Presentation on theme: "PLAUTUS and his audience. Titus Macc(i)us Plautus Titus: a popular Roman name = John/Dick Macc(i)us cf. Maccus the fool in the Atellana = Clown Plautus."— Presentation transcript:
PLAUTUS and his audience
Titus Macc(i)us Plautus Titus: a popular Roman name = John/Dick Macc(i)us cf. Maccus the fool in the Atellana = Clown Plautus = ‘flat footed’
Plautus: facts Was active between 215 and 185 BCE Dates of plays Pseudolus: 191; Stichus: 200. Cicero claims that Plautus died ca 184 BCE
Plautus according to Gellius (c. 150 CE) An Umbrian from Sarsina Unsuccessful merchant Successful theater professional Contemporary of Cato
CATO Cato The Censor ( BCE) stood for moral, social and economic reconstruction. Cultivated a rustic and conservative pose, and was strongly against everything Greek. As one of two censors (184), he taxed luxury and spent money on building a sewerage system.
Born in Sarisina? In the Mostellaria (‘the story of little monsters’) A character looks for some shadow and hears in response that he will find no shadow umbra, meaning also woman from Umbria (Umbra), not even a woman from Sarisina (Sarisnatis).
The Umbrians… spoke a language closely related to Latin their civilization was strongly influenced by the Etruscans. at the beginning of the third century BCE the Romans defeated the Umbrians, along with the Samnites and the Etruscans.
Background Temporary stages Troupes consisting mostly of slaves under the direction of domini gregis, such as Titus Publius Pellio, L. Ambivius Turpio
Troupes in competition; possibly aediles approached by the domini of various troupes in search of contract for performances Actors organized in a guild Artists of Dionysus an influential model
Entertainment In competition with other forms such as the famous tight-rope walkers mentioned in the prologue to the Hecyra “Thus the crowd crazy in their passions was exclusively interested in tightrope walking.”
Prize? Inspectors surveying claque Aediles give prize Comparison to elections! Each member of the cast needs to be examined?
COMOEDIA PALLIATA ‘comedy in Greek mantle’ used the scripts of Greek New Comedy and adapted them to suit the taste of Roman audiences, often combining several plays into one.
The conventions of palliata Plots are predictable and can be reduced to a few simple models, mostly: –Boy wants girl & Rival/pimp has girl –Boy with the help of slave overcomes obstacles –Boy acquires girl
Dramatis personae Boy: a bit dumb Girl:clever or innocent Old man:does not want to share Matron:owns husband or serves him Slave: foolish or clever Maid: devoted to mistress
Slave, trickster, and director Often referring to himself as imperator, architect, engineer The poet’s self-centered and conceited alter- ego indulges in meta-theatrical dialogues with the audience
Coincidences Like Tyche in Greek new comedy, Fortuna reigns supreme over all comic plots –While the efforts of the slaves provide the playwrights with the material for action the final solution almost invariably depends on lucky coincidence
Theater in 2nd century Rome Greek plays versus Roman mos maiorum 194: senators obtain special seats in theater—sing of respectability 179, 174 projects to build a stone theater thwarted 154 Scipio Nasica opposes the construction of the theater
Masks Pollux 2nd century CE 40 masks: Grotesque: senex, servus Lifelike: young women, adulescens Colors: red for young men, white for slaves, green for older women
Conditions and convention cd. Two houses Dialogues take place in the street No indoor scenes Distant actions narrated Characters approaching announce by those on stage Characters entering houses have an over- the-shoulder remark
Conventions Monologues narrate what happened on stage, offer reflections, deliberate what will happen, soliloquies, entrance monologues Asides: eavesdropping asides, asides in conversations, addressed to nobody, another character, the audience