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Titus Macchius Plautus, generally referred to simply as Plautus, was a playwright of Ancient Rome. He is believed to have been born in Sarsina (a city in Umbria) around 254 BC. His comedies are among the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. He is also one of the earliest pioneers of musical theater. Image File history File links Plautus. ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Sarsina (formerly Sassina) is an Italian town and commune in the province of Forlì-Cesena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. ... Umbria is a region of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany to the west, the Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC - 250s BC - 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC Years: 259 BC 258 BC 257 BC 256 BC 255 BC - 254 BC - 253 BC 252 BC... The word comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humor with an intent to provoke laughter in general). ... Latin literature, the body of written works in the Latin language, remains an enduring legacy of the culture of ancient Rome. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ...



Little is known about Titus Macchius Plautus' early life, But we do know he is a playwrighter. It is also believed that he was born in Sarsina (a city in Umbria) around 254 B.C. According to Morris Marples, Plautus worked as a stage-carpenter or scene-shifter in his early years.[1] It is from this work, perhaps, that his love of the theater originated. His acting talent was eventually discovered; and he adopted the names "Macchius" (a clownish stock-character in popular farces) and "Plautus" (a term meaning either "flat-footed" or "flat-eared," as the ears of a hound[2]). Tradition holds that he made enough money to go into the nautical business, but that the venture collapsed. He is then said to have worked as a manual laborer and to have studied Greek drama—particularly the New Comedy of Menander—in his leisure. His studies allowed him to produce his plays, which were released between c. 205 BC and 184 BC. Plautus attained such a popularity that his name alone became a hallmark of theatrical success. Sarsina (formerly Sassina) is an Italian town and commune in the province of Forlì-Cesena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. ... Umbria is a region of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany to the west, the Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. ... Greek comedy is the name given to a wide genre of theatrical plays written, and performed, in Ancient Greece. ... Bust of Menander Menander (342–291 BC) (Greek ), Greek dramatist, the chief representative of the New Comedy, was born in Athens. ...

Plautus' comedies are mostly adapted from Greek models for a Hot Roman Girl (That got Jiggie with) audience, and are often based directly on the works of the Greek playwrights. He reworked the Greek texts to give them a flavour that would appeal to the local Roman audiences. They are among the earliest surving intact works in Latin literature. (Some might more properly be called "adaptations"). His works include Amphitruo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi, Casina, Cistellaria, Curculio, Epidicus, Menaechmi, Mercator, Miles Gloriosus, Mostellaria, Persa, Poenulus, Pseudolus, Rudens, Stichus, Trinummus, Truculentus and Vidularia.

Historical Context

The historical context within which Plautus wrote can be seen, to some extent, in his comments on contemporary events and persons. Plautus was a popular comedic playwright while Roman theatre was still in its infancy and still largely undeveloped. At the same time, the Roman Republic was expanding in power and influence. This article refers to the state which existed from the 6th century BC to the 1st century BC. For alternate meanings, see Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ...

Plautus and the Gods of Roman Society

Plautus is sometimes accused of teaching the public indifference and mockery of the gods. Any character in his plays could be compared to a god. Whether to honour a character or to mock him, these references were demeaning to the gods. These references to the gods include a character comparing a mortal woman to a god, or saying he would rather be loved by a woman than by the gods. Pyrgopolynices from Miles Gloriosus (vs. 1265), in bragging about his long life, says he was born one day later than Jupiter. In Pseudolus, Jupiter is compared to Ballio the pimp. It is not uncommon, too, for a character to scorn the gods, as seen in Poenulus and Rudens. Miles Gloriosus (literally, boastful soldier, in Latin) is a stock character from the drama, specifically comedy, of classical Rome, and variations on this character have appeared in drama and fiction ever since. ... The main character in Broadways A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Which is based on a number of Plautus plays. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Poenulus, a Latin-language play, is one of Plautus comedies. ... Rudens is a play by Roman author, Plautus, thought to have been written around 211 BC. Its name translates from Latin as The Rope. It is a comedy, which describes how a girl, Palaestra, stolen from her parents by pirates, is reunited with her father, Daemones, ironically, by means of...

However, when a character scorns a god, it is usually a character of low standing, such as a pimp. Plautus perhaps does this to demoralize the characters. Soldiers often bring ridicule among the gods. Young men, meant to represent the upper social class, often belittle the gods in their remarks. Parasites, pimps, and courtesans often praise the gods with scant ceremony. Tolliver argues that drama both reflects and foreshadows social change. It is likely that there was already much skepticism about the gods in Plautus’ era. Plautus did not make up or encourage irreverence to the gods, but reflected ideas of his time. The state controlled stage productions, and Plautus’ plays would have been banned, had they been too risqué.[3] It has been suggested that Social development be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about the psychological term. ...

Gnaeus Naevius

Gnaeus Naevius, another Roman playwright of the late third century BC, wrote tragedies and even founded the fabula praetexta (history plays), in which he dramatized historical events. He is known to have fought in the First Punic War and his birth, therefore, is placed around the year 280 B.C.E.[4] His first tragedy took place in 235 B.C.E. Plautus would have been living at the exact time as Naevius, but began writing later.[5] Naevius is most famous for having been imprisoned by the Metelli and the Scipiones—two powerful families of the late third century. Naevius’ imprisonment and eventual exile is a case of state censorship, which may have influenced Plautus’ choice of subject matter and manner. Gnaeus Naevius (c. ... Naevius was the nomen for the plebeian gens Naevia of ancient Rome. ...

The Second Punic War, The Macedonian War and their Influence on Plautus’ Plays

The Second Punic War occurred from 218–202 B.C.; its central event was Hannibal's invasion of Italy. M. Leigh has devoted an extensive chapter about Plautus and Hannibal in his recent book, Comedy and the Rise of Rome. He says that, “the plays themselves contain occasional references to the fact that the state is at arms...”[6] One good example is a piece of verse from the Miles Gloriosus, the composition date of which is not clear but which is often placed in the last decade of the 3rd century B.C.[7] A. F. West believes that this is inserted commentary on the Second Punic War. In his article, “On a Patriotic Passage in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus,” he states that the war “engrossed the Romans more than all other public interests combined.”[8] The passage seems intended to rile up the audience, beginning with hostis tibi adesse, or “the foe is near at hand.”[9] Combatants Roman Republic Carthage Commanders Publius Cornelius Scipio†, Tiberius Sempronius Longus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Gaius Flaminius†, Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus†, Lucius Aemilius Paullus†, Gaius Terentius Varro, Marcus Livius Salinator, Gaius Claudius Nero, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus†, Masinissa, Minucius†, Servilius Geminus† Hannibal Barca, Hasdrubal Barca†, Mago Barca†, Hasdrubal Gisco†, Syphax... For other uses, see Hannibal (disambiguation). ...

