The language of motion in Seneca’s theoretical and literary representation of passions



Sofia-Dionysia Skompridi

PhD Candidate of the Classics Department

of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Abstract: Senecan drama is characterized by a consistent focus on character portraits and emotional responses rather than on events. Among Seneca’s tragedies, we find a motif that is integral to understanding the development of emotions: the secondary characters’ attempts to emotionally restrain the protagonists’ anger. The thesis of this article will be based on an analysis of advice voiced by supporting characters within Seneca’s tragedies, which aim to discipline the emotions of the protagonists. Significant attention will be given to the linguistic aspect of the emotional language. My purpose is ultimately to establish that the philosopher incorporates a physical – corporeal – kinetic aspect into the language, as influenced by the Early Stoa. A deeper understanding of this tendency stems from a focus on the Stoic concept of passions as violent movements of the mind, resulting in violent movements of the body


The language of motion in Seneca (PDF)