The relationship between actors and spectators has been of perennial interest to playwrights. The Roman playwright Plautus (ca. 200 BCE) was particularly adept at manipulating this relationship. Plautus allowed his actors to acknowledge freely the illusion in which they were taking part, to elicit laughter through humorous asides and monologues, and simultaneously to flatter and tease the spectators. These metatheatrical techniques are the focus of Timothy J. Moore's innovative study of the comedies of Plautus. The first part of the book examines Plautus' techniques in detail, while the second part explores how he used them in the plays Pseudolus, Amphitruo, Curculio, Truculentus, Casina, and Captivi. Moore shows that Plautus employed these dramatic devices not only to entertain his audience but also to satirize aspects of Roman society, such as shady business practices and extravagant spending on prostitutes, and to challenge his spectators' preconceptions about such issues as marriage and slavery. These findings forge new links between Roman comedy and the social and historical context of its performance.
Plautus was Ancient Rome's greatest comic playwright, Shakespeare drew heavily on his plots, and his legacy is prevalent throughout modern drama. In this expanded edition of his successful book, one of America's foremost Classical scholars introduces performance criticism to the study of Plautus' ancient drama. In addition to the original detailed studies of six of the dramatists's plays, the methodology of performance criticism, the use of conventions, and the nature of comic heroism in Plautus, this edition includes new studies on: * the induction into the world of the play * the scripted imitation of improvisation * Plautus's comments on his previous work * the nature of 'tragicomedy'.
An important addition to contemporary scholarship on Plautus and Plautine comedy, provides new essays and fresh insights from leading scholars A Companion to Plautus is a collection of original essays on the celebrated Old Latin period playwright. A brilliant comic poet, Plautus moved beyond writing Latin versions of Greek plays to create a uniquely Roman cultural experience worthy of contemporary scholarship. Contributions by a team of international scholars explore the theatrical background of Roman comedy, the theory and practice of Plautus’ dramatic composition, the relation of Plautus’ works to Roman social history, and his influence on later dramatists through the centuries. Responding to renewed modern interest in Plautine studies, the Companion reassesses Plautus’ works—plays that are meant to be viewed and experienced—to reveal new meaning and contemporary relevance. Chapters organized thematically offer multiple perspectives on individual plays and enable readers to gain a deeper understanding of Plautus’ reflection of, and influence on Roman society. Topics include metatheater and improvisation in Plautus, the textual tradition of Plautus, trends in Plautus Translation, and modern reception in theater and movies. Exploring the place of Plautus and Plautine comedy in the Western comic tradition, the Companion: Addresses the most recent trends in the study of Roman comedy Features discussions on religion, imperialism, slavery, war, class, gender, and sexuality in Plautus’ work Highlights recent scholarship on representation of socially vulnerable characters Discusses Plautus’ work in relation to Roman stages, actors, audience, and culture Examines the plot construction, characterization, and comic techniques in Plautus’ scripts Part of the acclaimed Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series, A Companion to Plautus is an important resource for scholars, instructors, and students of both ancient and modern drama, comparative literature, classics, and history, particularly Roman history.
Provides a general account of the Roman theater and its audience, and records some of the results of the author's experiments in constructing a full-scale replica stage based upon the wall paintings at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and producing Roman plays upon it.
A major comic artist in Republican Rome, Plautus left a legacy of twenty inventive comedies that display an exuberance and zany sense of humor that are distinctly Roman.
"Amy Richlin is a gifted and original scholar who has taught a whole generation of classicists and their students answers to the question, What made the Romans laugh? Now it turns out she has contemporary cultures' number as well. She translates Roman laughter into American laughter. From its ingeniously banal title onwards, Rome and the Mysterious Orient brings three remarkable and rarely performed comedies to life on the page and—one hopes, often—the stage."—James Tatum, author of Plautus: The Darker Comedies
Theatre flourished in the Roman Republic, from the tragedies of Ennius and Pacuvius to the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the mimes of Laberius. Yet apart from the surviving plays of Plautus and Terence the sources are fragmentary and difficult to interpret and contextualise. This book provides a comprehensive history of all aspects of the topic, incorporating recent findings and modern approaches. It discusses the origins of Roman drama and the historical, social and institutional backgrounds of all the dramatic genres to be found during the Republic (tragedy, praetexta, comedy, togata, Atellana, mime and pantomime). Possible general characteristics are identified, and attention is paid to the nature of and developments in the various genres. The clear structure and full bibliography also ensure that the book has value as a source of reference for all upper-level students and scholars of Latin literature and ancient drama.
