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Plant of a Strange Vine : Oratio Corrupta and the Poetics of Senecan Tragedy

Author: Robert John Sklenár
Publisher: Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter, [2017] ©2017
Series: Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 363.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book studies Seneca's poetic drama from a novel point of view. Whereas most criticism of Seneca's dramas has tended to focus on their relationship to Stoicism, I approach them from the perspective of Seneca's own theory of literary decadence, which he sets forth in the 114th of his letters to Lucilius. His theory can be summed up as follows: the various forms of stylistic corruption are the result of a  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Lucius Annaeus Seneca; Lucius Annaeus Seneca; Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Robert John Sklenár
ISBN: 9783110519747 3110519747 9783110518948 3110518945 9783110519754 3110519755
OCLC Number: 1004868378
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource (107 pages).
Contents: Frontmatter --
Foreword --
Contents --
Chapter One. Letter 114 and the Poetics of Decadence --
Chapter Two. A Senecan Reading of Seneca's Oedipus, Part I --
Chapter Three. A Senecan Reading of Seneca's Oedipus, Part II --
Chapter Four. Seneca and Neronian Aesthetics --
Bibliography --
Subject index.
Series Title: Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 363.
Responsibility: Robert John Sklenár.
More information:

Abstract:

This book studies Seneca's poetic drama from a novel point of view. Whereas most criticism of Seneca's dramas has tended to focus on their relationship to Stoicism, I approach them from the perspective of Seneca's own theory of literary decadence, which he sets forth in the 114th of his letters to Lucilius. His theory can be summed up as follows: the various forms of stylistic corruption are the result of a straining for effect, which itself reflects a taste for the extreme. A writer or speaker's stylistic vices thus mirror the vices of his character; they also reflect the vices of the time and place in which he lives, since every user of language is conditioned by his environment. What is especially striking about Seneca's discussion is that a number of the vices he lists - hyperbole, disruption of natural word order, excessive metaphor - are notable features of the poetic style of his own dramas. I argue for a rehabilitation of the 'decadent' style of Seneca's tragedies: in Seneca's hands, this style is a precise diagnostic tool for revealing the self-destructive irrationality that governs not only the individual, but also his society and the entire universe.

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