Shakespeare and Classical Comedy: The Influence of Plautus and Terence

This book surveys Shakespeare's comedies, charting the influence upon them of the ancient playwrights, Plautus and Terence. Robert S. Miola analyses these sources, and places the comedies in their Renaissance context, as well as in the larger context of European theatre. Discovering new indebtedness, and discerning new patterns in previously attested borrowings, Shakespeare and Classical Comedy presents an integrated and comprehensive assessment of the complex interactions of the Classical, Shakespearean, and other Renaissance theatres. Robert S. Miola re-evaluates Plautus and Terence in the light of their Greek antecedents, and gives special attention to Renaissance translations and commentaries, Italian theorists, and playwrights, as well as contemporary dramatists such as Middleton, Jonson, Heywood, and Chapman. Four broad categories organize the discussion - New Comedic errors, intrigue, alazoneia (pretension), and romance - and each is illustrated by illuminating readings of individual Shakespearean plays. The author keeps in view Shakespeare's eclecticism, his habit of combining disparate sources and traditions, as well as the rich history of literary criticism and theatrical interpretation. The book concludes by discussing the presence of New Comedy in tragedy, in Hamlet and King Lear. Robert S. Miola's thoroughly researched book ranges over a vast amount of European drama, from Aristophanes to Beckett and Ionesco. It makes an important contribution to our understanding not only of Shakespeare and his foremost antecedents, but also of Renaissance theatre, and its complex adaptations of ancient texts and traditions.

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Over de auteur (1994)

Robert S. Miola is at Loyola College, Baltimore.

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