The plays of Seneca the Younger, minister and philosopher under Nero, are today increasingly studied, appreciated and performed. Here, in twelve new papers from a distinguished international cast, scholars explore established questions, such as whether the plays were written for the stage, and newer topics such as the playwright's subtleties of characterisation, his relation to contemporary Roman spectacle and art - and the problems arising in translating him to modern text or stage.
The claim that Revelation's hymns function as did Classical tragic choral lyrics insofar as they comment upon or interpret the surrounding narrative has become axiomatic in studies of Revelation. Justin Jeffcoat Schedtler marks an advance in this line of inquiry by offering an exegetical analysis of Revelation's hymns alongside a presentation of the forms and functions of ancient tragic choruses and choral lyrics. Evaluating the hymns in light of the varieties and complexities of ancient tragic choruses, he demonstrate that they are not best evaluated in terms of choral lyrics generally, but in terms of dramatic hymns in particular, insofar as they constitute mythological-theological reflections on the surrounding narrative, and function to situate the surrounding dramatic activity in a particular mythological-theological contexts.
Performance and Identity in the Classical World traces attitudes towards actors in Greek and Roman culture as a means of understanding ancient conceptions of, and anxieties about, the self. Actors were often viewed as frauds and impostors, capable of deliberately fabricating their identities. Conversely, they were sometimes viewed as possessed by the characters that they played, or as merely playing themselves onstage. Numerous sources reveal an uneasy fascination with actors and acting, from the writings of elite intellectuals (philosophers, orators, biographers, historians) to the abundant theatrical anecdotes that can be read as a body of 'popular performance theory'. This 2005 text examines these sources, along with dramatic texts and addresses the issue of impersonation, from the late fifth century BCE to the early Roman Empire.
Written in Nero's Rome in about AD62, Seneca's "Thyestes" is one of the ggreatest and most influential of classical tragedies. As the bloodiest work in the Greco-Roman canon, "Thyestes" was long reviled for its depiction of savage violence and for its representation of human bestiality. Peter Davis argues that the play needs to be understood as the response of a major politician, philosopher and tragic poet to the increasingly tyrannical rule of the emperor. In this companion he explores key aspects of the play, including the circumstances of its composition, its performance history and its impact on subsequent dramatists, including Shakespeare and Jonson.
What was a Roman book? How did it differ from modern books? How were Roman books composed, published and distributed during the high period of Roman literature that encompassed, among others, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Martial, Pliny and Tacitus? What was the ‘scribal art’ of the time? What was the role of bookshops and libraries? The publishing of Roman books has often been misrepresented by false analogies with contemporary publishing. This wide-ranging study re-examines, by appeal to what Roman authors themselves tell us, both the raw material and the aesthetic criteria of the Roman book, and shows how slavery was the ‘enabling infrastructure’ of literature. Roman publishing is placed firmly in the context of a society where the spoken still ranked above the written, helping to explain how some books and authors became politically dangerous and how the Roman book could be both an elite cultural icon and a contributor to Rome’s popular culture through the mass medium of the theatre.
Translating for performance is a difficult – and hotly contested – activity. Adapting Translation for the Stage presents a sustained dialogue between scholars, actors, directors, writers, and those working across these boundaries, exploring common themes and issues encountered when writing, staging, and researching translated works. It is organised into four parts, each reflecting on a theatrical genre where translation is regularly practised: The Role of Translation in Rewriting Naturalist Theatre Adapting Classical Drama at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century Translocating Political Activism in Contemporary Theatre Modernist Narratives of Translation in Performance A range of case studies from the National Theatre’s Medea to The Gate Theatre’s Dances of Death and Emily Mann’s The House of Bernarda Alba shed new light on the creative processes inherent in translating for the theatre, destabilising the literal/performable binary to suggest that adaptation and translation can – and do – coexist on stage. Chronicling the many possible intersections between translation theory and practice, Adapting Translation for the Stage offers a unique exploration of the processes of translating, adapting, and relocating work for the theatre.
Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus explores the various ways Aeschylus’ tragedies have been revisioned and adapted over the last 2500 years, focusing both on his theatrical reception and his reception in other media and genres.
The origins of satyr drama, and particularly the reliability of the account in Aristotle, remains contested, and several of this volume’s contributions try to make sense of the early relationship of satyr drama to dithyramb and attempt to place satyr drama in the pre-Classical performance space and traditions. What is not contested is the relationship of satyr drama to tragedy as a required cap to the Attic trilogy. Here, however, how Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (to whom one complete play and the preponderance of the surviving fragments belong) envisioned the relationship of satyr drama to tragedy in plot, structure, setting, stage action and language is a complex subject tackled by several contributors. The playful satyr chorus and the drunken senility of Silenos have always suggested some links to comedy and later to Atellan farce and phlyax. Those links are best examined through language, passages in later Greek and Roman writers, and in art. The purpose of this volume is probe as many themes and connections of satyr drama with other literary genres, as well as other art forms, putting satyr drama on stage from the sixth century BC through the second century AD. The editors and contributors suggest solutions to some of the controversies, but the volume shows as much that the field of study is vibrant and deserves fuller attention.
This ethical context is a productive frame of reference for interpreting the strange artificiality of Senecan tragedy, the consciousness that its own dramatic worlds, events, and people are literary constructs. In Troades for example Achilles' ghost and its vengeance is represented both as an inexorable dramatic reality and the creature of a fabula to be dismissed as a malignant fiction."--BOOK JACKET.
In this volume, tragedy in antiquity is examined synoptically, from its misty origins in archaic Greece, through its central position in the civic life of ancient Athens and its performances across the Greek-speaking world, to its new and very different instantiations in Republican and Imperial Roman contexts. Lively, original essays by eminent scholars trace the shifting dramatic forms, performance environments, and social meanings of tragedy as it was repeatedly reinvented. Tragedy was consistently seen as the most serious of all dramatic genres; these essays trace a sequence of different visions of what the most serious kind of dramatic story might be, and the most appropriate ways of telling those stories on stage. Each chapter takes a different theme as its focus: forms and media; sites of performance and circulation; communities of production and consumption; philosophy and social theory; religion, ritual, and myth; politics of city and nation; society and family, and gender and sexuality.