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The Menaechmus Brothers: Hand in hand, not one before the other
Episode 1118th January 2021 • The History Of European Theatre • Philip Rowe
00:00:00 00:30:09

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Episode 35

The Menaechmus Brothers is taken from a Greek new comedy original and via this version by Plautus was used by later dramatists, most notably Shakespeare.

In the first half of this episode I summaries the plot that features identical twins and gets quite complicated and confusing for all concerned.

I then discuss the weaknesses in the play and it's more cynical outlook than seen in other plays by Plautus.

A look at he naming of stock characters and some thoughts on the problematic female characters is followed by a look at the influence of the Saturnalia festival on the play.

The theme of the identical twins is strong in the play and supported by other semantical elements in the structure and the Roman ideas of industria and voluptas.

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