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Plautus' comedies were adapted from Greek `new' comedies, that is `romantic' comedies rather than political comedies like those of Aristophanes which have come down to us.

Full of stock characters such as the miserly old man, the libertine son, the prostitute with a heart of gold, and the clever and wily slave, these have influenced later dramatists such as Molière (L'Avare, the Miser) and Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors).

This is a witty and lively translation that makes a good attempt to render the Latin into colloquial English.
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on 20 March 2011
I'm not going to flesh out in any detail whatsoever what the plays are about. It's an adventure, go read. Moliere and Shakespeare based stuff on him. Rome's most successful playwright at his best? Dunno. I do know that these plays are funny especially The Braggart Soldier, The Brothers Menaechmus, The Haunted House and The Pot of Gold. Hell, that's all four! You need to act them out in your head with some understanding of the cultural context. The introduction helps with the context. The rest is up to you.
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on 1 March 2017
I really enjoyed reading these plays, particularly the The Swaggering Soldier. As a modern reader, you don't necessarily need to know much about Roman society to find Plautus' characters amusing, or his stories entertaining. That being said, the introduction by the translator is very helpful when trying to understand the cultural and societal context in which these plays were written, as well as some of the overarching themes. The notes at the back are similarly useful, and the translation of the Latin gives a flavour of the wordplay and punning that Plautus was fond of. Worth a read!
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