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Prima di questi, cosi si subject management request compilatore del Firmam. 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. 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. The ancient Greek playwright that best embodies Old Comedy is Aristophanes. Each of these plays and the others that Aristophanes wrote are known for their critical political and societal commentary.
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. 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.
Aristophanes underwent persecution for this. The most notable difference, according to Dana F. 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 Unlike Aristophanes, Plautus avoided current politics in the narrow sense of the term in his comedies. One main theme of Greek New Comedy is the father—son relationship. The father-son relationship is very strong and the son remains loyal to the father.
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. 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. Farce 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. Prologues The poetry of Menander and Plautus is best juxtaposed in their prologues. Robert B. Plautus might seem more verbose, but where he lacks in physical comedy he makes up for it with words, alliteration and paronomasia punning. See also "jokes and wordplay" below.
Plautus is well known for his devotion to puns, especially when it comes to the names of his characters. 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.
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By working with the characters that were already there but injecting his own creativity, as J. Stace argues that Plautus took the stock slave character from New Comedy in Greece and altered it for his own purposes. 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.
William M. Seaman proposes that these Greek names would have delivered a comic punch to the audience because of its basic understanding of the Greek language.
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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. Plautus: copycat or creative playwright? Plautus was known for the use of Greek style in his plays, as part of the tradition of the variation on a theme. 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. 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. Against the spirit of the Greek original, he engineers events at the end 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. He writes about Greeks like a Greek. However, Plautus and the writers of Greek New Comedy, such as Menander, were writing in two completely different contexts. Contaminatio 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.
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 not only imitated the Greeks, but in fact distorted, cut up, and transformed the plays into something entirely Roman. In essence it is Greek theater colonized by Rome and its playwrights. 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. The lack of a permanent space was a key factor in Roman theater and Plautine stagecraft.
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