Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Strangeness of Tragedy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Hammond

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572601.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 April 2021



Quis hic locus, quae regio, quae mundi plaga?1

(p.1) Prologue
The Strangeness of Tragedy

Paul Hammond

Oxford University Press

In Seneca's Hercules, the tragic protagonist has been displaced into a form of space which no one else shares. His time is not their time, either, for his act endures impervious to the motions of change and decay which are the rhythms of the ordinary world. The case of Hercules exemplifies a mode of estrangement which seems to be characteristic of tragedy, a movement of translation and of decomposition. This book explores the ways in which tragedy effects radical forms of estrangement by translating the protagonist into modes of time, space, and language which are alienated from those forms of time, space, and language which, in the different imaginations of different societies, constitute the human home. In this new world, metaphor, tense, and syntax forget their habitual ways of establishing identity or likeness, the sequence of cause and effect, and the distinction between agent and patient. The plays chosen for discussion range from Aeschylus' Agamemnon to Jean Racine's Phèdre, from classical Greek drama to its reworking in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Keywords:   Seneca, Hercules, tragedy, strangeness, time, space, estrangement, decomposition, home, plays

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .