Titus Maccius Plautus: Pseudolus

(1210 words)

Plautus' Pseudolus debuted in Rome at the festival of the Magna Mater or “Great Mother”, i.e. the goddess Cybele, in April of 191 BCE. It thus falls relatively late in Plautus' career, and since antiquity has been one of his most admired comedies. Pseudolus is also one of Plautus' most self-consciously theatrical or “metatheatrical” productions.

Its plot is an extremely common one in Plautus and New Comedy in general. Calidorus, a lovesick and impoverished young man faces the loss of his beloved (Phoenicium), as her pimp is about to sell her to a soldier. The play opens with Calidorus' melodramatic plea for assistance to his family's clever slave Pseudolus (his name means “Liar”). By the end of …

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:
Christenson, David M.. "Pseudolus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21417, accessed 25 October 2014.]