Funny Words in Plautine Comedy
Oxford University Press, 2010 - 311 sider
Plautus, Rome's earliest extant poet, was acclaimed by ancient critics above all for his mastery of language and his felicitous jokes; and yet in modern times relatively little attention has been devoted to elucidating these elements fully. In Funny Words in Plautine Comedy, Michael Fontaine
reassesses some of the premises and nature of Plautus' comedies. Mixing textual and literary criticism, Fontaine argues that many of Plautus' jokes and puns were misunderstood already in antiquity, and that with them the names and identities of some familiar characters were misconceived. Central to
his study are issues of Plautine language, style, psychology, coherence of characterization, and irony. By examining the comedian's tendency to make up and misuse words, Fontaine sheds new light on the close connection between Greek and Roman comedy. Considerable attention is also paid to Plautus'
audience and to the visual elements in his plays. The result is a reappraisal that will challenge many received views of Plautus, positioning him as a poet writing in the Hellenistic tradition for a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience. All quotations from Latin, Greek, and other foreign
languages are translated. Extensive indices, including a pundex, facilitate ease of reference among the many jokes and plays on words discussed in the text.
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1 Verba Perplexabilia
2 Parapraxis and Parechesis
3 Equivocation and Other Ambiguities
4 Innuendo and the Audience
5 Double Entendre
adjective adulescens alludes allusion ambiguity Ampelisca appears Astaphium Athenaeus atque attested Bacch Bacchides Callimachus calque chapter characters Charmides coinage colax comedian courtesan Curc Curculio Diniarchus diVerent Dordalus double entendre Ennius equivocation Ergasilus etymology eVect evidence example facetious Festus funny Gelasimus Gorgylio Gratwick Greek comedy Greek word Gripus Grymio Hellenistic instance interpretation ironic joke later lucrum meaning Menaechmi Menander’s merdicus mihi Miles Gloriosus mondegreen monologue nomen noun ŒÆd Oscan palliata parasite parasite’s parechesis passage pederastic pedication Penicylus Persa Phallio Phormio Phryne Phrynesium pimp Plautine comedy Plautus play Plesidippus Poen Poenulus prologue speaker pronunciation proper names prosdokian Pseudylus puns quid Quintilian quod refers riddle Roman comedy Rudens Sappho’s Saturio scene Sceparnio scholars scortum seems sicilicissitat similar slave slip speciWcally spelling suggest suYx Terence Terence’s tibi Toxilus Tranio translation Trin Truc Truculentus verb verbal verse vulgar Latin Wnal Wrst Xatterer