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Seneca and Early Modern Drama

4. Tamburlaine and The Spanish Tragedy

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, Helen examines two of the most influential examples of Senecan tragedies: Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great (1578) and Kyd's Spanish Tragedy (1580s).

Course

Shakespeare’s most famous – and infamous – tragedies draw on the Roman playwright Seneca for their dramatic form and theatrical style - including ‘Hamlet’, ‘King Lear’, and ‘Titus Andronicus’. Seneca also had a huge influence on Shakespeare’s contemporaries: Thomas Kyd’s ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ brought the Senecan themes of revenge and ultra-violence onto the English stage, while Tamburlaine’s thundering rhetoric and superhuman ambition in Christopher Marlowe’s play of the same name echo Seneca’s ‘Hercules’. But who was Seneca? What did he write? And why? This course introduces Seneca and explores his enormous influence on theatre in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Lecturer

Helen Slaney holds the Randall McIver Junior Research Fellowship at St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she is currently conducting practice-based research into Roman tragic pantomime. Helen's main field of interest is classical reception studies. In 2012 she completed a doctorate on the performance reception of Senecan tragedy. Her postdoctoral research will focus on embodied encounters with antiquity in the late eighteenth century.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Slaney, H. (2018, August 15). Seneca and Early Modern Drama - Tamburlaine and The Spanish Tragedy [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/seneca-and-early-modern-drama/tamburlaine-and-the-spanish-tragedy-5ba1476d-4d3c-4c80-a041-8373017d6da5

MLA style

Slaney, Helen. "Seneca and Early Modern Drama – Tamburlaine and The Spanish Tragedy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Jan 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/seneca-and-early-modern-drama/tamburlaine-and-the-spanish-tragedy-5ba1476d-4d3c-4c80-a041-8373017d6da5