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Explain how Plautus adopted his style of writing from the greek style of writing.

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alusingtam | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM via web

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Explain how Plautus adopted his style of writing from the greek style of writing.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 20, 2013 at 5:41 AM (Answer #1)

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Plautus was undeniably influenced by the Greek New Style of Comedy, that he was exposed to in his formative years. However, what is clear is that he did not simply tranplant this particular genre of drama and use it in a different context; rather, what he did was to take elements of it and blend it with his Roman culture and context to adapt and change it and make a new form of drama and comedy. This is shown most clearly in the way that Plautus focuses on the family unit and the home, or the domestic sphere, in precisely the same way that Menander, the famous ancient Greek playwright, did. However, what is different is that Plautus uses the same focus on the father-son relationship to explore filial piety and the correct relationship between father and son, which was a key cultural concern in Rome at the time Plautus was writing. In particular, Plautus explored the concept of betrayal between father and son. 

In addition, it is important to see how Plautus took the stock characters of Greek Comedy and adapted them for his own purposes. For example, one notable feature of his plays is the clever slave, which was a key component of Greek comedies. However, Plautus goes one step further and develops his own distinct stock character by having these slaves showing themselves to be cleverer than their masters and outwitting them. This is evident in Bacchides, where Chrysalus, who plays the role of the clever slave, is able to successfully outwit his master and bring about the happy ending that everybody hopes for in this comedy. 

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