Analysis on Mostellaria

Topics: Plautus, Theatre of ancient Rome, Comedy Pages: 3 (1060 words) Published: June 8, 2008
Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254-184 BCE), also known as Plautus, was a Roman comedy playwright. He produced many comedies that were mostly adapted to cater to the Roman audience’s taste from the Greek models. His comedies are classified as New Comedy, which contain great differences to the Old Comedy, like those of Aristophanes’. In Plautus’ comedies, the themes, instead of talking about politics as in those of Old Comedy, are more focused on father-son relationship and the betrayal between these two characters. Plautus’ works include: Amphitruo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi, Casina, Cistellaria, Curculio, Epidicus, Menaechmi, Mercator, Miles Gloriosus, Mostellaria, Persa, Poenulus, Pseudolus, Rudens, Stichus, Trinummus, Truculentus and Vidularia

Mostellaria is Latin and its English translation is “The Ghost.” The story happens in ancient Athens. A young fellow, Philolaches, son of Theuropides, an Athenian merchant, leads an extravagant life for three years, indulging himself in wine and parties with his friend, Callidamates. With his slave Tranio’s help, Philolaches buy a girl as his mistress, Philematium. Philolaches’s father, Theuropides, knows nothing about this thing because he is in Egypt. One day, when Philolaches, Callidamates along with many other revellers are having party, Tranio bursts in and announces that Theuropides is back and will soon arrive in the house. Tranio tells his master to hide into the house, making no sound. Then he goes out to prevent Theuropides from entering by claiming that the house is haunted by a person who was murdered 66 years ago so that there has been no one there for six months and that his son is now in another place. When Tranio is telling the lie, a money-lender comes and request that the money Philolaches has borrowed be paid back. Theuropides asks what the money were borrowed for so Tranio lies that Philolaches used the money to buy his neighbor Simo’s house while the money was used to buy Philematium....
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