At the time, the general Scipio Africanus wanted to confront Hannibal, a plan “strongly favored by the plebs.”[10] Plautus apparently pushes for the plan to be approved by the senate, working his audience up with the thought of an enemy in close proximity and a call to outmaneuver him. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that Plautus, according to P.B. Harvey, was “willing to insert [into his plays] highly specific allusions comprehensible to the audience.”[11] M. Leigh writes in his chapter on Plautus and Hannibal that, “the Plautus who emerges from this investigation is one whose comedies persistently touch the rawest nerves in the audience for whom he writes.”[12] Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major (Latin: P·CORNELIVS·P·F·L·N·SCIPIO·AFRICANVS¹) (235–183 BC) was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic. ... For other uses, see Hannibal (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hannibal (disambiguation). ...

Later, coming of the heels of the conflict with Hannibal, Rome was preparing to embark on another military mission, this time in Greece. While they would eventually move on Philip V in the Second Macedonian War, there was considerable debate beforehand about the course Rome should take in this conflict. In the article “Bellum Philippicum: Some Roman and Greek Views Concerning the Causes of the Second Macedonian War,” E. J. Bickerman writes that “the causes of the fateful war…were vividly debated among both Greeks and Romans.”[13] Under the guise of protecting allies, Bickerman tells us, Rome was actually looking to expand its power and control eastward now that the Second Punic War was ended.[14] But starting this war would not be an easy task considering those recent struggles with Carthage – many Romans were tired of conflict to think of embarking on another campaign. As W. M. Owens writes in his article, “Plautus’ Stichus and the Political Crisis of 200 B.C.,” “there is evidence that antiwar feeling ran deep and persisted even after the war was approved."[15] Owens contends that Plautus was attempting to match the complex mood of the Roman audience riding the victory of the Second Punic War but facing the beginning of a new conflict.[16] For instance, the characters of the dutiful daughters and their father seem obsessed over the idea of “officium,” the duty one has to do what is right. Their speech is littered with words such as “pietas” and “aequus,” and they struggle to make their father fulfill his proper role.[17] The stock parasite in this play, Gelasimus, has a patron-client relationship with this family and offers to do any job in order to make ends meet; Owens puts forward that Plautus is portraying the economic hardship many Roman citizens were experiencing due to the cost of war.[18] Coin of Philip V. The Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ ([coin] of King Philip). ... The Second Macedonian War (200–196 BC) was fought between Macedon, led by Philip V of Macedon and Rome, allied with Pergamon and Rhodes. ... Combatants Roman Republic Carthage Commanders Publius Cornelius Scipio†, Tiberius Sempronius Longus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Gaius Flaminius†, Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus†, Lucius Aemilius Paullus†, Gaius Terentius Varro, Marcus Livius Salinator, Gaius Claudius Nero, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus†, Masinissa, Minucius†, Servilius Geminus† Hannibal Barca, Hasdrubal Barca†, Mago Barca†, Hasdrubal Gisco†, Syphax...

With the repetition of responsibility to the desperation of the lower class, Plautus establishes himself firmly on the side of the average Roman citizen. While he makes no specific reference to the possible war with Greece or the previous war (that might be too dangerous), he does seem to push the message that the government should take care of its own people before attempting any other military actions.

Plautus’ Influences: Greek Comedy, Menander, and Aristophanes

Greek Old Comedy

In order to understand the Greek New Comedy of Menander and its similarities to Plautus, it is necessary to discuss, in juxtaposition with it, the idea of Greek Old Comedy and its’ evolution into New Comedy. The ancient Greek playwright that best embodies Old Comedy is Aristophanes. Aristophanes, a playwright of 5th century Athens, wrote plays of political satire such as The Wasps, The Birds and The Clouds. Each of these plays and the others that Aristophanes wrote are known for their critical political and societal commentary.[19] This is the main component of Old Comedy. It is extremely conscious of the world in which it functions and analyzes that world accordingly. Comedy and theater were the political commentary of the time – the public conscience. In Aristophanes’ The Wasps, the playwright’s commentary is unexpectedly blunt and forward. For example, he names his two main characters “Philocleon” and “Bdelycleon,” which mean “pro-Cleon” and “anti-Cleon,” respectively. Simply the names of the characters in this particular play of Aristophanes make a political statement. Cleon was a major political figure of the time and through the actions of the characters about which he writes Aristophanes is able to freely criticize the actions of this prominent politician in public and through his comedy. Greek comedy is the name given to a wide genre of theatrical plays written, and performed, in Ancient Greece. ... Bust of Menander Menander (342–291 BC) (Greek ), Greek dramatist, the chief representative of the New Comedy, was born in Athens. ... Sketch of Aristophanes Aristophanes (Greek: , ca. ... Political satire is a subgenre of general satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics, politicians and public affairs. ... The Wasps is a comedy by Aristophanes. ... Cleon (d. ...

Greek New Comedy

Greek New Comedy differs greatly from those plays of Aristophanes. The most notable difference, according to Dana F. Sutton is that New Comedy, in comparison to Old Comedy, is “devoid of a serious political, social or intellectual content” and “could be performed in any number of social and political settings without risk of giving offense.”[20] The risk-taking for which Aristophanes is known is noticeably lacking in the New Comedy plays of Menander. Instead, there is much more of a focus on the home and the family unit – something that the Romans, including Plautus, could easily understand and adopt for themselves later in history.

Father-Son Relationships in Greek New Comedy and Plautus

Unlike Aristophanes, Plautus avoided current politics (in the narrow sense of the term) in his comedies.[21] Ongoing events • Iraqi legislative election • Bill C-38 (Same-sex marriage in Canada) • Tsunami relief Deaths in February • 5 – Gnassingbé Eyadéma • 4 – Ossie Davis • 3 – Ernst Mayr • 3 – Zurab Zhvania • 2 – Max Schmeling Recent deaths Ongoing...

One main theme of Greek New Comedy is the father-son relationship. For example, in Menander’s Dis Exapaton there is a focus on the betrayal between age groups and friends. The father-son relationship is very strong and the son remains loyal to the father. The relationship is always a focus, even if it’s not the focus of every action taken by the main characters. In Plautus, on the other hand, the focus is still on the relationship between father and son, but we see betrayal between the two men that wasn’t seen in Menander. There is a focus on the proper conduct between a father and son that, apparently, was so important to Roman society at the time of Plautus.

