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Shakespeare and Classical TragedyThe Influence of Seneca$
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Robert S. Miola

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112648.001.0001

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Senecan Revenge

Senecan Revenge

(p.11) 2 Senecan Revenge
Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy

Robert S. Miola

Oxford University Press

Because of the well sounding Phrases and speeches incorporated throughout Gorboduc — the first English revenge tragedy — Sir Philip Sidney believes that this tragedy effectively exemplifies the Senecan style. On one note, although Ferrex would assert that he is not a Senecan revenger, there were already evident indications of cultural disorientation. On another note, the chorus presents a very un-Senecan ending through a markedly Senecan manner. Such conflicts are brought about by the fact that certain tensions have arisen from various Renaissance adaptations. In endeavours to influence and control rhetorical passion, a number of poets and playwrights have tried setting such works within moral frameworks that are not unfamiliar, and having these expressed by familiar human beings. This chapter illustrates how authors integrated Seneca in their writings in relatively contrasting situations.

Keywords:   Gorboduc, Sir Philip Sidney, Senecan style, conflict, moral frameworks, revenge tragedy, tensions, cultural disorientation

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