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Picture of Britannicus


Volume 5 of the Complete Plays of Jean Racine
by Jean Racine
Pennsylvania State Univ Pr

List price $51.95
Your net price $3.49

Pub Date: 2014
Format: Hardback
Pages: 248 pp.
Size: 5.00 x 8.00 inches

ISBN: 9780271064062
TB Code: 1904294
Availability: 200 in stock

Britannicus, one of Racine’s greatest plays, dramatizes the crucial day when Nero—son of Agrippina and stepson of the late emperor Claudius—overcomes his mother, his wife Octavia, his tutors, and his vaunted “three virtuous years” in order to announce his omnipotence. He callously murders his innocent stepbrother, Britannicus, and effectively destroys Britannicus’s beloved, the virtuous Junia, as well. Racine may claim, in his first preface, that this tragedy “does not concern itself at all with affairs of the world at large,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The tragedy represented in Britannicus is precisely that of the Roman Empire, for in Nero Racine has created a character who embodies the most infamous qualities of that empire — its cruelty, its depravity, and its refined barbarity.