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LN 10 - Terrance Play

LN 10 - Terrance Play - Comparisons of Terence's Plays...

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Comparisons of Terence’s Plays Terentian comedy is made up of the six comedies written by Terence: The Adelphoe, Heautontimorumenos, Andria, Phormio, Hecyra, and Eunuchus. These plays all have distinguishing features which set the terentian plays apart from other comedies. The features such as having a clever slave in the household or laying the play out in an urban setting help to develop the plot and give the audience a feel for where the play takes place so that they may make a connection to their own experiences. Other features throughout the play are used to build drama and cause tension between the characters. These features are clearly communicated through the dialogue between the characters and give each play it own overall feel. First and foremost, one of the most important features in the terentian plays is the presence of a clever slave within the household. Generally this slave is smarter then what we would perceive a slave to be. Because we many times think of slaves as people who go out and work in the fields all day long and don’t interact much with there master except to carry out orders, we wouldn’t think that a slave would be involved in drawing up a plot. However, the clever slave in Terence’s plays is involved in just that. Both in the Adelphoe and in Phormio the clever slave is involved in some kind of trickery. In the Adelphoe the clever slave is named Syrus. Syrus knows everything that has happened concerning Aeschinus, Ctesipho, the leno, and the girl, while Micio is somewhat in the dark and Demea knows nothing. Demea believes that Aeschinus has beaten up the leno and taken his girl from himself, when in fact he has done so for his brother Ctesipho. Believing his son’s behavior to be outrageous, Demea wishes to speak to his brother Micio (who looks after Aeschinus). Syrus, being the one with all the
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knowledge, is now allowed to manipulate the situation at his own will. Not wanting
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LN 10 - Terrance Play - Comparisons of Terence's Plays...

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