Chapter

A ‘Senecan’ Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century French Dramas

Christian Biet

in Choruses, Ancient and Modern

Published in print September 2013 | ISBN: 9780199670574
Published online January 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191759086 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.003.0012
A ‘Senecan’ Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century French Dramas

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In ‘A “Senecan” Theatre of Cruelty: Audience, Citizens, and Chorus in Late-Sixteenth and EarlySeventeenth-Century French Dramas’, Christian Biet discusses the neglected ‘Senecan’ corpus of French plays, where the chorus is present in the text but was absent from the performance. Biet explains this absent chorus with reference to the atrocities of the religious wars, after which an onstage collective community of witnesses is no longer possible, only spectators confronted with their own recent bloody history. Chorus in France at this time is not simply a question of poetics: it is also a question of political, religious, and social representation.

Keywords: Seneca; Thirty Years War; Alexandre Hardy; chorus as witness; violence; religious wars; choral absence

Chapter.  6511 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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