Terence: Hecyra [Mother in Law] (974 words)


Terence’s Hecyra, based on Apollodorus’ Greek original, was successfully performed in 160 BC after two unsuccessful performances in 165 and earlier in 160. The play’s action occurs before the houses of two elderly Athenians, Laches and Phidippus, and Bacchis, a prostitute. In the opening scene, the prostitute Philotis and an old woman, Syra, discuss how Pamphilus, son of Laches and Myrrina, has not yet consummated his marriage to Philumena and hopes she will divorce him. Pamphilus had been having a relationship with Bacchis. When Pamphilus’ father Laches sent him abroad on family business, Pamphilus left Philumena with his mother Sostrata, but the two women’s relationship soured.

In Act II, Laches grumbles a…

Citation: THORBURN, JOHN. "Hecyra". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13480, accessed 19 January 2021.]

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