Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Phoenissae

(858 words)
  • Marica Frank

The Phoenissae is likely to have been the last of Seneca’s dramas, probably written in or after 62AD. It is incomplete, consisting of only 664 lines of iambic trimeter. It also lacks a chorus and a final act (but see Tarrant 1978 for the view that the play is complete as it stands and was intended by Seneca as a dramatic experiment). The play can be divided into four acts (lines 1-319, 320-362, 363-442, 443-664), but the more obvious division is into two parts (so Hirschberg 1989). Lines 1-362 are set on a path in the wild countryside outside Thebes, possibly on Mt. Cithaeron itself. They deal with the anguish of the exiled and blind Oedipus who is anticipating the armed struggle for power between his sons, Eteocles and …

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Frank, Marica. "Phoenissae". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2013
[, accessed 11 February 2016.]