Chloe Diab2016334100DRAH1504Roman TheatreMrs. A. Smit.
21 May 2018A General description of Ancient Roman Comedy. Prominent Events Which Took Place During the Rule of the Roman Empire.Prominent Events Which Took Place During the Rule of the Roman Empire. Characteristics of this time. The Differences between Archetypal Characters and Stereotypical Characters.The Differences between Archetypal Characters and Stereotypical Characters.
Three Archetypal/Stereotypical Characters Used in Roman Comedy. Two Themes Addressed in Roman Comedy. Plautus. Plautus.
Topics and Issues Plautus addressed. Conclusion.Bibliography.A General description of Ancient Roman Comedy.Although the Romans have a very strong mark in ancient theatre, they share many similarities with the ancient Greek civilization. This is due to the fact that the Romans adopted many of the Greek cultural elements and adapted them to their own culture. One of the most obvious similarities is the worship of gods through festivals. One of the most well-known festivals was in honour of the god Dionysus.
CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)With Dionysus being the god of theatre, wine and fertility, a competition would be held for the best play. These plays would either be tragedies or comedies. The Greek comedies are known as “old-comedy”. “Old-comedy” was sexual, politically satirical and made use of exaggerated body parts for comical use. This, however, changed later in Greece to what we call “New Comedy”. “New Comedy” was more sophisticated and presented more relatable situations and characters. This form of comedy influenced the Romans most. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)The earliest Roman performances related to “old comedy” due to its crude and vulgar content.
These plays developed further and created stereotypical characters and situations. One of the most defining elements of Roman theatre is how the farces were improvised, allowing actors to invent different aspects during the performance. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Unlike the Greeks, the Romans did not use theatre as a form of worship but rather for pure entertainment. Many historians speculate that these plays were performed in order to word off plagues because they were performed during religious festivals but there is little evidence to prove this, sparking an ongoing debate amongst Classicists. The romans also changed elements of Greek theatre such as disregarding the chorus and adding music.
CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Prominent Events Which Took Place During the Rule of the Roman Empire.The roman empire is believed to have been started by two brothers Remus and Romulus who were abandoned by their parents and raised by a she-wolf. A Sheppard eventually adopted the boys. The brothers, now aware of the truth, both wanted to rule the empire, and have it named after them and argued about who the city should be named after.
They eventually agreed to a contest in which the first one to spot a group of birds would win. Remus saw six and after that Romulus saw twelve. Romulus claimed that he should win but Remus disagreed. Romulus retaliated by killing his brother and naming the city after himself, Rome. CITATION Rom18 l 7177 (Anon., )For many years after that Rome was rule as a monarchy but was later changed to become a Republic. This change came from the romans overthrowing the Etruscans who had previously conquered them. CITATION Rom18 l 7177 (Anon.
, )One event during the roman rule was the expulsion of non-romans. This meant that, aside from slaves, only Romans were allowed into Rome. CITATION Rom18 l 7177 (Anon., )The roman empire begins in 27 B.
C. when Octavius becomes the first emperor, Augustus. Timeline after Rome becomes and Empire:64 A.D. Nero sets fire to Rome and blames the Christians.80 A.
D. The Coliseum was built.122 A.D. The Hadrian Wall was built.306 A.
D. Constantine becomes Emperor.380 A.D. Christianity becomes the sole religion in Rome.
395 A.D. Rome splits into Eastern and Western Rome.410 A.D. Rome is defeated by the Visigoths.
479 A.D. Ancient Rome comes to an end and the Dark Ages begin. CITATION Rom18 l 7177 (Anon., )Major Characteristics of this Period.Characteristics of this period is that Rome was ruled by and Emperor. The society was concerned with created law codes. The Differences between Archetypal Characters and Stereotypical Characters.
According to Carl Jung, an archetype is “a universal pattern of thought, present in an individual’s unconscious, inherited by the past experience of humanity”. While a stereotype is a person who is regarded as an embodiment of a set image or type. CITATION Jun69 l 7177 (Jung, 1969)In terms of theatre, an archetypal character is a model from which the character is created, such as a selfless hero or a damsel in distress. This differs from a stereotypical character which takes a general type of person and oversimplifies and emphasis’ qualities and traits.
CITATION Jun69 l 7177 (Jung, 1969)Three Archetypal/Stereotypical Characters Used in Roman Comedy.Servus – is the slave. He is often a clever trickster and outwits those in a higher class than him. He is frequently making fun of others in an eloquent fashion. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Miles Gloriosus – is the “braggard soldier”. He often talks about his accomplishments and boasts about himself, however, is actually cowardly. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Adulescens – is a young man who is always in love. He is usually the hero of the play but his love tends to make him irrational.
CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Two Themes Addressed in Roman Comedy.One of the most common themes is that of the “thwarted lovers”. The Adulescens and his love interest are unable to be together because of their parents or because the love interest is meant to already be with another man. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Another common theme in Roman comedy is “mistaken identity”.
A character is believed to be a completely different character, this is usually unintentional. The character which is mistaken for another often gets into a negative situation which leaves the real character to pay the price for the mistake. CITATION Ber151 l 7177 (Berrry, 2015)Plautus.Plautus was born to a poor family in c. 254 B.C. he worked as a stagehand and actor in Umbria before arriving in Rome. After this he began writing plays and quickly grabbed audiences’ attention.
His work became more and more popular. Due to his success, many playwrights of the time began copying his work and publishing them under Plautus’ name. this made it difficult to distinguish between the original pieces and the copies. CITATION Bea28 l 7177 (Beare, 1928)Plautus has a unique style of writing for his time. He preferred writing in a conversational nature rather than a rhetorical nature like many of the other playwrights of the time and he wrote in colloquial language. Playwrights throughout history have looked to Plautus for comedic elements such as characters and plots.
CITATION Bea28 l 7177 (Beare, 1928)Plautus’ plays have played an integral part in in theatre for years, influencing some of the most well-known giants in theatre such as Shakespeare and Moliere. The play A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a very contemporary musical which is influenced by Plautus. CITATION Bea28 l 7177 (Beare, 1928)Topics and Issues Plautus Addressed.Plautus’ differed from playwrights like Euripides in that he never challenged his audiences to think. His plays would be subject of indifference and mockery towards the gods and political figures in the roman society. His plays where purely for entertainment and depicted the obstacles of romance and overcoming them. To add to the entertainment aspect of his plays, actors would also sing many of their lines. CITATION Bea28 l 7177 (Beare, 1928)Conclusion: In conclusion, despite the fact that the Romans adopted many of the Etruscan and Greek culture, their adaptions of them play a crucial part in the history and influence of theatre throughout the ages.
Characteristics of Roman theatre have survived through the years and are still used in theatre today. Not only does the Roman culture help us understand why theatre has evolved but it also allows us to look at the psychological, anthropological and sociological aspects of the people of the time and the relationship they have with the people in modern times. In terms of comedy, it allows us to differentiate between the different styles of comedy we find today.Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY Anon., . Rome Timeline. Online Available at: http://www.ancient.
eu.com/timeline/Rome/Accessed 18 5 2018.Beare, W., 1928. Plautus, M.G. 843.
Classical Review, , 42(01), pp. 20-20.Berrry, N., 2015. A Funny Thing Happened in Roman Comedy, Athens, Georgia: UGA.
Jung, C. G., 1969.
Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious sic. ed. (): Princeton University Press.Marshall, C. W., 2006.
The Stagecraft and Performance of Roman Comedy: The Experience of Roman Comedy. Online Available at: http://ebooks.cambridge.org/ref/id/cbo9780511486203a008Accessed 18 5 2018.