Terence: Heautontimorumenos

(3465 words)

The romantic comedy Heautontimorumenos (The Self-Tormentor), Terence’s third play written, was adapted from a Greek comedy of the same name by Menander and first performed in April 163 B.C.E. at the ludi Megalenses, the annual games for the Great Mother of the Gods.

The plot

As a typical love comedy, Heautontimorumenos uses the erotic tribulations of two young men as the pretext for a comical battle of wits between a strict old father, Chremes, and his wily slave, Syrus. The prologue reveals (6) that Terence expanded the single love plot (simplex argumentum) of his Greek model into a so-called double plot (duplex argumentum), probably adding another pair of lovers and linking …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Knorr, Ortwin. "Heautontimorumenos". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13479, accessed 19 April 2014.]