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CONSTRUCTION OF THE SELF IN SENECAN DRAMA

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The characters of Senecan tragedy are more inward-looking than those of Greek tragedy. One aspect of their inwardness lies in their fierce attempts to define and assert identities for themselves, through their names, actions, family history, mythical precedents, social roles etc. These self-assertions are driven by desire in many forms, chiefly desire for recognition by others, and are closely connected with the tragic outcomes of the dramas. One section of the article is devoted to Oedipus, who insists on identifying with his guilty deeds despite his innocence of intention; another to Phaedra, who has multiple versions of herself and cannot choose between them.

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