Dr. John Flood: ‘Soliciting for justice and revenge’

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Date(s) - 01/05/2014


This special lecture will be given by dr John Flood (http://www.rug.nl/staff/j.flood) from the English department. His expertise lies in English Medieval and Renaissance literature. He will talk about the reception of Seneca’s tragedies. This is a great possibility to learn more about the reception of Classics in Early Modern English literature, so be there!

Seneca was one of the most important Classical models for tragedy in Renaissance England. The reception of his work was a key element in shaping the works of the most celebrated dramatists. One of the best known examples of this is Hamlet, but the influence of Seneca is present in Shakespeare from the outset of his career, as we can see from Titus Andronicus, with its spectacular violence, rape and cannibalism. In Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, the main character speaks of ‘soliciting for justice and revenge’ in the face of a corrupt world and a deaf Heaven. Taking things into his own hands, his vengeance was a model for an enormously popular genre that littered the English stage with the victims of stabbings, poison, traps, deceit, madness and twisted lust.

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