Plautus: Casina

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Cambridge University Press, May 13, 1976 - Drama - 241 pages
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Plautus' Casina is a lively and well composed farce. The plot, which concerns the competition of a father and his son for the same girl and the various scurrilous tricks employed in the process, gives full scope to Plautus' inventiveness and richly comic language. The editors' aim is to establish the play as one of the liveliest of ancient comedies, and in their introduction and notes to make the reader continually aware of the conditions of an actual stage performance. They discuss the background and conventions of Roman comedy and by offering a complete metrical analysis they help the reader to appreciate the original musical structure of the play. The edition is intended primarily for use by students at school and university but will be of value to anyone interested in reading the play in the original.

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About the author (1976)

Plautus and Terence used stock characters (the young lovers, the clever slave, the irate father) and devices (mistaken identity), but each handled these conventions in his own distinct manner. Plautus was the son of a poor Umbrian farmer who may have fought in the Second Punic War. The playwright Plautus is said to have been a popular actor, true comedian, jovial, tolerant, rough of humor. He not only modeled his plays on the Greek New Comedy, but unhesitatingly inserted long passages translated from the Greek originals. He was the master of comic irony and, as its originator, copied by Moliere, Corneille, Jonson, Dryden and Fielding. Shakespeare based his Comedy of Errors on Plautus's Menaechmi. Of more than 100 plays, 21 survive.

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