Samia mosaic
Classics 239 :  Roman Comedy (239.001)
Kathleen McCarthy
2:00 - 5:00

This seminar will provide a general introduction to the genre and to the most significant scholarly debates, but we will focus especially on analyzing the various power relations within the household, as represented in comedy.  How should we understand the power that husbands wield over wives to be related to that of slave-owners over slaves or fathers over children?  How are the internal dynamics of the household defined by its relation to outsiders, such as pimps, moneylenders, and soldiers?  What are the implications of these representations for the social and cultural milieu of mid-Republican Rome? We will read some complete plays (by both Plautus and Terence), and we will also read across the corpus to develop an understanding of scene-types, style, stock characters, etc.