Titus Maccius Plautus: Asinaria

(3260 words)

The Asinaria (Comedy of the Asses) deserves to be better known than it is. While it cannot claim to be Plautus’ greatest work, it displays a number of interesting features, particularly in its treatment of stock scenes and characters (Slater), and offers some truly hilarious moments. It is, in effect, boiled-down Plautus.

Plot

The plot follows a familiar arc, but introduces a number of surprising twists along the way. A young Athenian of respectable family but limited financial resources (Argyrippus) has fallen in love with a youthful prostitute next door named Philaenium, who loves him in return but lives under the control of a ruthless lena (procuress) named Cleareta. The l…

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Citation:
Porter, John. "Asinaria". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 June 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34718, accessed 16 April 2014.]