Greek vs. Roman Theatre

3184 words 13 pages
Historic playwrights such as Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, and Seneca were described as prolific philosophers and geniuses of their times. These men actively participated in the politics surrounding them, and were respected and revered in their society. Each had their own individual style and portrayed their personalities through each of their noted works. Nevertheless, as with a majority of playwrights throughout history, most fodder for their plays have been adaptations of previous plays written by their predecessors or based off mythological events. Unfortunately, this had lead to many speculative accusations and criticisms, as is the case with Senecan tragedies versus their Greek counterparts. Senecan and Greek interpretations of …show more content…

In Seneca’s Agamemnon, the chorus of men is replaced for a chorus of Mycenaean women, which is seen through lines 310, 350-51, (Calder 331). They represent enlightenment by rendering individual cases intelligible by juxtaposing the moral crisis (Seneca 113). Similar differences of the chorus can be found within the play Oedipus. In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, the chorus positions itself within the minds of the audience as the citizens of Thebes acting solely as petitioners with no great affect on the plot. Nevertheless, as the plot unfolds the importance of the chorus grows as they take active roles in the progression of the plot. This continues until the chorus outgrows Oedipus, weaning from his dependence, and becoming the backbone that Oedipus himself uses to confront his destiny, seen in lines 1550 on (Calder 113). This development contrasts with Seneca’s chorus, in his adaptation of Oedipus, as the chorus remains on the same level yet becoming more philosophical in their understanding of fate and justice (Seneca 6). This is seen in lines 980 to 996 as the chorus explains their understanding of fate, stating, “We are driven by fate, and must yield to fate. No anxious fretting can alter the treads from that commanding spindle [...] Many are hurt by fear itself, many have come upon their fate through fear of fate” (Seneca 107). This quote demonstrates that no matter what, one will always meet his fate. Finally, differences between