The Nature of Roman Comedy: A Study in Popular Entertainment
Originally published in 1952, The Nature of Roman Comedy is still the fullest and most accessible introduction to the plays of Plautus and Terence, which constitute the corpus of Roman comedy. With attention to the specific aspects (such as staging conventions, plot structure, and character delineation) of each play, George E. Duckworth provides a readable synthesis that emphasizes the dramatic and humorous significance of the Roman comedies.
Duckworth explains why these plays are important -and funny through discussion of suspense and irony, moral tone, and the humorous aspects of situation, character, and language. He places the comedies in the history of drama, extending from their bases in the lost Greek comedies to their influence on sixteenth-and seventeenth-century European playwrights including Moliere, Shakespeare, and Ben Johnson.
Included are eight plates depicting scenes and characters from the comedies. For the second edition, Richard Hunter supplies a foreword and a bibliographical appendix, bringing up-to-date this enduring classic.