By Mario Erasmo

Roman tragedies have been written for over 300 years, yet merely fragments stay of performs that predate the works of Seneca within the mid-first century C.E., making it tricky to outline the function of tragedy in historic Roman tradition. however, during this pioneering ebook, Mario Erasmo attracts on all of the on hand proof to track the evolution of Roman tragedy from the earliest tragedians to the dramatist Seneca and to discover the function performed via Roman tradition in shaping the notion of theatricality off and on the stage.

Performing a philological research of texts knowledgeable by means of semiotic idea and viewers reception, Erasmo pursues major questions during this research: how does Roman tragedy develop into metatragedy, and the way did off-stage theatricality come to compete with the theatre? operating chronologically, he appears to be like at how performs started to comprise a rhetoricized truth on level, hence pointing to their very own theatricality. And he indicates how this theatricality, in flip, got here to permeate society, in order that genuine occasions resembling the assassination of Julius Caesar took on theatrical overtones, whereas Pompey's theatre commencing and the lavish spectacles of the emperor Nero intentionally blurred the traces among fact and theatre. Tragedy finally declined as a strength in Roman tradition, Erasmo indicates, simply because off-stage truth turned so theatrical that on-stage tragedy may perhaps not compete.

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