«Haeret in vultu trucis imago facti». Il personaggio tragico di Seneca come specchio distorto dell'animo umano

Dario Migliardi


Violence is an integral part, if not the main aesthetic nourishment of many of the mass spectacles of the imperial Rome; Horatius, who strenuously objects to that kind of “spectacle of theater” that is the representation of the cruelty and horror that will become ‘the special effects’ most acclaimed by the public of the imperial age – very close to the visual extremism that Ghezzi describes as thrill snuff of some contemporary films –, in the well-known verse of the Ars Poetica tells us: «Non tamen intus / digna geri Promes in scaenam , multaque tolles / ex oculis quae mox narret praesens eloquence . / Ne pueros coram populo trucidet Medea, / aut humana palam coquat exta Nefarius Atreus […]». These verses cannot but remind Seneca’s work centered as it is, on the obvoius transgression by the Neronian playwriter about Horatius’s precept of the representativeness of the crime. As the Ostio Quadra’s mirrors of the Naturales Quaestiones, Seneca’s characters amplify and distort the myth and the vision of the viewer/reader, such as reflective surfaces of the famous libertine, Thyestes, Medea enlarge and submit to the public’s contemplation the individual fragments of their psyche possessed by a passion triggering off a wise catoptric play of fear and desire.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2240-5380/5.2015.26


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