(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Seneca the Younger’s focus on practical moral advice and his imaginative use of violence to depict the full force of the decisions forced upon his tragic characters have ensured him a fascinated audience. His witty, poignant, and epigrammatic language, eminently quotable, has further established his hold over the minds and memories of his readers and listeners. His dramatic creation of intensely self-aware protagonists, who, like Medea or Phaedra, fully understand the evil nature of the actions that they are compelled to commit, fascinated Renaissance playwrights and clearly contributed to the creation of William Shakespeare’s characters Hamlet and Macbeth.