Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The two plays that we have discussed from Seneca have been Hercules Furens and his Oedipus. Both of which cast the main protagonists differently than they had been portrayed before. Oedipus is less arrogant and is trying to find his identity more for the sake of saving Thebes. While Hercules kills his family because he has offended Hera in this play, having performed his labors successfully, in past renditions this connection is not made. Outside of changing content, Seneca also changes text and creates long flowing rhetorical dialogue which, despite being deep, does not seem to lend itself to performance. In my opinion it is meant to be read and pondered. Within a performance context this kind of dialogue is wasted on a live audience who is not given time to savor its meaning. I feel like in the end Seneca’s interpretations are interesting, though hardly my favorites.