This becomes the main difference and, also, similarity between Menander and Plautus. They both address “situations that tend to develop in the bosom of the family.”[20] Both authors, through their plays, reflect a patriarchal society in which the father-son relationship is essential to proper function and development of the household.[22] It is no longer a political statement, as in Old Comedy, but a statement about household relations and proper behavior between a father and his son. But the attitudes on these relationships seem much different – a reflection of how the worlds of Menander and Plautus differed. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


There are differences not just in how the father-son relationship is presented, but also in the way in which Menander and Plautus write their poetry. William S. Anderson discusses the believability of Menander versus the believability of Plautus and, in essence, says that Plautus’ plays are much less believable than those plays of Menander because they seem to be such a farce in comparison. He addresses them as a reflection of Menander with some of Plautus’ own contributions. Anderson claims that there is unevenness in the poetry of Plautus that results in “incredulity and refusal of sympathy of the audience.”[23] This might be a reflection of an idea that the Romans were less sensitive to catering to the audience’s artistic sensibilities and more to their hunger for pure entertainment.


The poetry of Menander and Plautus is best juxtaposed in their prologues. Robert B. Lloyd makes the point that “albeit the two prologues introduce plays whose plots are of essentially different types, they are almost identical in form…”[24] He goes on to address the specific style of Plautus that differs so greatly from Menander. He says that the “verbosity of the Plautine prologues has often been commented upon and generally excused by the necessity of the Roman playwright to win his audience.”[24] However, in both Menander and Plautus, word play is essential to their comedy. Plautus might seem more verbose, but where he lacks in physical comedy he makes up for it with words, alliteration and paronomasia (punning).[25] This article is about Word play. ... Physical comedy is comedic performance relying mostly on the use of the body to convey humor. ...

Plautus is well known for his devotion to puns, especially when it comes to the names of his characters. In Miles Gloriosus, for instance, the female concubine’s name, Philocomasium, translates to “lover of a good party”—which is quite apt when we learn about the tricks and wild ways of this prostitute.


Plautus’ characters—many of which seem to crop up in quite a few of his plays—also came from Greek stock, though they too received some Plautine innovations. Indeed, since Plautus was adapting these plays it would be difficult not to have the same kinds of characters—roles such as slaves, concubines, soldiers, and old men. By working with the characters that were already there but injecting his own creativity, as J.C.B. Lowe wrote in his article “Aspects of Plautus’ Originality in the Asinaria,” “Plautus could substantially modify the characterization, and thus the whole emphasis of a play.”[26]

The Clever Slave

One of the best examples of this method is the Plautine slave, a form that plays a major role in quite a few of Plautus’ works. The “clever slave” in particular is a very strong character; he not only provides exposition and humor, but also often drives the plot in Plautus’ plays. C. Stace argues that Plautus took the stock slave character from New Comedy in Greece and altered it for his own purposes. In New Comedy, he writes, “the slave is often not much more than a comedic turn, with the added purpose, perhaps, of exposition.”[27] This shows that there was precedent for this slave archetype, and obviously some of its old role continues in Plautus (the expository monologues, for instance). However, because Plautus found humor in slaves tricking their masters or comparing themselves to great heroes, he took the character a step further and created something distinct.[28]

Understanding of Greek By Plautus’ Audience

Of the approximate 270 proper names in the surviving plays of Plautus, about 250 names, are Greek.[29] William M. Seaman proposes that these Greek names would have delivered a comic punch to the audience because of their already basic understanding of the Greek language.[30] This previous understanding of Greek language, Seaman suggests, comes from the “experience of Roman soldiers during the first and second Punic wars. Not only did men billeted in Greek areas have opportunity to learn sufficient Greek for the purpose of everyday conversation, but they were also able to see plays in the foreign tongue.”[31] Having an audience with knowledge of the Greek language, whether a limited knowledge or a more expanded one, allowed Plautus more freedom to use Greek references and words. Also, by using his many Greek references and showing that his plays were originally Greek, “It is possible that Plautus was in a way a teacher of Greek literature, myth, art and philosophy; so too was he teaching something of the nature of Greek words to people, who, like himself, had recently come into closer contact with that foreign tongue and all its riches.”[32]

At the time of Plautus, Rome is expanding, and having much success in Greece. W.S. Anderson has commented that Plautus, “is using and abusing Greek comedy to imply the superiority of Rome, in all its crude vitality, over the Greek world, which was now the political dependent of Rome, whose effete comic plots helped explain why the Greeks proved inadequate in the real world of the third and second centuries, in which the Romans exercised mastery.[33]

Plautus: Copycat or Creative Playwright?

Plautus was known for the use of Greek style in his plays. This has been a point of contention among modern scholars. One argument states that Plautus writes with originality and creativity—the other, that Plautus is a copycat of Greek New Comedy and that he makes no original contribution to playwriting. The reality lies in the middle of these two arguments.

A single reading of the Miles Gloriosus leaves the reader with the notion that the names, place, and play is Greek, but one must look beyond these superficial interpretations. W.S. Anderson would steer any reader away from the idea that Plautus’ plays are somehow not his own or at least only his interpretation. Anderson says that, “Plautus homogenizes all the plays as vehicles for his special exploitation. Against the spirit of the Greek original, he engineers events at the end... or alter[s] the situation to fit his expectations.”[34] Anderson’s vehement reaction to the co-opting of Greek plays by Plautus seems to suggest that they are in no way like their originals were. It seems more likely that Plautus was just experimenting putting Roman ideas in Greek forms.

Greece and Rome, although always put into the same category, were different societies with different paradigms and ways-of-life. W. Geoffrey Arnott says that “we see that a set of formulae [used in the plays] concerned with characterization, motif, and situation has been applied to two dramatic situations which possess in themselves just as many difference as they do similarities.”[35] It is important to compare the two authors and the remarkable similarities between them because it is essential in understanding Plautus. He writes about Greeks like a Greek. However, it is also important to note that Plautus and the writers of Greek New Comedy, such as Menander, were writing in two completely different contexts.


