Seneca: Medea: Edited with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
The myth of the sorceress Medea, who, abandoned by her Argonaut husband Jason, killed their children in revenge, has exerted a continuous impact on European writers and artists from classical Greece to the present day. The ancient Romans were especially drawn to the myth, but Seneca's tragedy is the only dramatic treatment to have survived from imperial Rome intact. It is intellectually and poetically one of the richest of Seneca's plays and theatrically one of his most innovative, spectacular and self-reflective. Its themes include the problematics of power and civilization, the dynamics of 'self' and 'other', the psychology of action, the determinism of history, the tragic theatre itself. The play's deep influence on the European dramatic, operatic and artistic tradition (and beyond) is only now being fully appreciated. Poets, dramatists, librettists, composers, choreographers, painters, film-makers - including Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Webster, Corneille, Noverre, Cherubini, Mayr, Grillparzer, Turner, Anouilh, Jeffers, Pasolini, Müller, Ripstein, Reimann - exhibit its formal and thematic force. This full-scale critical edition of Seneca's Medea offers a substantial introduction, a new Latin text, an English verse translation designed for both performance and serious study, and a detailed commentary on the play which is exegetic, analytic, and interpretative. The aim throughout has been to elucidate the text dramatically as well as philologically, and to locate the play firmly in its contemporary historical and theatrical context and in the ensuing literary and dramatic tradition.
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Text and Translation
Absyrtus Aeetes Agamemnon anapaestic anger Apollon Apollonius Argo Argonauts Atreus audience Boyle century BCE chariot choral ode Chorus Colchian Colchis Comm Corinth Corinthian Costa ad loc Creon Creusa crime death dialogue dramatic e.g. HF elsewhere in Senecan Ennius Euripides exile father fear filicide Fitch frag Furies furor gods Greek Hecate Hercules Hine ad loc iambic trimeters iason imagery imperial infanticide Introd Iolcus Jason jussive/hortatory killed Latin magic manus marriage Méd Medea drama Médée metre monologue Ne´meti Nero nunc Nurse Nurse’s Octavia Oedipus onstage Orpheus Ovid Ovid’s Ovid’s Medea Pelias Phaedra phrase pietas play play’s prose punishment quae quid quod revenge rhetorical Roman Rome Rome’s scene seems Seneca Seneca’s Medea Senecan tragedy sententiae speech stage Stoic subjunctive theatre theatrical Thyestes tibi Tiphys torches tragic Troades vengeance Virg wedding Woodcock Zwierlein