Pseudolus Book Analysis

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Titus Maccius Plautus is one of the most renowned ancient Roman comic playwrights whose artful work, Pseudolus, reflected the comprehensive dimensions of the social views, religious beliefs, and lifestyles during later 3rd to early 2nd Centuries BCE. Simultaneously, the successful characterization in Plautus’s Pseudolus have a profound influence on and added unique value to the future western drama creation. Accordingly, the play was adapted to the movie A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was mixed traditional ancient Roman life comedy with modem dramatic plots and idea in order to create a sense of identification for the contemporary audience.
Pseudolus is an example of the Servus stock character in Plautus’s play. At the
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Saving Phoenicium is the greater action of the play and Phoenicium is the ally of Calidorus in this action. In order to fulfill Calidorus’s will, Pseudolus states “if I can’t cheat anyone else, I’ll cheat your father”, where reflected Pseudolus has greater loyalty to Calidorus than to Simo (119-120). Ultimately, Pseudolus exploits the greed nature of Simo and Ballio, so Pseudolus uses his excellent eloquence to entice both lost 2,000 drachmae in the bet. In the meanwhile, Calidorus gains his true love throughout the perfect plan of the clever servus callidus. Hence one can see that,Plautus wanted to convey the idea that class does not represent the real identity of an individual. Slaves in the ancient Rome were inferior to free people, so it was common to assume slaves were generally worse in every aspect (Moore). Nevertheless, in the play, a slave fooled many upper-class citizens by using his own intelligence, as a prototype contradicts the cliché slaves were always less intelligent. Obviously, this phenomenon mirrored the desire of social consciousness about breaking down barriers of class division through the Struggle of the Orders, which was a political conflict between the Plebeians
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