Plautus, Terence, and Seneca Flashcards Preview

History of Theatre > Plautus, Terence, and Seneca > Flashcards

Flashcards in Plautus, Terence, and Seneca Deck (12):


(254-184BC) real name was Titus Machus Plautus "titus clown splayfoot"; plays:



(195/185-159) Brockett, (190-159) Hartnoll; real name Publius Terentius Afer, born in Carthage, N. Africa (mulatto or quadroon) - master who adopted him, Roman Senator, educated him and eventually set him free; his plays are in form of new comedy, practiced "contaminatis" and "fabluae duplices", sympathetic treatment of characters, more philosophical than plautus, wrote for a more aristocratic audience


What are some of Plautus's plays?

The Captives (basis for play by ben johnson) Amphitruo (spinoff of Birth of Hercules, tale of how Zeus impersonated Hercules' father and impregnated his mother)Miles Gloriosus ("braggart warrior" Shakes. character Falstaff in Henry VI) Manaechmi (basis for Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors); provided much source material for future history of theatre works


What are some of Terence's plays?

Andrea, Mother-in-Law, Self Tormentor, Eunuch, Phormio, The Brothers


What is "contaminatis"?

weaving bits of other plays in to ones own, practiced by Terence


What is "fabulae duplices"?

double plot


Who was Seneca? (basic info)

5/4BC-65AD; Influenced the blood/revenge tragedy of the Elizabethan age; not sure if Seneca's plays were ever produced, exercises for students; born in spain,educated in rome, was tutor of nero, lost power (committed suicide), only his plays remain extant, served for model of Renaissance tragedy, 5 act structure


What are some characteristics of Seneca's plays?

5 act structure with choral interludes; elaborate speeches; moral philosophy - stoicism; scenes of extreme violence and horror; connection between the human and superhuman worlds; creation of characters dominated by a single obsessive emotion


What is the formula for Senecan drama?

description, oratory, debate, horror and motive of revenge


What is stoicism?

moral philosophy - "Men should be free from passion, unmoved by joy/grief, submit to inevitable necessity."


What are sententiae?

moral aphorisms/proverbs


What is Thyestes?

Thyestes and Atreus are brothers who rule the kingdom jointly (they switch off every 6 months). Thyestes doesn't want to switch off and refuses to give up the throne. He and Atreus meet to discuss the issue (though Atreus has no intent of giving up the throne). Theyestes takes Atreus's sons to the back, kills them (except for one who escapes), drains their blood and serves their flesh for dinner and their blood for drink. Atreus eats up and it isn't until after the meal is over that Thyestes reveals that it was the sons that they dined on that evening.