Brilliantly adapting Greek New Comedy for Roman audiences, the sublime comedies of Plautus (c. 254-184 BC) are the earliest surviving complete works of Latin literature. The four plays collected here reveal a playwright in his prime, exploring classic themes and developing standard characters that were to influence the comedies of Shakespeare, Molière and many others. In The Ghost, a dissolute son who has squandered his father’s money is thrown into disarray when he returns from abroad, a theme that is explored further in the comedy of errors A Three-Dollar Day. In The Rope—regarded by many as the best of Plautus’ plays—the shipwreck of a pimp and his slaves leads to the touching reunion of a father and his daughter, while Amphitryo, Plautus’s only excursion into divine mythology, offers a cheerful account of how Jupiter became father to Hercules.
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.
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