Seneca is a figure of first importance in both Roman politics and literature: a leading adviser to Nero who attempted to restrain the emperor's megalomania; a prolific moral philosopher; and the author of verse tragedies that strongly influenced Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists. Here is the first of a new two-volume edition of Seneca's tragedies, with a fully annotated translation facing the Latin text. Seneca's plays depict intense passions and interactions in an appropriately strong rhetoric. Their perspective is much bleaker than that of his prose writings. In this new translation John Fitch conveys the force of Seneca's dramatic language and the lyric quality of his choral odes.