The Incantation in Seneca's Medea and its Dramatic Time


This paper examines the incantation scene in Seneca’s Medea incorrelation with the epithalamium, against the background of the homonym­ous Euripidean tragedy. Though downplayed by the Greek tragedian, magicbecomes the focus of the Latin play. Seneca’s Medea sings the incantation asthe reverse of the wedding song, in what may be seen as an attempt to cancelout the nuptials with magic spells. On another level, the study proposes a newsolution to the thorny issue of timing, with regard both to the ritualistic in­cantation and to the overall plot of the Senecan play.