Titus Maccius Plautus: Bacchides

(4910 words)

Bacchides (or The Two Bacchises) has not been one of Plautus’ most popular plays over the centuries, even though it possesses one of the greatest of Plautine ‘tricky slaves’ (serui callidi) in the character of Chrysalus. One reason for its comparative neglect may be that the opening of the play (150 lines or more) has been lost in the manuscript tradition, so that it has never been possible since antiquity to appreciate the play in its entirety. Another reason may be the generally low tone of the play, which ends with two fathers joining their two wayward sons in a brothel. This scarcely provides for the ‘comic closure’ or ‘happy ending’ which comedy seems to require, in …

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Citation:
Barsby, John. "Bacchides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34724, accessed 01 August 2014.]