Thyestes

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Nick Hern Books, Limited, 1995 - Thyestes (Greek mythology) - 42 pages
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A violent tragedy by a contemporary of Nero, in a faithful and uncut translation by one of our leading dramatists.

Atreus, Agamemnon's father, takes revenge on his brother Thyestes by murdering Thyestes's sons and serving their flesh up for their father's dinner.

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About the author (1995)

Seneca was born in Spain of a wealthy Italian family. His father, Lucius Annaeus Seneca (see Vol. 4), wrote the well-known Controversaie (Controversies) and Suasoriae (Persuasions), which are collections of arguments used in rhetorical training, and his nephew Lucan was the epic poet of the civil war. Educated in rhetoric and philosophy in Rome, he found the Stoic doctrine especially compatible. The younger Seneca became famous as an orator but was exiled by the Emperor Claudius. He was recalled by the Empress Agrippina to become the tutor of her son, the young Nero. After the first five years of Nero's reign, Agrippina was murdered and three years later Octavia, Nero's wife, was exiled. Seneca retired as much as possible from public life and devoted himself to philosophy, writing many treatises at this time. But in 65 he was accused of conspiracy and, by imperial order, committed suicide by opening his veins. He was a Stoic philosopher and met his death with Stoic calm. Seneca's grisly tragedies fascinated the Renaissance and have been successfully performed in recent years. All ten tragedies are believed genuine, with the exception of Octavia, which is now considered to be by a later writer. Translations of the tragedies influenced English dramatists such as Jonson (see Vol. 1), Marlowe (see Vol. 1), and Shakespeare (see Vol. 1), who all imitated Seneca's scenes of horror and his characters---the ghost, nurse, and villain.

Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television and radio. Her stage plays include Owners (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 1972); Objections to Sex and Violence (Royal Court, 1975); Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Joint Stock on tour incl. Theatre Upstairs, 1976); Vinegar Tom (Monstrous Regiment on tour, incl. Half Moon and ICA, 1976); Traps (Theatre Upstairs , 1977); Cloud Nine (Joint Stock on tour incl. Royal Court, London, 1979, then Theatre de Lys, New York, 1981); Three More Sleepless Nights (Soho Poly and Theatre Upstairs, 1980); Top Girls (Royal Court London, then Public Theater, New York, 1982); Fen (Joint Stock on tour, incl. Almeida and Royal Court, London, then Public Theatre, New York, 1983); Softcops (RSC at the Pit, 1984); A Mouthful of Birds with David Lan (Joint Stock on tour, incl. Royal Court, 1986); Serious Money (Royal Court and Wyndham's, London, then Public Theater, New York, 1987); Icecream (Royal Court, 1989); Mad Forest (Central School of Speech and Drama, then Royal Court, 1990); Lives of the Great Poisoners with Orlando Gough and Ian Spink (Second Stride on tour, incl. Riverside Studios, London, 1991); The Skriker (Royal National Theatre, 1994); Thyestes translated from Seneca (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 1994); Hotel with Orlando Gough and Ian Spink (Second Stride on tour, incl. The Place, London, 1997); This is a Chair (London International Festival of Theatre at the Royal Court, 1997); Blue Heart (Joint Stock on tour, incl. Royal Court Theatre, 1997); Far Away (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2000, and Albery, London, 2001, then New York Theatre Workshop, 2002); A Number (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2002, then New York Theatre Workshop, 2004); A Dream Play after Strindberg (Royal National Theatre, 2005); Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2006, then Public Theater, New York, 2008); Bliss , translated from Olivier Choinière (Royal Court Theatre, 2008); Seven Jewish Children - a play for Gaza (Royal Court Theatre, 2009); Love and Information (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2012); Ding Dong the Wicked (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2012); Here We Go (National Theatre, 2015); Escaped Alone (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2016) and Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court Theatre, 2016).

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