Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Seneca's Characters: Fictional Identities and Implied Human Selves

Bexley, E.M.

Seneca's Characters: Fictional Identities and Implied Human Selves Thumbnail



Seneca's Characters addresses one of the most enduring and least theorised elements of literature: fictional character and its relationship to actual, human selfhood. Where does the boundary between character and person lie? While the characters we encounter in texts are obviously not 'real' people, they still possess person-like qualities that stimulate our attention and engagement. How is this relationship formulated in contexts of theatrical performance, where characters are set in motion by actual people, actual bodies and voices? This book addresses such questions by focusing on issues of coherence, imitation, appearance and autonomous action. It argues for the plays' sophisticated treatment of character, their acknowledgement of its purely fictional ontology alongside deep – and often dark – appreciation of its quasi-human qualities. Seneca's Characters offers a fresh perspective on the playwright's powerful tragic aesthetics that will stimulate scholars and students alike.


Bexley, E. (2022). Seneca's Characters: Fictional Identities and Implied Human Selves. Cambridge University Press.

Book Type Authored Book
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 11, 2022
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Title Cambridge Classical Studies


Published Book (5.3 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
An online version of this work is published at under a Creative<br /> Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and<br /> reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the<br /> original work is given. You may not distribute derivative works without permission. To view<br /> a copy of this license, visit

You might also like

Downloadable Citations