Last Updated on August 7, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 893
The following are some key quotes from The Brothers ("Adelphoe" in Latin) by the Roman dramatist Terence; the play is an adaptation of a Greek play of the same name by Menander. In addition to providing the quotes in Latin and English, I have also provided context for each quote. All translations are by John Barsby from the Loeb Classical Library edition.
1. Here is a brief statement of Micio's philosophy of education from act 1, scene 1. He's worried that Aeschinus, his brother Demea's biological son whom he adopted, hasn't returned home even though it's late at night. He begins by expressing his worries and then reflects on how he's brought Aeschinus up:
I’m generous, I turn a blind eye, I don’t find it necessary to exert my authority all the time. In short I’ve accustomed my son not to hide from me those youthful escapades which others get up to behind their fathers’ backs. A boy who sets out to lie and deceive his father and is bold enough to do that will be all the more bold with others. I believe that it is better to discipline children by gaining their respect and showing generosity than through fear. My brother doesn’t agree with me on this; he just doesn’t approve.
do, praetermitto, non necesse habeo omniapro meo iure agere. postremo, alii clanculumpatres quae faciunt, quae fert adulescentia,ea ne me celet consuefeci filium.nam qui mentiri aut fallere institerit patrem autaudebit, tanto magis audebit ceteros.pudore et liberalitate liberosretinere satius esse credo quam metu.haec fratri mecum non conveniunt neque placent. (lines 51-59)
2. Aeschinus is, indeed, grateful to Micio :
What about this? Is this what it means to be a father or a son? If he were a brother or a friend, how could he be more obliging? Isn’t he a man to be loved and cherished? I should say so! He’s been so considerate that I’m terribly afraid of doing something unwittingly he doesn’t like. I won’t do any such thing wittingly. But I’d better go in, or I’ll be holding up my own wedding.
quid hoc est negoti? hoc est patrem esse aut hoc estfilium esse? si frater aut sodalis esset, qui magis morem gereret?hic non amandus, hicine non gestandus in sinust? hem! itaque adeo magnam mi inicit sua commoditate curamne forte imprudens faciam quod nolit: sciens cavebo.sed cesso ire intro, ne morae meis nuptiis egomet siem? (lines 707-713)
3. Demea, however, disapproves thoroughly both of his brother and his biological son:
Jupiter! What a life! What a way to behave! What madness! There’s a wife coming without a dowry, there’s a music girl inside, the house is wallowing in extravagance, the young man’s ruined by luxury, the old man’s off his head. Salvation herself couldn’t possibly save this house even if she wanted to
o Iuppiter!hancin vitam! hoscin mores! hanc dementiam!uxor sine dote veniet, intus psaltriast.domus sumptuosa, adulescens luxu perditus,senex delirans. ipsa si cupiat Salus,servare prorsus non potest hanc familiam. (lines 758-763)
4. This bitter monologue of Demea's is really the central theme of the play; the contrast between the lives led by the two brothers:
. .. in reality nothing is better for a man than to be generous and easygoing. Anyone can easily see the truth of this by comparing my brother and myself. He has always lived a life of leisure and...
(The entire section contains 893 words.)
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