Titus Maccius Plautus: Amphitruo [Amphitryon]

(1731 words)

Plautus’ Amphitruo (ca. 190-185 BCE) is the most complete example of mythical burlesque to survive from Greco-Roman drama (significant sections of four scenes of the play have been lost in transmission: for these see Fantham (1973)). Mythical burlesque (or travesty) was a type of farce in which figures of myth, most notably anthropomorphized gods, appear as characters in the play. This comic sub-genre was especially popular in Greek Old (ca. 5th century BCE) and Middle Comedy (ca. 4th century BCE). Plautus’ source-play for Amphitruo is unknown and this lacuna has provoked much discussion. Speculation ranges from the assertion that he adapted a lost Greek Middle Comedy—though where …

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Citation:
Christenson, David M.. "Amphitruo". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13460, accessed 01 August 2014.]