Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Phaedra

(2028 words)
  • Andreas Michalopoulos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Although the exact dating of Seneca’s plays is elusive, certain stylistic and metrical reasons point to an early date for his Phaedra, possibly the later years of Claudius’ reign. John Fitch [AJP 102 (1981) 289-307] has claimed that the Phaedra belongs to the first group of Seneca’s plays along with the Agamemnon and the Oedipus. Richard Tarrant has suggested that these three plays (Phaedra, Agamnenon, Oedipus) “represent an attempt to treat material conspicuously associated with each of the three canonical Greek tragedians” (1995, 220).

In this tragedy Seneca treats the well-known myth of Phaedra’s love for her stepson Hippolytus. Like his Medea, …

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Michalopoulos, Andreas. "Phaedra". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 February 2010
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]