Dean of the College presents
Candidate for the Position in Classics
Monday, February 11, 2013
Problems with Prophecy in Senecan Drama
Examining prophecy via the role of the /vates/ (prophet/poet/bard), I focus on the failures of prophecy in Senecan drama. Prophets who are traditionally (that is, in pre-Senecan Greek and Latin literature) successful at being able to forecast the future—Cassandra, Tiresias, Calchas—are unable to give accurate representations of what will come to pass in Seneca's plays. Where prophecy per se is a flawed enterprise, I argue that we find in the other resonance of /vates/ (poet) characters who are more successful and autonomous at conveying privileged knowledge. With this in mind, I look at Seneca's non-prophet 'usurpers' and make a case for what this can tell us about the status of human-divine relations, and about poetics, in Seneca and in early imperial literature more generally.
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Location: Olin 202
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