Comment on Plautus's use of irony and humor in The Pot of Gold.

Plautus uses irony and humor in The Pot of Gold as a way of satirizing the upper-classes. He does this mainly through the character of Euclio, a greedy miser for whom gold brings neither happiness nor security.

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Among other things, Plautus's The Pot of Gold can be seen as a satire on the Roman upper-classes (although the action of the play takes place in Athens). Plautus expertly uses humor and irony to make his biting satire stick.

As well as the play's many absurd and comical...

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Among other things, Plautus's The Pot of Gold can be seen as a satire on the Roman upper-classes (although the action of the play takes place in Athens). Plautus expertly uses humor and irony to make his biting satire stick.

As well as the play's many absurd and comical situations, humor is provided in abundance by the character of Euclio the miser, a man so obsessed with losing his horde of gold that he carries it around with him in a pot. Plautus would appear to be making a point about the greed of the Roman upper-classes and their unhealthy obsession with wealth.

Further humor can be had from Euclio's blinding ignorance, which is largely a consequence of his insatiable greed. He's so single-mindedly obsessed with protecting his wealth that he's initially unaware that his daughter Phaedria has been violated by a young man called Lyconides. What's ironic here is that, despite the fact that Euclio treats his daughter like a piece of property, in keeping with the prevailing standards of the Roman upper-classes, he is unable to recognize that someone else has treated her in much the same way.

Further irony comes when Euclio gets the wrong end of the stick and wrongly interprets preparations for the forthcoming wedding between his daughter and Megadorus as an attempt to steal his gold. Here we have an example of dramatic irony in that we the audience knows something that Euclio doesn't. Once again, Plautus is using irony to show how an obsession with wealth makes the upper-classes look completely ridiculous.

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