One idea that is important to recognize is that of contaminatio, which refers to the mixing of elements of two or more source plays. Plautus, it seems, is quite open to this method of adaptation, and quite a few of his plots seem stitched together from different stories. One excellent example is his Bacchides and its supposed Greek predecessor, Menander’s Dis Exapaton. The original Greek title translates as “The Man Deceiving Twice,” yet the Plautine version has three tricks.[36] V. Castellani commented that:

Plautus’ attack on the genre whose material he pirated was, as already stated, fourfold. He deconstructed many of the Greek plays’ finely constructed plots; he reduced some, exaggerated others of the nicely drawn characters of Menander and of Menander’s contemporaries and followers into caricatures; he substituted for or superimposed upon the elegant humor of his models his own more vigorous, more simply ridiculous foolery in action, in statement, even in language. [37]

By exploring ideas about Roman loyalty, Greek deceit, and differences in ethnicity, “Plautus in a sense surpassed his model.”[38] He was not content to rest solely on a loyal adaptation that, while amusing, was not new or engaging for Rome. Plautus took what he found but again made sure to expand, subtract, and modify. He seems to have followed the same path that Horace did, though Horace is much later, in that he is putting Roman ideas in Greek forms. He is not only imitating the Greeks, but he is in fact distorting, cutting up, and transforming the plays into something entirely Roman. In essence it is Greek theater colonized by Rome and its playwrights.


In Ancient Greece during the time of New Comedy, from which Plautus drew so much of his inspiration, there were permanent theaters that catered to the audience as well as the actor. The greatest playwrights of the day had quality facilities in which to present their work and, in a general sense, there was always enough public support to keep the theater running and successful. However, this was not the case in Rome during the time of the Republic, when Plautus wrote his plays. While there was public support for theater and people came to enjoy tragedy and comedy alike, there was also a notable lack of governmental support. No permanent theater existed in Rome till Pompey dedicated one in 55 B.C. in the Campus Martius.[39] The lack of a permanent space was a key factor in Roman theater and Plautine stagecraft.

This lack of permanent theaters in Rome until 55 B.C. has puzzled contemporary scholars of Roman drama. In their introduction to the Miles Gloriosus, Hammond, Mack and Moskalew say that “the Romans were acquainted with the Greek stone theater, but, because they believed drama to be a demoralizing influence, they had a strong aversion to the erection of permanent theaters.”[40] This worry rings true when considering the subject matter of Plautus’ plays. The unreal becomes reality on stage in his work. T. J. Moore notes that, “all distinction between the play, production, and ‘real life’ has been obliterated [Plautus’ play Curculio]”.[41] A place where social norms were upended was inherently suspect. The aristocracy was afraid of the power of the theater. It was merely by their good graces and unlimited resources that a temporary stage would have been built during specific festivals.

The Importance of the Ludi

Roman drama, specifically Plautine comedy, was acted out on stage during the ludi or festival games. In his discussion of the importance of the ludi Megalenses in early Roman theater, John Arthur Hanson says that this particular festival “provided more days for dramatic representations than any of the other regular festivals, and it is in connection with these ludi that the most definite and secure literary evidence for the site of scenic games has come down to us.”[42] Because the ludi were religious in nature, it was appropriate for the Romans to set up this temporary stage close to the temple of the deity being celebrated. S.M. Goldberg notes that, “ludi were generally held within the precinct of the particular god being honored”.[43]

T. J. Moore notes that “seating in the temporary theaters where Plautus’ plays were first performed was often insufficient for all those who wished to see the play, that the primary criterion for determining who was to stand and who could sit was social status.”[44] This is not to say that the lower classes did not see the plays; but they probably had to stand while watching. Plays were performed in public, for the public, with the most prominent members of the society in the forefront.

The wooden stages on which Plautus's plays appeared were shallow and long with three openings in respect to the scene-house. The stages were significantly smaller than any Greek structure familiar to modern scholars. Because theater was not seen as the priority, the structures were built and dismantled within a day. Even more practically, they were dismantled quickly because of the fire-hazard in ancient Rome.[45]

Geography of the Stage

Often the geography of the stage and more importantly the play matched the geography of the city so that the audience would be well oriented to the locale of the play. Moore says that, “references to Roman locales must have been stunning for they are not merely references to things Roman, but the most blatant possible reminders that the production occurs in the city of Rome.”[46] So, Plautus seems to have choreographed his plays somewhat true-to-life. To do this, he needed his characters to exit and enter to or from whatever area their social standing would befit.

Two scholars, V. J. Rosivach and N. E. Andrews, have made interesting observations about stagecraft in Plautus: V. J. Rosivach writes about identifying the side of the stage with both social status and geography. He says that, for example, “the house of the medicus lies offstage to the right. It would be in the forum or thereabouts that one would expect to find a medicus.”[47] Moreover, he says that characters that oppose one another always have to exit in opposite directions. In a slightly different vein, N.E. Andrews discusses the spatial semantics of Plautus; he has observed that even the different spaces of the stage are thematically charged. He states:

Plautus’ Casina employs these conventional tragic correlations between male/outside and female/inside, but then inverts them in order to establish an even more complex relationship among genre, gender and dramatic space. In the Casina, the struggle for control between men and women... is articulated by characters’ efforts to control stage movement into and out of the house.


Andrews makes note of the fact that power struggle in the Casina is evident in the verbal comings and goings. The words of action and the way that they are said are important to stagecraft. The words denoting direction or action such as abeo (“I go off”), transeo (“I go over”), fores crepuerunt (“the doors creak”), or intus (“inside”), which signal any character’s departure or entrance, are standard in the dialogue of Plautus’ plays. These verbs of motion or phrases can be taken as Plautine stage directions since no overt stage directions are apparent. Often, though, in these interchanges of characters, there occurs the need to move on to the next act. Plautus then might use what is known as a “cover monologue”. About this S.M. Goldberg notes that, “it marks the passage of time less by its length than by its direct and immediate address to the audience and by its switch from senarii in the dialogue to iambic septenarii. The resulting shift of mood distracts and distorts our sense of passing time.”[49]

Relationship with the Audience

The small stages had a significant effect on the stagecraft of ancient Roman theater. Because of this limited space, there was also limited movement. Greek theater allowed for grand gestures and extensive action to reach the audience members who were in the very back of the theater. However the Romans would have had to depend more on their voices than large physicality. There was not an orchestra available like there was for the Greeks and this is reflected in the notable lack of a chorus in Roman drama. The replacement character that acts as the chorus would in Greek drama is often called the “prologue.”[50]

Goldberg says that, “these changes fostered a different relationship between actors and the space in which they performed and also between them and their audiences.”[51] Actors were thrust into much closer audience interaction. Because of this, a certain acting style became required that is more familiar to modern audiences. Because they would have been in such close proximity to the actors, ancient Roman audiences would have wanted attention and direct acknowledgement form the actors.[52]

Because there was no orchestra, there was no space separating the audience from the stage. The audience could stand directly in front of the elevated wooden platform. This gave them the opportunity to look at the actors from a much different perspective. They would have seen every detail of the actor and hear every word he said. The audience member would have wanted that actor to speak directly to them. It was a part of the thrill of the performance, as it is to this day.[53]

