Abstract

This paper investigates the language of self-address in Seneca's tragedies. I show that the rhetorical language Seneca's characters direct at themselves constitutes a key similarity to the techniques Seneca recommends in his philosophical works. Initially, I demonstrate how Seneca urges Lucilius and even instructs the Emperor Nero (if only indirectly) to battle for consistency through self-command. Secondly, through careful explication of passages from Agamemnon, Thyestes, and Medea, I show how this same rhetorical figure, self-apostrophe, is used by Seneca's characters to achieve their criminal self-fulfillment. In Senecan tragedy as well as philosophy, consistency is achieved by self-command regardless of whether consistency results in knowledge for Lucilius, clemency for Nero, or revenge for Seneca's tragic characters.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 207-244
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-11
Open Access
No
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