Plautus' Pseudolus: Introduction and Commentary




Hensley, Jonah

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Titus Maccius Plautus is the one of the most renowned Roman playwrights of his era, creating artful comedies that would astound and amaze Roman audiences and even the readers of today. Of the remaining Plautine comedies, the Pseudolus is one of Plautus’ most artful pieces, containing the wiliest characters amongst his creations: Pseudolus. Since this comedy focuses on a slave, the lifestyle and characteristics of a Roman slave is important in understanding the Plautine slave. On the one hand, the Roman slave lives beneath the power of his master, obeying every order and taking any punishment bestowed upon him. On the other hand, the Plautine slave desires to steal the power of his master and use it for his own tricks and games. The Pseudolus focuses on the crafty slave Pseudolus and his journey to take down the pimp Ballio and obtain his young master’s lover. From this play, each line of Latin is scanned and considered thoroughly to discover the difficult translations and interesting passages, so as to help other translators in the future.