Stock Characters

Plautus’ range of characters was created through his use of various techniques, but probably the most important is his use of stock characters and situations in his various plays. He incorporates the same stock characters constantly, especially when the character type is amusing to the audience. As Walter Juniper wrote, “Everything, including artistic characterization and consistency of characterization, were sacrificed to humor, and character portrayal remained only where it was necessary for the success of the plot and humor to have a persona who stayed in character, and where the persona by his portrayal contributed to humor.”[54]

For example, in Miles Gloriosus, the titular “braggart soldier” Pyrgopolynices only shows his vain and immodest side in the first act, while the parasite Artotrogus exaggerates Pyrgopolynices’ achievements, creating more and more ludicrous claims that Pyrgopolynices agrees to without question. These two are perfect examples of the stock characters of the pompous soldier and the desperate parasite that appeared in Plautine comedies. In disposing of highly complex individuals, Plautus was supplying his audience with what it wanted, since “the audience to whose tastes Plautus catered was not interested in the character play,”[55] but instead wanted the broad and accessible humor offered by stock set-ups. The humor Plautus offered, such as “puns, word plays, distortions of meaning, or other forms of verbal humor he usually puts them in the mouths of characters belonging to the lower social ranks, to whose language and position these varieties of humorous technique are most suitable,”[56] matched well with the stable of characters.

The Clever Slave

In his article "The Intriguing Slave in Greek Comedy," Philip Harsh gives evidence to show that the clever slave is not an invention of Plautus. While previous critics such as A.W. Gomme believed that the slave was “[a] truly comic character, the devisor of ingenious schemes, the controller of events, the commanding officer of his young master and friends, is a creation of Latin comedy,” and that Greek dramatists such as Menander did not use slaves in such a way that Plautus later did, Harsh refutes these beliefs by giving concrete examples of instances where a clever slave appeared in Greek comedy.[57] For instance, in the works of Athenaeus, Alciphron, and Lucian there are deceptions that involve the aid of a slave, and in Menander’s Dis Exapaton there was an elaborate deception executed by a clever slave that Plautus mirrors in his Bacchides. Evidence of clever slaves also appears in Menander’s Thalis, Hypobolimaios, and from the papyrus fragment of his Perinthia. Harsh acknowledges that Gomme’s statement was probably made before the discovery of many of the papyri that we now have. While it was not necessarily a Roman invention, Plautus did develop his own style of depicting the clever slave. With larger, more active roles, more verbal exaggeration and exuberance, the slave was moved my Plautus further into the front of the action.[58] Because of the inversion of order created by a devious or witty slave, this stock character was perfect for achieving a humorous response and the traits of the character worked well for driving the plot forward.

The Lusty Old Man

Another important Plautine stock character, discussed by K.C. Ryder, is the senex amator. A senex amator is classified as an old man who contracts a passion for a young girl and who, in varying degrees, attempts to satisfy this passion. In Plautus these men are Demaenetus (Asinaria), Philoxenus and Nicobulus (Bacchides), Demipho (Cistellaria), Lysidamus (Casina), Demipho (Mercator), and Antipho (Stichus). Periplectomenos (Miles Gloriosus) and Daemones (Rudens) are regarded as senes lepidi because they usually keep their feelings within a respectable limit. All of these characters have the same goal, to be with a younger woman, but all go about it in different ways, as Plautus could not be too redundant with his characters despite their already obvious similarities. What they have in common is the ridicule with which their attempts are viewed, the imagery that suggests that they are motivated largely by animal passion, the childish behavior, and the reversion to the love-language of their youth.[59]

Female Characters

In examining the female role designations of Plautus's plays, Z.M. Packman found that they are not as stable as their male counterparts: a senex will usually remain a senex for the duration of the play but designations like matrona, mulier, or uxor at times seem interchangeable. Most free adult women, married or widowed, appear in scene headings as mulier, simply translated as “woman”. But in Plautus’ Stichus the two young women are referred to as sorores, later mulieres, and then matrona, all of which have different meanings and connotations. Although there are these discrepancies, Packman tries to give a pattern to the female role designations of Plautus. Mulier is typically given to a woman of citizen class and of marriageable age or who has already been married. Unmarried citizen-class girls, regardless of sexual experience, were designated virgo. Ancilla was the term used for female household slaves, with Anus reserved for the elderly household slaves. A young woman who is unwed due to social status is usually referred to as meretrix or “courtesan.” A lena, or adoptive mother, may be a woman who owns these girls.[60]

Unnamed Characters

Like Packman, George Duckworth uses the scene headings in the manuscripts to support his theory about unnamed Plautine characters. There are approximately 220 characters in the 20 plays of Plautus. 30 are unnamed in both the scene headings and the text and there are about 9 characters who are named in the ancient text but not in any modern one. This means that about 18% of the total number of characters in Plautus are nameless. Most of the very important characters have names while most of the number of unnamed characters are of less importance. However there are some abnormalities—the main character in Casina is not mentioned by name anywhere in the text. In other instances, Plautus will give a name to a character that only has a few words or lines. One explanation is that some of the names have been lost over the years; and for the most part, major characters do have names.[61]

The Language and Style of Plautus


The language and style of Plautus is not easy or simple. He wrote in a colloquial style far from the codified form of Latin that is found in Ovid or Virgil. This colloquial style is the everyday speech that Plautus would’ve been familiar with, yet that means that most students of Latin are unfamiliar with it. Adding to the unfamiliarity of Plautine language is the inconsistency of the irregularities that occur in the texts. In one of his prolific word-studies, A.W. Hodgman noted that: For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ...

the statements that one meets with, that this or that form is "common," or "regular," in Plautus, are frequently misleading, or even incorrect, and are usually unsatisfying.... I have gained an increasing respect for the manuscript tradition, a growing belief that the irregularities are, after all, in a certain sense regular. The whole system of inflexion—and, I suspect, of syntax also and of versification—was less fixed and stable in Plautus’ time than it became later.[62]


Plautine diction is distinctive in its use of archaic Latin forms. Some might find these difficult to understand. It is important to note, though, that Plautus did not set out to write a play in archaic Latin; the term “archaic” only comes from our perspective on the text. Most scholars seem to note that the plays' language is written in a colloquial, everyday speech. M. Hammond, A.H. Mack, and W. Moskalew have noted in their introduction to the text of the Miles Gloriosus that Plautus was, “free from convention... [and that] he sought to reproduce the easy tone of daily speech rather than the formal regularity of oratory or poetry. Hence, many of the irregularities which have troubled scribes and scholars perhaps merely reflect the everyday usages of the careless and untrained tongues which Plautus heard about him.”[63] Looking at the overall use of archaisms within Plautus, one will notice that they commonly occur in promises, agreements, threats, prologues, or speeches. Plautus uses archaic forms, though sometimes for metrical convenience, but more often for stylistic effect.