An exciting series that provides students with direct access to the ancient world by offering new translations of extracts from its key texts.
This book studies a crucial phase in the history of Roman slavery,beginning with the transition to chattel slavery in the thirdcentury bce and ending with antiquity’s first large-scaleslave rebellion in the 130s bce. Slavery is a relationshipof power, and to study slavery – and not simply masters orslaves – we need to see the interactions of individuals whospeak to each other, a rare kind of evidence from the ancientworld. Plautus’ comedies could be our most reliable source forreconstructing the lives of slaves in ancient Rome. By readingliterature alongside the historical record, we can conjure athickly contextualized picture of slavery in the late third andearly second centuries bce, the earliest period for which we havesuch evidence. The book discusses how slaves were captured and sold; theirtreatment by the master and the community; the growth of theconception of the slave as “other than human,” and aschattel; and the problem of freedom for both slaves and society.
Selected by Choice as a 2012 Outstanding Academic Title Awarded a 2012 PROSE Honorable Mention as a Single Volume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences A Companion to Women in the Ancient World presents an interdisciplinary, methodologically-based collection of newly-commissioned essays from prominent scholars on the study of women in the ancient world. The first interdisciplinary, methodologically-based collection of readings to address the study of women in the ancient world Explores a broad range of topics relating to women in antiquity, including: Mother-Goddess Theory; Women in Homer, Pre-Roman Italy, the Near East; Women and the Family, the State, and Religion; Dress and Adornment; Female Patronage; Hellenistic Queens; Imperial Women; Women in Late Antiquity; Early Women Saints; and many more Thematically arranged to emphasize the importance of historical themes of continuity, development, and innovation Reconsiders much of the well-known evidence and preconceived notions relating to women in antiquity Includes contributions from many of the most prominent scholars associated with the study of women in antiquity
This book explores the social institutions, the prevailing social values, and the ideology of the ancient city-state as revealed in Roman Comedy. "The very essence of comedy is social," writes David Konstan, "and in the complex movement of its plots we may be able to discern the lineaments and contradictions of the reigning ideas of an age." David Konstan looks closely at eight plays: Plautus's Aulularia, Asinaria, Captivi, Rudens, Cistellaria, and Truculentus, and Terence's Phormio and Hecyra. Offering new interpretations of each, he develops a "typology of plot forms" by analyzing structural features and patterns of conventional behavior in the plays, and he relates the results of his literary analysis to contemporary social conditions. He argues that the plays address tensions that were potentially disruptive to the ancient city-state, and that they tended to resolve these tensions in ways that affirmed traditional values. Roman Comedy is an innovative and challenging book that will be welcomed by students of classical literature, ancient social history, the history of the theater, and comedy as a genre.
"The Ancient Greek and Roman Theatre is a clear, lively and readable study of the Greek and Roman theatre from its beginnings to the late Empire"--Back cover.
"Mr. Segal has performed the by no means trifling task of making [Plautus's] achievement credible and understandable."--Times Literary Supplement. "It is refreshing to find Plautus examined for what he undeniably was--a theatrical phenomenon."--Classical World. "We certainly need in English a book devoted to Plautus alone and here we have it."--Phoenix. "Many readers will do as I have done: read Roman Laughter with enjoyment and profit."--Classical Philology. "Of all the Greek and Roman playwrights," Erich Segal writes, "Titus Maccius Plautus is the least admired and the most imitated." In Roman Laughter, the first book-length study of Plautus, Segal argues that this neglected writer, often denounced by scholars for such crimes as "barbarous clownery," merits our serious attention precisely because he was the most successful poet of the ancient world. He analyzes the reasons behind this success, placing the author in his social and historical context and observing that Plautus's wildly comedic flouting of Roman law and custom had a cathartic effect upon a people bound by rule in every aspect of their lives. This expanded edition contains a new preface that reconsiders the work of Plautus in light of recent scholarship and also contains essays on the Amphitryon and the Captivi.
This book offers a fresh insight into the methods adopted by Roman playwrights in utilizing and recasting their Greek models. The author investigates the techniques adopted by such authors as Livius Andronicus and Pacuvius and arrives at results which throw a new light on the influence which Hellenistic literature exerted upon early Roman writers.