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The Senecan AestheticA Performance History$
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Helen Slaney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736769.001.0001

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The Open Book

The Open Book

Chapter:
(p.39) 1 The Open Book
Source:
The Senecan Aesthetic
Author(s):

Helen Slaney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736769.003.0002

Senecan tragedy was performed in Latin by university students as an extra-curricular activity during the sixteenth century. Original neo-Latin plays were also produced using senecan vocabulary and themes. Ideally, this complemented the classroom study of practical declamation, but it was also criticized for involving the students too closely in the material they were enacting. One example of a neo-Latin tragedy performed at Oxford is James Calfhill’s Progne, which draws on both Ovid and Seneca and may have influenced Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. Tragedies with a senecan tone, such as John Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge, were also performed by the boy companies at Blackfriars and St Paul’s.

Keywords:   neo-Latin, university drama, Titus Andronicus, Progne, Procne, declamation, boy companies, John Marston, Antonio’s Revenge, Quintilian

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