The growth and nature of drama - Ronald F

And we know who some of the authors of these "Greek originals" are. For just under half of Plautus' surviving plays, they are named in the Roman text or can be deduced from quotations outside the play, and as far as we can tell, all of them turn out to be playwrights of Greek New Comedy, none from the preceding periods of Middle or Old Comedy. () To be precise, Plautus based four of his plays on Menander (Aulularia, Bacchides, Cistellaria, Stichus), two on Diphilus (Casina, Rudens), and two on Philemon (Mercator, Trinummus). (). Moreover, the different natures of these Romanized re-creations of Hellenistic drama confirm the supposition that Plautus did, indeed, have to modulate his method of adaptation to suit the varying styles of Greek comic playwrights.

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A more compelling question concerning the originality of Roman drama revolves around why the Roman public sought out Greek drama so avidly. The answer to that riddle lies, no doubt, in the nature of Greek drama itself. The complex but coherent plots of Greek tragedy and comedy had no parallel in this age. For much the same reason, the cinema of a few nations today commands most of the world's attention and, like Greek drama in antiquity, has attracted a large viewership outside its native land.


the essence of drama and the nature of theatre.

Among the first and most successful of those early Latin dramatists was Gnaeus Naevius whose career spanned several decades (ca. 235-204 BCE). A native Roman and a citizen, he adapted Greek tragedies, mostly Euripides' (Hector, Iphigenia, The Trojan Horse), and also comedies, especially Menander's (Kolax), blending with great skill Hellenic and native Italian elements to suit his audience's taste. If not the originator of Roman drama, he was, without doubt, its first major star.


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Drama/theatre educator andtheorist Brian Way polarized the discussions by questioning whetherchildren should be trained as “professional” actors or if the imaginarynature of the experience in itself held educational value.

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I’ve always believed that calling these things “slime molds” was very unfortunate. They are truly beautiful living things. Some of them also exhibit very complex behavior in intra-cellular communication:

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This raises, then, a question that lies at the very heart of studies in Roman Comedy: how did Plautus create theatre so effective in such a place and time? While his cultural situation may look like a disadvantage—especially in comparison to the erudite and drama-mad society that for centuries packed the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens—there is much to say that Plautus' Rome was actually a fertile field for his art. The absence, for instance, of a commanding native tradition of theatre in late third-century Rome gave him carte blanche to create plays in a manner that suited his talent. He could follow his instincts and write with a freedom Menander never had nor even Euripides, a parrhesia ("freedom of speech") , in fact, no Greek playwright had ever had, at least not since Aeschylus' day.

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The life cycle of slime mold is grossly fascinating, and fascinatingly gross. Read up on it and remember that some of these guys is descended from one of our ancestors.