Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gregory A. Staley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387438

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387438.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 February 2020

A Just and Lively Image

A Just and Lively Image

(p.52) 3 A Just and Lively Image
Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy

Gregory A. Staley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The key to Senecan drama lies not in the “word,” as T. S. Eliot once described it, but in the “image,” which, as the definition of tragedy attached to the manuscript of Seneca’s plays described it, constitutes an “image of truth.” This chapter turns to the Stoic epistemology of poetry and argues that Dryden’s pairing of the adjectives “just” and “lively” to characterize the “image” of tragedy reflects the Stoic definition of enargeia or “vividness”: an image that is true to life (hence, “lively”) and that offers its own kritērion or iudicium (a sound or “just” basis for “judgment”) of its truthfulness. Stoics regularly turned to tragedy because it modeled the cognitive process, illustrating how knowledge begins with a phantasia, or “visual impression.”

Keywords:   tragedy, Dryden, Stoic, epistemology, enargeia, phantasia

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .