Phaedra and Other Plays  -     By: Seneca
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Phaedra and Other Plays

By: Seneca
Penguin Classics / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.06 (inches)
ISBN: 0140455515
ISBN-13: 9780140455519

Publisher's Description

Living in Rome under Caligula and later a tutor to Nero, Seneca witnessed the extremes of human behaviour. His shocking and bloodthirsty plays not only reflect a brutal period of history but also show how guilt, sorrow, anger and desire lead individuals to violence. The hero of Hercules Insane saves his own family from slaughter, only to commit further atrocities when he goes mad. The horrifying death of Astyanax is recounted in Trojan Women, and Phaedra deals with forbidden love. In Oedipus a nervous man discovers himself, while Thyestes recounts the bitter family struggle for a crown. Of uncertain authorship, Octavia dramatizes Nero's divorce from his wife and her deportation. The only Latin tragedies to have survived complete, these plays are masterpieces of vibrant, muscular language and psychological insight.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author Bio

Lucius Annaeus Seneca statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life while also acquiring celebrity as an author of tragedies and essays. After retiring from public life, he devoted his last three years to philosophy and writing. Following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, in which he was thought to be implicated, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide in AD 65.

R. Scott Smith is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of New Hampshire. His books include An Anthology of Classical Myth (as co-editor and translator) and The Unknown Socrates (as co-editor and contributor).

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