The works of Terence have been part of the world's heritage of dramatic literature for more than two thousand years--and they are still being staged and enjoyed. In English translations that achieve a lively readability without sacrificing the dramatic and comic impact of the original Latin, this volume presents all six comedies: The Girl from Andros (Andria), The Self-Tormentor (Heautontimorumenos), The Eunuch (Eunouchus), Phormio, The Brothers (Adelphoe), and Her Husband's Mother(Hecyra). Publius Terentius Afer--our Terence--was a slave from North Africa, brought as a boy from Carthage and sold to a wealthy Roman named Marcus Terentius Lucanus. Recognizing the boy's natural charm and genius, Marcus Terentius had Terence educated along with his own children and eventually set the gifted young man free. Terence took to his education in Latin and Greek literature and was soon writing plays of his own--Roman comedies in Latin poetry, based on Greek models. The plays were performed for Romans from every walk of life, who crowded the improvised theaters on festival days. Before his death by shipwreck at age thirty-six--on a voyage to Greece in search of manuscripts by Menander--he had become one of Rome's most popular comedic playwrights. To Terence, "nothing human is foreign." His comedies revel in the complex relationships and amusing cross-purposes of typical "worthies" and their interfering friends. Lovers survive nerve-wracking comic trials. Young men, helped by their stoic slaves, reconcile with angry fathers and uncles. Tutors, lawyers, and middlemen--the "unworthies"--are content to play both ends against the middle. Terence's engaging portrayals of the "generation gap" and othertimeless subjects conquered an unruly Roman populace--and, in these translations, will captivate modern readers.
Plautus was the single greatest influence on Western comedy. Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and Moliere's The Miser are two subsequent classics directly based on Plautine originals. Plautus himself borrowed from the Greeks, but his jokes, rapid dialogue, bawdy humour, and irreverent characterizations are the original work of an undisputed genius. The comedies printed here show him at his best, and professor Segal's translations keep their fast, rollicking pace intact, making these the most readable and actable versions available. His introduction considers Plautus' place in ancient comedy, examines his continuing influence, and celebrates his power to entertain.
The Modern Husband * The Clandestine Marriage * She Stoops to Conquer * Wild Oats This edition brings together four eighteenth-century comedies that illustrate the full variety of the century's drama. Fielding's The Modern Husband , written before the 1737 Licensing Act that restricted political and social comment, depicts wife-pandering and widespread social corruption. In Garrick and Colman's The Clandestine Marriage two lovers marry in defiance of parental wishes and rue the consequences. She Stoops to Conquer explores the comic and not-so-comic consequences of mistaken identity, and in Wild Oats, the 'strolling player' Rover is a beacon of hope at a time of unrest. Part of the Oxford English Drama series, this edition has modern-spelling texts, critical introduction, wide-ranging annotation and an informative bibliography.
Thomas Dekker: The Shoemaker's Holiday George Chapman, Ben Jonson, John Marston: Eastward Ho! Ben Jonson: Every Man In His Humour Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker: The Roaring Girl Oxford English Drama offers plays from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries in selections that make available both rarely printed and canonical works. The texts are freshly edited using modern spelling. Critical introductions, wide-ranging annotation, and informative bibliographies illuminate the plays' cultural contexts and theatrical potential for reader and performer alike. 'The series should reshape the canon in a number of significant areas. A splendid and imaginative project.' Professor Anne Barton, Cambridge University
'I thought you'd do what the common run of slaves normally do, cheating and tricking me because my son's having an affair.' Terence's comedies have provided plots and characters for comic drama from classical times to the present; the outstanding comic playwright of his generation at Rome, he has influenced authors from Molière and Wycherley to P. G. Wodehouse. Scheming slaves, parasites, prostitutes, pimps, and boastful soldiers populate his plays, which show love triumphing over obstacles of various kinds, and the problems that arise from ignorance, misunderstanding, and prejudice. Although they reflect contemporary tensions in Roman society, their insights into human nature and experience make them timeless in their appeal. Peter Brown's lively new translation does full justice to Terence's style and skill as a dramatist. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Menander (c. 341-291 BC) was the foremost innovator of Greek New Comedy, a dramatic style that moved away from the fantastical to focus upon the problems of ordinary Athenians. This collection contains the full text of 'Old Cantankerous' (Dyskolos), the only surviving complete example of New Comedy, as well as fragments from works including 'The Girl from Samos' and 'The Rape of the Locks', all of which are concerned with domestic catastrophes, the hazards of love and the trials of family life. Written in a poetic style regarded by the ancients as second only to Homer, these polished works - profoundly influential upon both Roman playwrights such as Plautus and Terence, and the wider Western tradition - may be regarded as the first true comedies of manners.
