Plautus: Amphitruo

Plautus’ Amphitruo is the sole specimen of mythological burlesque in ancient comedy to come down to us in nearly complete form. This sex farce delighted Roman audiences and readers for centuries and continues to inspire adaptations to this day. Dr Christenson utilizes recent work in performance criticism in conjunction with traditional philological analysis to provide new insights into the play in performance. The edition aims to recover the essence of Plautine spectacle from the most concrete details of staging to the complex performative dynamics played out among the actors themselves and the actors and the audience. Included in the Introduction is an account of the mythic and dramatic background to Plautus’ play as well as of its influence in post-classical drama. Plautus’ metres are explained in a manner students will find helpful and instructive. Dr Christenson presents a new text that includes stage directions in English.

• Analyses the play in light of contemporary performance criticism • Assesses Plautus’ place in ancient comedy and the play’s influence in post-classical drama • First scholarly edition of the play in English in approximately forty years


Introduction; 1. Plautus’ life and times; 2. Roman comedy; 3. The play’s the thing; 4. Background and sources; 5. Music, meter, and scansion; 6. Play without end; 7. Transmission of the text; T. MACCI PLAVTI AMPHITRVO; Commentary.