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Journal Article

Cadmea Proles: Identity and Intertext in Seneca's Hercules Furens

Ayelet Haimson Lushkov
The Classical Journal
Vol. 111, No. 3 (February-March 2016), pp. 303-316
DOI: 10.5184/classicalj.111.3.0303
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5184/classicalj.111.3.0303
Page Count: 14

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Topics: Theater, Prologues, Children, Exile, Allusion, Dialogism, Classical Greek drama, Divinity, Narratives, Kingship
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Cadmea Proles: Identity and Intertext in Seneca's Hercules Furens
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Abstract

This article explores the phrase Cadmea proles, a Latin hapax, in Seneca's Hercules Furens 268. Through attention to philological intertexts and the dramaturgy of the passage, I pursue two separate but related lines of inquiry: the first is to argue that Cadmea proles alludes to, among other things, the myth of Oedipus, specifically in its dramatic staging by Sophocles and by Seneca himself. The second is to suggest that the Oedipal intertext, hardly surprising in a Theban play, introduces, on a microscopic level, some of the broader themes of the Hercules Furens, especially its concern with legitimacy, identity, and referential instability.

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