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The metamorphoses of Seneca's Medea

Volume 41 Issue 1/2 (2012)

Abstract: Seneca's Medea is not a rewriting of Euripides' character. At least, Seneca's Medea shares more similarities with Ovidian Medeas (the extant ones, at any rate) than the Euripidean Medea. Rather than focusing on Seneca's departures from the tragic legacy of Euripides (however important they are for an informed reading of the play), I would like to focus on Seneca's Medea as a potentially Ovidian character. Specifically, I would like to posit that the Senecan Medea reads more like a dramatisation of Medea's experience within the ellipsed Corinthian episode of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (7.394-97). Seneca's Medea (more so than Euripides' Medea) identifies with a specifically transformative project, and, one might initially suspect, supplies a neat explication of the transformation missing from Medea's narrative in the 'Metamorphoses'. What we find, however, is that, in dramatising her process of metamorphosis, Seneca irreparably alters our relationship with the transformed Medea.

To cite this article: Walsh, Lisl. The metamorphoses of Seneca's Medea [online]. Ramus, Vol. 41, No. 1/2, 2012: 71-93. Availability: <;dn=957482102813214;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0048-671X. [cited 02 Dec 15].

Personal Author: Walsh, Lisl; Source: Ramus, Vol. 41, No. 1/2, 2012: 71-93 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0048-671X Subject: Medea (Greek mythology); Euripides; Jason (Greek mythology); Argonauts (Greek mythology); Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Beloit College

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection