Plautine And Terentian Comedy Summary

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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
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C. B. Lowe explores the similarities and differences between Terence and Plautus’ use of the same motif, a running-slave. The basic running slave motif is that a slave enters the stage in a hurry and delivers some news that they believe was important enough to warrant the rush. Terence’s use of the routine was similar to Menander 's general use of running messengers. The joke in Menander’s routine is that the messenger would have had trouble remembering the important message when they finally found the recipient. Consequently, Lowe believed that Terence’s use of slaves was an allusion to Menander’s and other Greek playwrights use of slaves. This vastly differs from Amerasinghe and McCarthy, who both had considered Terentian slavery to be partly a rebuttal to Plautine slavery.
One of the more contemporary articles on the matter was written by Evangelos Karakasis in 2013. In it, Karakasis cites McCarthy’s 2004 article and comes to a conclusion similar to Lowe’s. Karakasis starts the article by examining the different types of stock slaves in Terentian comedy and compares it to Plautus’ all encompassing stock character for slaves. Karakasis’ results group Terentian slavery with Greek and Plautus with Roman

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