Titus Maccius Plautus, Amphitruo [Amphitryon]

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(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


is unknown and this lacuna has provoked much discussion. Speculation ranges from the assertion that he adapted a lost Greek Middle Comedy—though where Plautus’ source-plays are known, they belong to ca. 3rd century BCE Greek New Comedy—to the theory…

1730 words

Citation: Christenson, David M.. "Amphitruo". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13460, accessed 05 March 2024.]

13460 Amphitruo 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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