Theater of Plautus Playing to the Audience

ISBN-10: 0292752172

ISBN-13: 9780292752177

Edition: 1998

Authors: Timothy J. Moore

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"I consider this the best full-length discussion of Plautine metatheater in existence.... The author talks lucidly about Plautus in terms that the modern student of dramatic literature can grasp, even without knowledge of Plautus.... In short, this is a major contribution to theory about Roman drama and to an understanding of Plautus." William S. Anderson, Professor of Latin, University of California, Berkeley 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.
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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 1/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 275
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Preface
Introduction
Actors and Spectators
Characters and Spectators
Greece or Rome?
Metatheater and Morality
Audience and Occasion: Pseudolus
Gods and Mortals: Amphitruo
Bankers and Pimps: Curculio
Prostitutes and Lovers: Truculentus
Husbands and Wives: Casina
Slaves and Masters: Captivi
Conclusion
Notes
Works Cited
Abbreviations
Index of Passages Cited
Index
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