To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
When Polonius arrives to announce the arrival of the Tragedians of the City, he describes them as ‘the best actors in the world’:
Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.
The idea that there is a relation of influence between classical and early modern drama is fundamental to any account of the English Renaissance. But Polonius inadvertently provides a clue to something a little less obvious, something we might adapt his own words to describe as a writ of theatrical liberty: the summoning up of classical writers such as Seneca and Plautus by practitioners of the Elizabethan professional theatre, and the suggestion that the appropriate frame of reference for this mutually emancipatory embodiment of authorship might be a conception of freedom within the law that increasingly characterised the economic and political culture of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. It is thus not surprising that the Players' Scene has long been recognised as a peculiarly intense, and intensely peculiar, engagement with classical sources, even though there is no real consensus as to what the nature of that engagement is. What is surprising is that no one has yet taken Polonius at his word and considered the possibility that the embodiment in question here is not Virgil or Ovid, as most commentators suggest, but Seneca. In this essay I propose not only a Senecan influence, but also a hitherto unrecognised source.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.