There are many manifestations of these archaic forms in the texts of Plautus’ plays, in fact too many to completely include them in this article.[64] Here now, the most regular of irregularities, i.e., archaisms, will be delineated:

  • the use of uncontracted forms of some verbs like malo
  • the emendation of the final -e of singular imperatives
  • the use of -o in some verb stems where it would normally be -e
  • the use of the -ier ending for the present passive and deponent infinitive
  • often the forms of sum are joined to the preceding word
  • the deletion of the final -s and final -e when ne is added to a second singular verb
  • the replacement of -u with -o in noun endings
  • the use of qu instead of c, as in quom instead of cum
  • the use of the -ai genitive singular ending
  • the addition of a final -d onto personal pronouns in the accusative or ablative
  • there is sometimes the addition of a final -pte, -te, or -met to pronouns
  • the use of -is as the nominative plural ending.[65]

These peculiarities are the most common in the plays of Plautus, and their notation should make initial readings a bit easier. Archaic word forms in Plautus reflect the way that his contemporaries interacted. Plautus’ use of colloquial dialogue helps us understand, to a certain extent, how Romans would have greeted each other and consequentially responded. For example, there are certain formulaic greetings such as “hello” and “how are you?” that elicit a certain formulaic response such as a returning hello, or answer as to your state of being well. Quid agis here would mean, “How are you?” Other responses are factual and have a less fixed answer. Overall though, archaic forms present the reader with a richer understanding of the Latin language.

Means of Expression

There are certain ways in which Plautus expressed himself in his plays, and these individual means of expression give a certain flair to his style of writing. The means of expression are not always specific to the writer, i.e., idiosyncratic, yet they are characteristic of the writer. The two examples of these characteristic means of expression are the use of proverbs and the use of Greek language in the plays of Plautus.

Plautus employs the use of proverbs in many of his plays. Proverbs will address a certain genre such as law, religion, medicine, trades, crafts, and seafaring. Plautus’ proverbs and proverbial expressions number into the hundreds. They sometimes appear alone or interwoven within a speech. The most common appearance of proverbs in Plautus appears to be at the end of a soliloquy. Plautus does this for dramatic effect to emphasize a point.

Further interwoven into the plays of Plautus and just as common as the use of proverbs is the use of Greek within the texts of the plays. J. N. Hough suggests that Plautus’s use of Greek is for artistic purposes and not simply because a Latin phrase will not fit the meter. Greek words are used when describing foods, oils, perfumes, etc. This is similar to our use of other languages in the English language such as the words garcon or rendezvous. These words give us a French flair just as the Greek would to the Romans. Slaves or characters of low standing speak much of the Greek. One possible explanation for this is that many Roman slaves would have been foreigners perhaps even speaking Greek.

Poetic Devices

Plautus also used more technical means of expression in his plays. One tool that Plautus used for the expression of his servus callidus stock character was alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of sounds in a sentence or clause; those sounds usually come at the beginning of words. In the Miles Gloriosus, the servus callidus is Palaestrio. As he speaks with the character, Periplectomenus, he uses a significant amount of alliteration in order to assert his cleverness and, therefore, his authority. Plautus uses phrases such as “falsiloquom, falsicum, falsiiurium” (MG l. 191). These words express the deep and respectable knowledge that Palaestrio has of the Latin language. Alliteration can also happen at the endings of words as well. For example, Palaestrio says, “ linguam, perfidiam, malitiam atque audaciam, confidentiam, confirmitatem, fraudulentiam” (MG ll. 188-9). Also used, as seen above, is the technique of assonance, which is the repetition of similar sounding syllables.

There are various manifestations of word play in Plautus, but one instance in the Miles Gloriosus is Sceledre, scelus. This example is one of the punning of names in Plautus. Word play figures as an important technique in Plautus because it is fitting for certain characters, especially the clever slave. These poetic devices stand in the text in order to accentuate and emphasize whatever is being said in the text, and elevate the artistry of the language.


Further emphasizing and elevating the artistry of the language of the plays of Plautus is the use of meter, which simply put is the rhythm of the play. There seems to be great debate over whether Plautus found favor in strong word accent or verse ictus, stress. Plautus did not follow the meter of the Greek originals that he adapted for the Roman audience. Plautus used a great number of meters, but most frequently he used the trochaic septenarius. Iambic words, though common in Latin, are difficult to fit in this meter, and naturally occur at the end of verses. G.B. Conte has noted that Plautus favors the use of cantica instead of Greek meters. This vacillation between meter and word stress highlights the fact that Latin literature was still in its infancy, and that there was not yet a standard way to write verse.

Vigor and Immediacy

The servus callidus functions as the exposition in many of Plautus' plays. According to C. Stace, "slaves in Plautus account for almost twice as much monologue as any other character... [and] this is a significant statistic; most of the monologues being, as they are, for purposes of humor, moralizing, or exposition of some kind, we can now begin to see the true nature of the slave's importance."[66] Because humor, vulgarity[67], and "incongruity" are so much a part of the Plautine comedies, the slave becomes the essential tool to connect the audience to the joke through his monologue and direct connection to the audience. He is, then, not only a source for exposition and understanding, but connection—specifically, connection to the humor of the play, the playfulness of the play. The servus callidus is a character that, as McCarthy says, "draws the complete attention of the audience, and, according to C. Stace, 'despite his lies and abuse, claims our complete sympathy.'"[68] He does this, according to some scholarship, using monologue, the imperative mood and alliteration—all of which are specific and effective linguistic tools in both writing and speaking.

The specific type of monologue (or soliloquy) in which a Plautine slave engages is the prologue. As opposed to simple exposition, according to N.W. Slater, “these…prologues…have a far more important function than merely to provide information.”[69] Another way in which the servus callidus asserts his power over the play—specifically the other characters in the play—is through his use of the imperative mood. This is a mood in the Latin language that includes direct statement. In English, sentences such as, “Go!” or “Stay” are in the imperative mood. This type of language is used, according to E. Segal, for “the forceful inversion, the reduction of the master to an abject position of supplication…the master-as-suppliant is thus an extremely important feature of the Plautine comic finale.”[70] The imperative mood is therefore used in the complete role-reversal of the normal relationship between slave and master, and “those who enjoy authority and respect in the ordinary Roman world are unseated, ridiculed, while the lowliest members of society mount to their pedestals…the humble are in face exalted.”[71]

The Influence of Plautus

Intellectual and academic critics have often judged Plautus's work as crude; yet his influence on later literature is impressive—especially on two literary giants, Shakespeare and Molière.

