The Comedy Of Plautus
Oxford University Press
On Sale: May 21, 1987
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"Mr. Segal has performed the by no means trifling task of
making [Plautus's] achievement credible and understandable."
--Times Literary Supplement.
"It is refreshing to find Plautus examined for what he
undeniably was--a theatrical phenomenon."
"We certainly need in English a book devoted to Plautus
alone and here we have it."
"Many readers will do as I have done: read Roman Laughter
with enjoyment and profit."
"Of all the Greek and Roman playwrights," Erich Segal
writes, "Titus Maccius Plautus is the least admired and the
most imitated." In Roman Laughter, the first book-length
study of Plautus, Segal argues that this neglected writer,
often denounced by scholars for such crimes as "barbarous
clownery," merits our serious attention precisely because he
was the most successful poet of the ancient world. He
analyzes the reasons behind this success, placing the author
in his social and historical context and observing that
Plautus's wildly comedic flouting of Roman law and custom
had a cathartic effect upon a people bound by rule in every
aspect of their lives. This expanded edition contains a new
preface that reconsiders the work of Plautus in light of
recent scholarship and also contains essays on the
Amphitryon and the Captivi.
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