CLASSIC 45C Lecture 2: Seneca's Oedipus: Overview

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Zacharitsa Giannopoulou

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Class: Classics 45C Topic: Seneca’s Oedipus Date: 4-10-17 Seneca ● 4BC-AD65 ● Roman ● Advisor for Emperor Nero- Nero was very emotionally unstable (Crazy) ● Forced to commit suicide by Nero Stoicism ● School of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno in early 3rd century BC ● Basic ethical tenets ○ Freedom from passions (apatheaia< a+pathos) ○ Life in accordance with reason (logos) ■ To live in harmony with the divine order of the universe in recognition of the common reason and essential value of all people ■ To live with nature ● If everything in nature dies, so should you ○ Casual determinism (fate) ■ Stoics held that all events throughout history are all connected to unprecedented events and they in turn themselves are causes of the events that follow ■ X causes Y and Y causes Z ○ Permissibility of suicide ● Doesn’t mean passive Oedipus Background ● Written in 1st cen AD in Latin ● Seneca’s version intended to be recited in private gatherings, not to be performed ● Seneca’s dramas best treated as poems ● Perhaps critique of Nero, Oedipus=Nero? Characters ● Oedipus ○ King of Thebes ○ Husband of Jocasta ● Jocasta ○ Widow of former king Laius, ○ Wife of Oedipus ○ Sister of Creon ● Creon ○ Jocasta’s brother ○ Chief aid to Oedipus in Thebes ● Tiresias ○ Blind prophet who is tasked by Oedipus to find killer of Laius ● Manto ○ Daughter of Tiresias ○ Used in play to describe Tiresias ○ Sacrifice to him and to aud
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