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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comic Spaces and Plautus’ Rudens


While there has been a resurgence in the study of the much maligned genre of Roman Comedy, the majority of work has focused on points philological, socio-political, and on comic word-play. Among Plautus’ work, the Rudens stands alone as a play set outside a city, as the most prolific Roman comedic playwright takes us to the seaside for a classic whirlwind farce revolving around a lost daughter, a besotted lover, mistaken identities, and prostitutes. The unique setting of this play allows the modern audience an insight into the spatial tensions within the Roman mind, as we explore what happens where sea and land meet.

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