Shakespeare and Classical Comedy: The Influence of Plautus and Terence.Unlike some books being published today, Miola's study produces exactly what its title promises. The beginning point centers around the plays of Plautus, especially Menaechmi, Amphitruo, Mostellaria, Captivi, Miles Gloriosus mi·les glo·ri·o·sus
n. pl. mi·li·tes glo·ri·o·si
A bragging and often cowardly soldier, especially as a stock character in comedy.
[Latin m , Casina, and Rudens, and of Terence, especially Andria, Eunuchus, Hecyra, and Adelphoe. Miola's study traces the presence of these plays in Shakespeare, with the organizing categories being derived from New Comedy itself: The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night Twelfth Night, Jan. 5, the vigil or eve of Epiphany, so called because it is the 12th night from Christmas, counting Christmas as the first. In England, Twelfth Night has been a great festival marking the end of the Christmas season, and popular masquerading parties are "error plays" in which Plautine confusion is given new moral and romantic dimensions; The Taming of the Shrew shrew, common name for the small, insectivorous mammals of the family Soricidae, related to the moles. Shrews include the smallest mammals; the smallest shrews are under 2 in. (5.1 cm) long, excluding the tail, and the largest are about 6 in. (15 cm) long. and Much Ado About Nothing Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. First published in 1600, it was likely first performed in the winter of 1598-1599, and it remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring plays on stage. celebrate "intrigue" at the same time that they explore its darker ramifications ramifications npl → Auswirkungen pl ; The Merry Wives of Windsor and All's Well That Ends Well For the Chiodos album, see .
All's Well That Ends Well is a comedy by William Shakespeare, and is often considered one of his problem plays, so-called because they cannot be easily classified as tragedy or comedy. engage the alazoneia (or "boasting") of New Comedy by subverting and modifying the audience's expectations about it; and the "romances," Pericles and The Tempest, combine motifs from Plautus and Terence with those of other traditions to produce a comoedia sacra sa·cra
Plural of sacrum. which redefines comedic chance. The book concludes by showing how Shakespeare subverts New Comedic conventions in Hamlet and King Lear King Lear
goes mad as all desert him. [Brit. Lit.: Shakespeare King Lear]
See : Madness to deepen the tragic power of these plays.
The subject of this book, of course, is hardly a new one: critics of his own day recognized many of Shakespeare's sources, and critics of our day continue to propose new points of intertextual in·ter·tex·tu·al
Relating to or deriving meaning from the interdependent ways in which texts stand in relation to each other.
in contact. Yet as Miola points out, earlier studies have been driven by several questionable assumptions and procedures: that Plautus and Terence can be reduced to a limited range of stock characters and situations; that verbal echo must take a privileged position in any influence study; and that there is an easy dichotomy between source as background or raw material and text as aesthetic object only tenuously connected to the culture in which it was produced. Miola challenges these assumptions by giving due attention for the first time to the depth and range of the scholarly and theatrical tradition connecting Roman New Comedy to Shakespeare. In order to discover what Shakespeare and his contemporaries thought Roman comedy might have meant, Miola turns to the commentaries in the Lyon edition of 1560 and to Stephanus Riccius's collection of Wittenberg commentaries by Melanchthon and the German reformers (1566-68). Since Shakespeare sometimes had easier access to their later imitators than to the originals of Plautus and Terence, Miola ranges freely from Dolce dol·ce Music
adv. & adj.
In a gentle and sweet manner. Used chiefly as a direction.
[From Italian, sweet, from Latin dulcis.]
Adv. 1. and Machiavelli to Lyly and Grevin. Indeed, Roman comedy, humanist commentary on it, and Renaissance adaptations of it all participate "in the same circulation of energy and exchange" (16), and at its best Miola's study approaches the threshold of the new cultural poetics which is beginning to explore such complexities.
In general, however, the strength of the book lies in a series of dose readings in which attention to New Comedy and its Renaissance contexts leads to some sharp observations about several of Shakespeare's plays William Shakespeare's plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and in Western literature. His plays are traditionally divided into the genres of tragedy, history, and comedy. . In Plautus and Terence, for example, recognition of true identity often makes possible a desired marriage; in The Taming of the Shrew, however, the marriage comes in the middle of the play, offering Shakespeare the opportunity to transform New Comedic conventions into a performance by which Kate becomes the role she plays, slowly recognizing herself to be an ideal wife as part of the process "whereby people come to be spouses, [and undertake] the slow, complicated, and ongoing negotiations, the long, shifting series of posings and exposings, postures and impostures" (78). All's Well That Ends Well, in turn, begins by inverting the New Comedic paradigm in which a father opposes the marriage of his son to a lower-class girl, then reconfigures the rhetorical swagger of the Roman boaster into Bertram's subtler values and actions, and ends by blending a Plautine recognition with the sin / repentance / forgiveness paradigm of Renaissance drama. These examples should be enough to suggest that, coming only two years after the same author's Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca, this book is more than enough to establish Miola as an authority, if not the authority, on Shakespeare and Roman drama.
CRAIG KALLENDORF Texas A&M University