarious ways in which Senecan tragedy has been staged,from the Renaissance up to the present day: plundered for neo-Latin declamation and seeping into the blood-soaked revenge tragedies of Shakespeare's contemporaries, seasoned with French neoclassical rigour, and inflated by Restoration flamboyance. In the mid-eighteenth century, the pincer movementof naturalism and philhellenism began to squeeze Seneca off the stage until August Wilhelm Schlegel's shrill denunciation silenced what he called its "frigid bombast". The Senecan aesthetic, repressed but still present, staged its return in the twentieth century in the work of Antonin Artaud, whoregarded Seneca as "the greatest tragedian of history". This volume restores Seneca to a canonical position among the playwrights of antiquity, recognizing him as one of the most important, most revered, and most reviled, and in doing so reveals how theory, practice, and scholarship have always been interdependent and inseparable.

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Alongside the works of the better-known classical Greek dramatists, the tragedies of Lucius Annaeus Seneca have exerted a profound influence over the dramaturgical development of European theatre. The Senecan Aesthetic surveys the multifarious ways in which Senecan tragedy has been staged,from the Renaissance up to the present day: plu...

Helen Slaney is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pagesPublished:January 9, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198736762

ISBN - 13:9780198736769

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of FiguresEditions and CitationsIntroductioni. Senecan, Performance, Receptionii. What's Senecan About Seneca?1. The Open Booki. In Defence of Student Theatreii. Neo-Latin Performance Practiceiii. Progneiv. Theatre in Education2. 'Excess is her Disease'i. Translating the Tenne Tragediesii. English(ed) Senecaiii. Jacobean Variations3. Nourished on Bloodi. Enter the Divaii. The Art of Tragedyiii. Realisme Senequieniv. Translation and Adaptationv. The Merveilleux4. The Great Repressioni. Tragedy Regulatedii. Phaedra/Phedre5. Hypertragedyi. Neronian gambolsii. Horror Plays of the Exclusion Crisis6. Seneca Censoredi. The Long Eighteenth Centuryii. A Backdrop to Schlegeliii. Colossal, Misshapen Marionettes7. Signalling Through the Flamesi. Shelley's Cenciii. Artaud's Cenci8. Seneca in '68i. Deeper into Languageii. The Fetters of the EyesConclusionBibliographyIndex