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The Comedies (Classics) [Paperback]

Terence , Betty Radice

Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Nov 1976 Classics
The Roman dramatist Terence (c. 186-159 BC) adapted many of his comedies from Greek sources, rendering them suitable for audiences of his own time by introducing subtler characterization and more complex plots. In his romantic play, The Girl from Andros, Terence portrays a love affair saved by a startling discovery. The Self-Tormentor focusses on a man's remorse after sending his son to war, and The Eunuch depicts a case of mistaken identity. Phormio is as rich in intrigue as a French farce, while The Mother-in-Law shows two families striving to save a marriage and The Brothers contrasts strict and lenient upbringings. With their tight plots and spare dialogue, Terence gave his plays a sense of humanity that became a model in the Renaissance and greatly influenced Molière.

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The Comedies (Classics) + The Rope and Other Plays (Classics) + The Plays and Fragments (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (25 Nov 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780140443240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443240
  • ASIN: 014044324X
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Terence (c.186-159) was born at Carthage of Libyan parentage, and was brought Rome as a young slave. According to Roman tradition his talents and good looks won him an education, manumissions, and entry to a patrician literary circle, with whose encouragement he wrote six Latin plays, modelled on Greek New Comedy. Only one, The Eunuch, was a popular success in his lifetime but he was read and admired in Roman times and became the main influence on Renaissance comedy.

Betty Radice was one of the greatest translators of her lifetime, and translated many titles for the Penguin Classics including Erasmus's Praise of Folly and Livy. She died in 1985.

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[simo, a gentleman in late middle age, and his elderly freed slave sosia come on right with servants carrying food and drink for a party.] Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless classic comedy 20 Dec 2002
By Some Pug Loves Me - Published on
Terence's character development is superb. He takes stock characters of past Greek plays and turns them around so that the reader sees that people are not black or white. They are rather gray with good and bad qualities. His stories develop around his characters and in each comedy there is a message that is as timesless as the dialogue and interaction between characters in his plays. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with the mastery with which Terence took Greek plays and adapted them for his Roman audience. The editing was good, and I think that there is a little something for all readers in the comedies of Terence. They are timeless classics that draw a quiet smile from the reader rather than an outright laugh.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comedic 27 Jun 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This book is one of my favorite textbooks ever. The storylines are interesting, though perhaps not hilarious from a modern standpoint. They do however make excellent fodder for research papers and for a deeper understanding of the ancient world!
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious 20 Nov 2006
By Wyote - Published on
Wow. I've read plenty of dramas, but this was my first ancient comedy. My girlfriend and I read this together, and neither one of us expected to enjoy it very much. But to our surprise, within 2 pages we were laughing constantly. We usually pause to talk frequently when we read something together, but this one we read very quickly because the plots and situations engrossed us so much.

If you are looking to read and enjoy something truly classical, I suppose there's no better place to start than this.

I imagine the translator was not too strict, but she did a good job in the spirit that I imagine Terence would want: not too literal, but very enjoyable.
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