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Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca

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Overview


This book charts the influence of Seneca--both as specific text and inherited tradition--through an analysis of 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 dramatic adaptations--especially those of Chapman, Jonson, Marston, Garnier, Cinthio, and Dolce. 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. Miola concludes by discussing Seneca's presence in Renaissance comedy and, more important, in that new and fascinating hybrid genre, tragicomedy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Tightly organized, richly documented, and carefully articulated....A sophisticated study that well deserves our attention."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"Summarizes and extends our understanding of Shakespeare's magisterial way with sources. Adept in discerning possible classical influences, Miola's book refines our vision of the playwright at work, adding another lens through which to view his accomplishment without drastically changing the old prescription."--Classical and Modern Literature

"The chapters are rich in insight, both about influences on Shakespeare as well as on the interpretation of individual Shakespearean plays....Persons interested in reflecting upon the development of Shakespeare's tragic heroes will find much to stimulate thought."--Religious Studies Review

"Impressive in its scholarship."--Renaissance Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198112648
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Loyola College, Baltimore
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1 Heavy Seneca 1
2 Senecan Revenge 11
Titus Andronicus 13
Hamlet 32
3 Senecan Tyranny 68
Richard III 72
Macbeth 92
4 Senecan Furor 122
Othello 124
King Lear 143
5 Light Seneca 175
A Midsummer Night's Dream 177
Tragicomedy 188
Select Bibliography 215
Index 221
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