The ideal single-volume introduction to the greatest masterpieces of ancient comedy
From the fifth to the second century B.C., theatrical comedy flourished in Greece and Rome. This new anthology brings together four essential masterworks of the genre: Aristophanes’ bold, imaginative The Birds; Menander’s The Girl from Samos, which explores popular contemporary themes of mistaken identity and sexual misbehavior; and two later Roman comic plays: Plautus’s The Brothers Menaechmus, the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors; and Terence’s bawdy yet sophisticated double love plot, The Eunuch. Together, these four plays capture the genius of classical comedy for students, theatergoers, actors, lovers of satire, and anyone interested in the ancient world.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Aristophanes was born, probably in Athens, c. 449 BC and died between 386 and 380 BC. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato’s Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution in the… More about Aristophanes
Menander (341-290 BC) was the most distinguished author of Greek New Comedy. An Athenian of good family, he wrote over a hundred plays, although only one survives intact today: Dyskolos or Old Cantankerous. This won the prize in 316 BC… More about Menander
Titus Maccius Plautus was born in Sarsina, Umbria, in about 254 BC, and was originally named, after his father, Titus. Little is known of his life, but it is believed that he went to Rome when young and worked as… More about Plautus
Terence (c. 186-159 BC) was born at Carthage of Libyan parentage, and was brought to Rome as a young slave. According to Roman tradition his talents and good looks won him an education, manumission, and entry to a patrician literary… More about Terence
Published by Penguin Classics May 29, 2007| 352 Pages| ISBN 9780140449822