Friday, March 18, 2022


PLAUTUS (Roman, c. 254-184 BCE)

Following in the footsteps of Menander and the Greek "New Comedy," the Roman playwright Plautus wrote Romanized versions of Greek plays, adapted and updated for the tastes of Roman audiences. Some of his plays are the only information we have on the Greek originals. He wrote around 130 plays; 20 have survived intact, and fragments of 31 others can be found quoted in other writers. His plays are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature, and we have more his works than of any other ancient dramatist (Euripides comes close with 18 or 19). Just as Plautus stole from the Greeks, Shakespeare stole from Plautus.

  • Menaechmi (The Brothers Menaechmus or The Two Menaechmuses), a comedy about twins and mistaken identity, is often considered his greatest play.


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