Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Hercules

(1528 words)

The Hercules of myth is an ambivalent figure. He can be viewed optimistically as an exemplar of courage and endurance, a benefactor of mankind by clearing the world of dangers. Alternatively he can be seen as the archetype of the flawed action-hero or extreme “Type A personality”, one who is obsessed with achievement and competitiveness, fuelled by aggression and megalomania – a danger to himself and his friends, as much as to his enemies. In his play Hercules, Seneca explores the destructive potential of such “heroism”.

Hercules is one of eight tragedies composed by Seneca, the Roman poet, philosopher and statesman, in the mid-first century A.D. Later two non-Senecan plays,&…

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Citation:
Fitch, John. "Hercules". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13464, accessed 18 December 2014.]