La paternità del male. Caos parentale e guerra civile nelle Phoenissae di Seneca

Pietro Li Causi

Abstract


Giving his sons the paradoxical order to carry out the crime which they are independently going to commit, the Oedipus of Phoenissae tries to reassure his primacy in evil within his dynasty. In fact, while reconfiguring himself as the principal instigator of a civil war that has its archetypal roots in the incest with Jocasta, the Senecan hero represents himself as solely responsible for all the deeds which his descendants are going to accomplish. But if on the one hand Oedipus is able, through this sophisticated ploy, to overcome an initial situation of impotence (and the risk of appearing inferior to his sons, considered by him as rivals in evil), on the other hand, Jocasta, by contrast, is represented by the dramatist as completely devoid of resources and expedients. Not only, in fact, will Laius' former wife fail to settle the conflict between Eteocles and Polynices, but she will also involuntarily trigger it, thus becoming the unwitting accomplice in the strange scheme of her husband/son, who - with the death of his descendents - will partly achieve, in his hallucinated logic, the desire to revenge his father and return ad ortus, thus erasing all the signs of his guilt, and paradoxically rolling back the time of the story.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15160/1826-803X/187

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ISSN: 1826-803X

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