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THEA 221, Week 5 PowerPoint Notes

by: Ashley Antonio

THEA 221, Week 5 PowerPoint Notes THEA 221

Marketplace > California State University Long Beach > Liberal Arts > THEA 221 > THEA 221 Week 5 PowerPoint Notes
Ashley Antonio
Long Beach State

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About this Document

These notes cover the PowerPoint of the play Pseudolus by Plautus.
History of Theatre and Drama to 1600
Dr. Jaye Austin Williams
Class Notes
THEA221, Theatre History II, theatre, drama
25 ?




Popular in History of Theatre and Drama to 1600

Popular in Liberal Arts

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Antonio on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 221 at California State University Long Beach taught by Dr. Jaye Austin Williams in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see History of Theatre and Drama to 1600 in Liberal Arts at California State University Long Beach.

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Date Created: 09/25/16
THEA 221: History of Theatre and Drama to 1600 Pseudolus by Plautus PowerPoint Notes •Themes: •Greed: Pseudolus is a clever slave, because he uses greed as a downfall. Upper  class only cares about money nothing else. Ballio, claims that anything not  involving the exchange of money is worthless. Less wealthy citizens support  Pseudolus in outwitting his monied owners. •Class does not equal intelligence: Both Pseudolus and Simia are slaves, but they are  the smartest characters. Wealth does not define wisdom and ability, but blinds  strictures of class. •True Love: Crosses boundaries that class, poverty, or money cannot restrict the  feelings. Pseudolus is against authority when it comes to true love. Proves that  human worth is stronger than money and power. •Women as objects: Ballio’s treatment of his slave and prostitute, Phoenicium. He  uses threats to demonstrate his power and authority. Phoenicium is mute which  defines her as an object of property. Male actors control a woman’s lot in life. •Character Analysis: •Psedudolus the “Tricky Slave”: Simo’s clever servant. Upon hearing Calidorus’ love  for Phoenicium, promises to get the amount of money needed to buy Phoenicium  from Ballio. ­Warm hearted, ­Courageous, ­Clever. •Simo or “Scrooge”: Calidorus’ father and Pseudolous’ owner, refuses to help  Calidorus in buying Pheoenicium from Ballio. Does not think highly of anyone else  other than himself. ­Stingy, ­Proud, ­Pessimistic. •Ballio the “Pimp”: Has ownership of Phoenicium. Despite Calidorus’ plea, sells  Phoenicium to a military officer. He is later tricked by Pseudolus, and losses both  the girl, money, and possibly his life. ­Pessimistic, ­Suspicious, ­Greedy. •Calidorus: Simo’s son that is lovesick. Deemed a “spendthrift” by his father and asks  Pseudolus for help. ­Impotent, ­Whiny, ­Naive. •Phoenicium the “Booty”: Calidorus’obsession and Ballio’s product and Pseudolus’  target/objective. Is described to be weeping when Simia, posing as Harpax, brings  her out of Ballio’s house. •The Real Harpax: Polymachaeroplagides’ messenger and servant turned prisoner of  war. Described by Ballio and Simo to have a strong body, and managed to travel  from Sicyon to Ballio’s house in “one day, by noon.” •The Fake Harpax (Simia): Charinus’ servant and a new face in Athens. Considered  an equal to Pseudolus in his cleverness. •Charinus: Calidorus’ good friend that lends Pseudolus money. •Polymachaeroplagides: The Macedonian Captain that purchased Phoenicium. •Political and social implications:  •Pseudolus and Simia are used by Plautus to demonstrate that lower class citizens  (even slaves) can be as intelligent as upper class citizens despite not having  access to the same education.  •Calidorous and Phoenicium are of completely different social classes yet still end up  together.  •At the time this play was written slavery was legal and anyone who owned slaves had power in the community. A pimp who owned both women and slaves was  considered politically to be in power as they sold both people and sex. They  enjoyed high social class as they were often rich and held ownership of lower class  citizens.  •Women were viewed as property, subservient to men and their wishes. Phoenicium is mute because she is a direct representation of the submissiveness that was  required of women at the time.  •Ballio is a representation of how greed and power corrupt a person’s moral  judgement. Relationships are thrown away in favor of money creating a society that does not care about its fellow men.  •Politically/socially the play is structured with the idea that those who have ownership  of others enjoy a higher status. Without ownership over others there would not be a conflict in this play thus Plautus’ purpose is to engage the idea that slavery should  not exist.  •Historical Context:  •Written and commissioned for the dedication of the Temple of Magna Mater in 191  BCE who is the “Great Mother Goddess”. •Very little is known about Roman Theatre from this time period, but Greek cultural  and theatrical influence may have been introduced during the First Punic War  2 between Rome and Carthage. •Lots of Greek influence can be seen in Roman theatre of the 2  century BCE,  especially in Pseudolus. Staging such as masks, scripts in general, the use of  elements from Greek New Comedy such as the wittiness of the title Character in  Pseudolus and jokes at the expense of the high­class. •Many plays in this period were set in Ancient Greece to mask the criticisms of the  higher class since high­ranking societal members often sponsored the plays. •The After the Second Punic War, it was essentially illegal to write plays about Roman  officials or make any dramatic references to specific individuals which stifled  political satire, the threat of loss of sponsorship from the aediles didn’t help either. •Pseudolus was written as a sort of implicit satire of the Roman Empire at this point.  The Greek backdrop allowed Plautus to criticize the growing importance on military  and imperialism through archetypes and allegory. •Slavery was abundant in this time period, as witnessed by the many slave in the play, though the relationship between Simo, Calidorus and Pseudolus is not a common  one. Much more similar to Ballio and his slave boys and girls. •Style: •Greek New Comedy:  •Pseudolus written in a style modeling old Greek comedies that featured: •Familiar character archetypes •Situational comedy •Smaller, intimate focus rather than public focus •This was used to covertly criticize and satirize the Roman Empire through the use of  familiar character tropes and the way characters react to the world around them. •Metatheatre:  •Pseudolus is a very metatheatrical; it makes many references to itself as a play. •Breaks the fourth wall often and puts Pseudolus in the role of playwright, often giving  advice on how best to move the play along and making sure the audience is  entertained. •Utilized to help audiences understand the more complex areas of the story while  3 highlighting the fact that it is complicated for the entertainment of the audience. •Best example of this self­referential “messy” complexity: •Pseudolus and Calidorus read Phoenicium’s letter explaining that she is going to be  sold. •Later Ballio tells them this same thing but they still act just as surprised by the news. •These moments bring the audience in on the disjunctions of the script and make them aware of the complexities in the story that Plautus wrote. 4


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