Essay on Slavery As A Literature Review

1620 Words Nov 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Slavery in Plautine and Terentian Comedy: A Literature Review

Abstract: This review examines literature regarding slaves and slavery in Plautine and Terentian comedy. It seeks to explore any ways the field has evolved in recent years. This literature review contributes to the field by providing a much-needed summary of the existing literature. This review also addresses an existing lack of consensus among classicists regarding slavery in Plautine and Terentian comedy. The literature review does so by first examining Terence’s use of slavery, then Plautus’ use of slavery, and finally the similarities between the two playwrights slave conventions. The findings show that while most classicists regarded the two playwrights as taking different stances on how to use slaves as characters, classicists can agree that there existed fundamental similarities between the motif of slavery in Plautine and Terentian comedy. Future literature should address the discrepancies among these classicists.

Terentian and Plautine comedies have several similarities and differences; this is most evident what examining how Plautus and Terence write slave characters. Since slavery was a prominent institution in the Roman Empire, slavery and slave stock characters commonly appeared in both Romans’ plays. Despite adapting similar works and using similar stock characters, there are major differences between slaves in Terentian comedy and slaves in Plautine comedy. Many authors have…

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