During the 1560’s, a group of ten men associated with the universities, with special regard to the early English law schools, the inns of court, had translated nine of Seneca’s ten tragedies into English. Some of these studies address these texts and those that do, concentrate on their contributions to the development of English drama.
Essentially, Seneca were tragedies; the nine of the ten that were translated were by a group of 4 men – Heywood, Neville, Studley and Nuce. Seneca was seen as the foundation for English drama, writers were accused of copying good sentences and tragic speeches from Seneca. Others returned to the tragedies as a source of ideas to enliven their own plays. Techniques such as the five act structure had originated from the Senecan tragedies and were incorporated in a lot of Individual’s work; William Shakespeare can be one of the many named to do so.
With reference to the Inns of the court, the translations of Seneca enabled people to further foster personal connections, as well as political expression. The inns were known as a place where highly ambitious men came to gain useful legal training while acquiring a cosmopolitan sophistication which would cater for beneficial court practices in other social circles of an elite level. The four men that translated the Senecan tragedies were ironically a part of this program. Through time and understanding, the question still posed as to why a generation of men at the universities and inns were so interested in Seneca’s tragedies?
IT was evident that on many occasions, the four translators had adapted certain aspects of the tragedies to what their beliefs were – the moral however never changed which was concerning mythology and philosophy.
Seneca being an author and politician, aspects of his life were reflected in his tragedies – about the nature of governance, kingship and tyranny. Drawing people to the political nature in the response to what they would do with kingship and power in their day.
A man having been born in a Roman colony in Spain, he lived through the reigns of 5 different rulers – Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. IT is nevertheless likely that the tragedies are of relation to plausibly realistic…