Playwrights throughout history have looked to Plautus for character, plot, humor, and other elements of comedy. His influence ranges from similarities in idea to full literal translations woven into plays. The playwright’s apparent familiarity with the absurdity of humanity and both the comedy and tragedy that stem from this absurdity have inspired succeeding playwrights centuries after his death. The most famous of these successors is Shakespeare—Plautus had a major influence on the Bard’s early comedies.

The Middle Ages and early Renaissance

W.B. Sedgwick has provided a record of the Amphitruo, perennially one of Plautus’ most famous works. It was the most popular Plautine play in the Middle Ages, and publicly performed at the Renaissance; it was the first Plautine play to be translated into English.

The influence of Plautus's plays was felt in the early 1500s. Limited records suggest that the first known university production of Plautus in England was of Miles Gloriosus at Oxford in 1522-3. The magnum jornale of Queens College contains a reference to a comoedia Plauti in either 1522 or 1523. This fits directly with comments made in the poems of Leland about the date of the production. The next production of Miles Gloriosus that is known from limited records was given by the Westminster School in 1564.[72] Other records also tell us about performances of the Menaechmi. From our knowledge, performances were given in the house of Cardinal Wolsey by boys of St. Paul’s School as early as 1527.[73]

Plautus and Shakespeare

Shakespeare borrowed from Plautus as Plautus borrowed from his Greek models. C.L. Barber says that “Shakespeare feeds Elizabethan life into the mill of Roman farce, life realized with his distinctively generous creativity, very different from Plautus’ tough, narrow, resinous genius.”[74]

The Plautine and Shakespearean plays that most parallel each other are, respectively, The Menaechmi and The Comedy of Errors. According to Marples, Shakespeare drew directly from Plautus “parallels in plot, in incident, and in character,”[75] and was undeniably influenced by the classical playwright’s work. H. A. Watt stresses the importance of recognizing the fact that the “two plays were written under conditions entirely different and served audience as remote as the poles.”[76] Poster for a performance The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeares early plays, written between 1592 and 1594. ...

The differences between The Menaechmi and The Comedy of Errors are clear. In The Menaechmi, Plautus uses only one set of twins—twin servants. Shakespeare, on the other hand, uses two sets of twins, which, according to William Connolly, “dilutes the force of [Shakespeare’s] situations.”[76] One suggestion is that Shakespeare got this idea from Plautus’ Amphitruo, in which both twin masters and twin slaves appear.

It can be noted that the doubling is a stock situation of Elizabethan comedy. On the fusion between Elizabethan and Plautine techniques, T. W. Baldwin writes, “…Errors does not have the miniature unity of Menaechmi, which is characteristic of classic structure for comedy.”[77] Baldwin notes that Shakespeare covers a much greater area in the structure of the play than Plautus does. Shakespeare was writing for an audience whose minds weren’t restricted to house and home, but looked toward the greater world beyond and the role that they might play in that world.

Another difference between the audiences of Shakespeare and Plautus is that Shakespeare’s audience was Christian. At the end of Errors, the world of the play is returned to normal when a Christian abbess interferes with the feuding. Menaechmi, on the other hand, “is almost completely lacking in a supernatural dimension.”[78] A character in Plautus’ play would never blame an inconvenient situation on witchcraft—something that is quite common in Shakespeare.

The relationship between a master and a clever servant is also a common element in Elizabethan comedy. Shakespeare often includes foils for his characters to have one set off the other. In Elizabethan romantic comedy, it is common for the plays to end with multiple marriages and couplings of pairs. This is something that is not seen in Plautine comedy. In the Comedy of Errors, Aegeon and Aemilia are separated, Antipholus and Luciana are at outs, and Antipholus and Luciana have not yet met. At the end, all the couples are happily together. By writing his comedies in a combination of Elizabethan and Plautine styles, Shakespeare helps to create his own brand of comedy, one that uses both styles.[76]

Also, Shakespeare he uses the same kind of opening monologue so common in Plautus’s plays. He even uses a “villain” in The Comedy of Errors of the same type as the one in Menaechmi, switching the character from a doctor to a teacher but keeping the character a shrewd, educated man.[76] Watt also notes that some of these elements appear in many of his works, such as Twelfth Night or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and had a deep impact on Shakespeare’s writing.[76]

Later playwrights also borrowed Plautus's stock characters. One of the most important echoes of Plautus is the stock character of the parasite. Certainly the best example of this is Falstaff, Shakespeare's portly and cowardly knight. As J. W. Draper notes, the gluttonous Falstaff shares many characteristics with a parasite such as Artotrogus from Miles Gloriosus. Both characters seem fixated on food and where their next meal is coming from. But they also rely on flattery in order to gain these gifts, and both characters are willing to bury their patrons in empty praise.[79] Of course, Draper notes that Falstaff is also something of a boastful military man, but notes, “Falstaff is so complex a character that he may well be, in effect, a combination of interlocking types.”[79] Adolf Schrödter: Falstaff and his page Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare as a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vainglorious, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, but he...

As well as appearing in Shakespearean comedy, the Plautine parasite appears in one of the first English comedies. In Ralph Roister Doister, the character of Matthew Merrygreeke follows in the tradition of both Plautine Parasite and Plautine slave, as he both searches and grovels for food and also attempts to achieve his master’s desires.[79] Indeed, the play itself is often seen as borrowing heavily from or even being based on the Plautine comedy Miles Gloriosus.[80]

H. W. Cole discusses the influence of Plautus and Terence on the Stonyhurst Pageants. The Stonyhurst Pageants are manuscripts of Old Testament plays that were probably composed after 1609 in Lancashire. Cole focuses on Plautus’ influence on the particular Pageant of Naaman. The playwright of this pageant breaks away from the traditional style of religious medieval drama and relies heavily on the works of Plautus. Overall, the playwright cross-references eighteen of the twenty surviving plays of Plautus and five of the six extant plays by Terence. It is clear that the author of the Stonyhurst Pageant of Naaman had a great knowledge of Plautus and was significantly influenced by this.[81] Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ...

There is evidence of Plautine imitation in Edwardes’ Damon and Pythias and Heywood’s Silver Age as well as in Shakespeare's Errors. Heywood sometimes translated whole passages of Plautus. By being translated as well as imitated, Plautus was a major influence on comedy of the Elizabethan era. Thomas Heywood (died approx. ...

