Chapter

Senecan Tyranny

Robert S. Miola

in Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780198112648
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670831 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112648.003.0003
Senecan Tyranny

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Albertino Mussato's Ecerinis, the first tragedy of the Trecento, exhibited the first of many instances of the how the portrayal of certain protagonists and tyrants seems relatively similar across several different tragedies of Senecan form and style. Such tyrants are illustrated as characters that exude lawless egoism, glorification, and an almost absurd degree of persistent self-expression. In this case, political power for such characters presents opportunities for fulfilling all sorts of desires. Senecan style facilitates and features the shift of such insatiability of desires to theomachic aspiration. For tyrants with such power, possibilities are endless because their actions are not merely limited to those that can be recognized by making use of the plain senses. This chapter focuses on providing a comparison of how Mussato and Shakespeare express their thoughts regarding Renaissance and Senecan tyrants.

Keywords: Albertino Mussato; Ecerinis; Seneca; egoism; glorification; self-expression; insatiability; theomatic aspiration; Senecan tyrants; Renaissance tyrants

Chapter.  20372 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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