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Slaves, Masters, and the Art of Authority in Plautine Comedy
Author: Kathleen McCarthy

ISBN: 9780691117850
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 28 December 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4
Description:


What pleasures did Plautus' heroic tricksters provide their original audience? How should we understand the compelling mix of rebellion and social conservatism that Plautus offers? Through a close reading of four plays representing the full range of his work "(Menaechmi, Casina, Persa, and Captivi), " Kathleen McCarthy develops an innovative model of Plautine comedy and its social effects. She concentrates on how the plays are shaped by the interaction of two comic modes: the socially conservative mode of naturalism and the potentially subversive mode of farce. It is precisely this balance of the naturalistic and the farcical that allows everyone in the audience--especially those well placed in the social hierarchy--to identify both with and against the rebel, to feel both the thrill of being a clever underdog and the complacency of being a securely ensconced authority figure.

Basing her interpretation on the workings of farce and naturalism in Plautine comedy, McCarthy finds a way to understand the plays' patchwork literary style as well as their protean social effects. Beyond this, she raises importa...

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