In terms of plot, or perhaps more accurately plot device, Plautus served as a source of inspiration and also provided the possibility of adaptation for later playwrights. The many deceits that Plautus layered his plays with, giving the audience the feeling of a genre bordering on farce, appear in much of the comedy written by Shakespeare and Molière. For instance, the clever slave has important roles in both L’Avare and L’Etoudri, two plays by Molière, and in both drives the plot and creates the ruse just like Palaestrio in Miles Gloriosus.[82] These similar characters set up the same kind of deceptions in which many of Plautus’ plays find their driving force, which is not a simple coincidence. Molière, engraved on the frontispiece to his Works. ...

Surviving plays

Amphitryon, or Amphitrion, in Greek mythology, was a son of Alcaeus, king of Tiryns in Argolis. ... Cover of 1965 Penguin Classics edition of Plautus Aulularia and other plays Aulularia is a Latin play by the early Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus. ... Bacchides is a Latin play by the early Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus. ... Cover of 1965 Penguin Classics edition of Plautus Captivi and other plays Captivi is a Latin play by the early Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus. ... For other meanings see Casina (disambiguation). ... Curculio is also the name of a play from Plautus, found in Loeb Classical Library. ... Menaechmi, a Latin-language play, is considered by many as Plautus greatest play. ... Miles Gloriosus (literally, boastful soldier, in Latin) is a stock character from the drama, specifically comedy, of classical Rome, and variations on this character have appeared in drama and fiction ever since. ... Mostellaria is a play by Roman author, Plautus. ... Poenulus, a Latin-language play, is one of Plautus comedies. ... The main character in Broadways A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Which is based on a number of Plautus plays. ... Rudens is a play by Roman author, Plautus, thought to have been written around 211 BC. Its name translates from Latin as The Rope. It is a comedy, which describes how a girl, Palaestra, stolen from her parents by pirates, is reunited with her father, Daemones, ironically, by means of...

See also

Hi! Youre car can speak <a href=http://immobilizer. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Bust of Menander Menander (342–291 BC) (Greek ), Greek dramatist, the chief representative of the New Comedy, was born in Athens. ... Molière, engraved on the frontispiece to his Works. ... Combatants Roman Republic Carthage Commanders Publius Cornelius Scipio†, Tiberius Sempronius Longus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Gaius Flaminius†, Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus†, Lucius Aemilius Paullus†, Gaius Terentius Varro, Marcus Livius Salinator, Gaius Claudius Nero, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus†, Masinissa, Minucius†, Servilius Geminus† Hannibal Barca, Hasdrubal Barca†, Mago Barca†, Hasdrubal Gisco†, Syphax... Shakespeare redirects here. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... This article is about theatrical performances in ancient Rome. ...

External links

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  50. ^ Goldberg, 1998, p.19.
  51. ^ Goldberg, 1998, p.16.
  52. ^ P.G. Brown, “Actors and Actor–Managers at Rome in the Time of Plautus and Terence,” in Greek and Roman Actors: Aspects of an Ancient Profession, Ed. P. Easterling and E. Hall. (Cambridge, 2002.), p. 228.
  53. ^ Goldberg, 1998, p. 19.
  54. ^ W.H. Juniper, “Character Portrayals in Plautus.” The Classical Journal 31 (1936), p. 279.
  55. ^ Juniper, 1936, p. 278.
  56. ^ J.N. Hough, “The Reverse Comic Foil in Plautus.” The American Philological Association 73 (1942), p. 108.
  57. ^ P.W. Harsh, “The Intriguing Slave in Greek Comedy,” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, 86 (1955), pp.135-142.
  58. ^ Harsh, 1955, p. 135-142.
  59. ^ K.C. Ryder, “The ‘Senex Amator’ in Plautus,” Greece & Rome 31.2. (Oct., 1984), pp.181-189.
  60. ^ Z.M. Packman, “Feminine Role Designations in the Comedies of Plautus,” The American Journal of Philology 120.2. (1999), pp. 245-258.
  61. ^ G.E. Duckworth, “The Unnamed Characters in the Plays of Plautus,” Classical Philology 33.2. (1938), pp. 167-282.
  62. ^ A.W. Hodgman. "Verb Forms in Plautus," The Classical Quarterly 1.1(1907), pp. 42-52.
  63. ^ Ed. M. Hammond, A.H. Mack, & W. Moskalew, Miles Gloriosus (Cambridge and London, 1997 repr.), pp. 39-57.
  64. ^ One should consult the word studies of A.W. Hodgman to grasp fully the use of archaic forms in Plautine diction.
  65. ^ I compiled this short list of archaic forms from a number of word studies and syntactic texts listed in the works cited section.
  66. ^ C. Stace. "The Slaves of Plautus," Greece and Rome 2.15 (1968), pp. 64-77.
  67. ^ Easterling '76, p.12 "the delight in low humour we associate with Plautus"
  68. ^ Stace 1968, pp. 64-77.
  69. ^ N.W. Slater. Plautus in Performance: The Theatre of the Mind. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985, p. 152
  70. ^ E. Segal. Roman Laughter: The Comedy of Plautus. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968, p. 122
  71. ^ Segal 1968, p. 136
  72. ^ L. Bradner. “The First Cambridge Production of Miles Gloriosus." Modern Language Notes, 70.6 (1955), pp. 400-403.
  73. ^ H.W. Cole. “The Influence of Plautus and Terence Upon the Stonyhurst Pageants.” Modern Language Notes 38 (1923) 393-399.
  74. ^ C.L. Barber, “Shakespearian Comedy in the Comedy of Errors,” College English 25.7 (1964), p. 493.
  75. ^ M. Marples, “Plautus.” Greece & Rome 8.22 (1938), p. 2.
  76. ^ a b c d e H. A. Watt. “Plautus and Shakespeare: Further Comments on Menaechmi and The Comedy of Errors.” The Classical Journal 20 (1925), pp. 401-407.
  77. ^ T.W. Baldwin. On the Compositional Genetics of The Comedy of Errors. (Urbana 1965), pp. 200-209.
  78. ^ N. Rudd. The Classical Tradition in Operation. (Toronto 1994), pp. 32-60.
  79. ^ a b c J. W. Draper. “Falstaff and the Plautine Parasite.” The Classical Journal 33(1938), pp. 390-401.
  80. ^ H. W. Cole. “The Influence of Plautus and Terence Upon the Stonyhurst Pageants,” Modern Language Notes 38 (1923), pp. 393-399.
  81. ^ H. W. Cole. “The Influence of Plautus and Terrence Upon the Stonyhurst Pageants,” Modern Language Notes 38.7 (1923), pp. 393-399.
  82. ^ S. V. Cole. “Plautus Up-to-Date.” The Classical Journal 16 (1921), pp. 399-409.

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