Catastrophe in Dialogue: Aeneid 2 and Seneca’s Agamemnon
The specific context of source material from Aen. 2 impacts its redeployment in Seneca’s prose and poetic works. In his philosophical works, Seneca encourages certain interpretations of Aen. 2 that speak to different audiences’ understanding of that material. The wise man will deduce certain lessons that others may not appreciate. In a similar way, the characters of the Agamemnon act as readers of Aen. 2, and this paper shows how their responses to the fall of Troy not only delineate their personality, but also their worldview. For the chorus, philosophical detachment and the camaraderie of lamentation result from their trauma, while Cassandra acts as a surrogate poet in fashioning her own descriptions of Agamemnon’s death. Allusions to Aen. 2 indicate how Cassandra supports a tragic reading of the fall of Troy, one that will spiral into further violence, furor, and vengeance.
Trinacty, Christopher. 2016. “Catastrophe in Dialogue: Aeneid 2 and Seneca’s Agamemnon.” Vergilius 62: 99-114.
The Vergilian Society