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Medea

ISBN-10: 080149432X
ISBN-13: 9780801494321
Edition: N/A
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Description: In this powerful and imaginative translation of Medea, Frederick Ahl retains the compelling effects of the monologues, as well as the special feeling and pacing of Seneca's choruses. With stage performance specifically in mind, Ahl renders Seneca's  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.50
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 10/17/1986
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

In this powerful and imaginative translation of Medea, Frederick Ahl retains the compelling effects of the monologues, as well as the special feeling and pacing of Seneca's choruses. With stage performance specifically in mind, Ahl renders Seneca's dramatic force in a modern idiom and style that move easily between formality and colloquialism as the mood of the text demands, and he strives to reproduce the richness of the original Latin. In his introduction to the play, Ahl supplies the mythic background and notes about the dramatis personae. A glossary of names and places referred to by Seneca appears at the back of the book. Even readers unfamiliar with Greek and Roman drama should find what they need to understand and enjoy the play. Ahl's translation of Medea and his comparable translations of Trojan Women and Phaedra make up the first volumes in Cornell's new series Masters of Latin Literature. They seek to restore Seneca to his place among the greatest dramatists and will be welcomed by students and scholars of classics and theatre arts, as well as by all readers of drama. Book jacket.

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.

General Introduction
Introduction to Medea
Medea
Glossary

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