This is a lively, readable and accurate verse translation of the six best plays by one of the most influential of all classical Latin writers. The volume includes Phaedra, Oedipus, Medea, Trojan Women, Hercules Furens, and Thyestes, together with an invaluable introduction and notes.
First published as an Oxford World's Classics paperback, 2001.
This unique edition brings together four plays concerned with 'domestic' themes: Arden of Faversham, Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness and The English Traveller, and Dekker, Rowley and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. Texts are in modern spelling, accompanied by a critical introduction, wide-ranging annotation and bibliography.
The Life and Death of Jonathan Wild, the Great – novel, 1743, ironic treatment of Jonathan Wild, the most notorious underworld figure of the time.
From the fifth to the second century BC, innovative comedy drama flourished in Greece and Rome. This collection brings together the greatest works of Classical comedy, with two early Greek plays: Aristophanes' bold, imaginative Birds, and Menander's The Girl from Samos, which explores popular contemporary themes of mistaken identity and sexual misbehaviour; and two later Roman comic plays: Plautus' The Brothers Menaechmus - the original comedy of errors - and Terence's bawdy yet sophisticated double love-plot, The Eunuch. Together, these four plays demonstrate the development of Classical comedy, celebrating its richness, variety and extraordinary legacy to modern drama.
Performed variously as escapist fantasy, celebratory fiction, and political allegory, The Tempest is one of the plays in which Shakespeare's genius as a poetic dramatist found its fullest expression. Significantly, it was placed first when published in the First Folio of 1623, and is now generally seen as the playwright's most penetrating statement about his art. Stephen Orgel's wide-ranging introduction examines changing attitudes to The Tempest, and reassesses the evidence behind the various readings. He focuses on key characters and their roles and relationships, as well as on the dramatic, historical, and political context, finding the play to be both more open and more historically determined than traditional views have allowed.
The Taming of the Shrew Robust and bawdy, The Taming of the Shrew captivates audiences with outrageous humor as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of wills–and love–with her bridegroom, Petruchio, in a comedy of unmatched theatrical brilliance, filled with visual gags and witty repartee. A Midsummer Night's Dream Fairy magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood turn the mismatched rivalries of four young lovers into a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, all touched by Shakespeare’s inimitable vision of the intriguing relationship between dreams and the waking world. The Merchant of Venice This dark comedy of love and money contains one of the truly mythic figures in literature–Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. The “pound of flesh” he demands as payment of Antonio’s debt has become a universal metaphor for vengeance. Here, pathos and farce combine with moral complexity and romantic entanglements, to display the extraordinary power and range of Shakespeare at his best. Twelfth Night Set in a topsy-turvy world like a holiday revel, this comedy juxtaposes a romantic plot involving separated twins and mistaken identity with a more satiric one about the humiliation of a pompous killjoy. The hilarity is touched with melancholy, and the play ends, not with laughter, but with a clown’s plaintive song. Each Edition Includes: • Comprehensive explanatory notes • Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship • Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English • Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories • An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography From the Paperback edition.
"The braggart soldier kidnaps a beautiful girl and eventually is punished in a manner befitting the vainest lecher of all time."--From publisher's website.
The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs, written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus and the brilliant modernity of Euripides. The clash of generations and values is also the object of Aristophanes’ satire in The Wasps, in which an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows and end up in court. And in The Poet and the Women, Euripides, accused of misogyny, persuades a relative to infiltrate an all-women festival to find out whether revenge is being plotted against him.
Usually classified as a `problem comedy', All's Well that Ends Well invites a fresh assessment. Its psychologically disturbing presentation of an aggressive, designing woman and a reluctant husband wooed by trickery won it little favour in earlier centuries, and both directors and critics have frequently tried to avoid or simplify its uncomfortable elements. More recently, several distinguished productions have revealed it as an exceptionally penetrating study of both personal and social issues. In her introduction Susan Snyder makes the play's clashing ideologies of class and gender newly accessible. She explains how the very discords of style can be seen as a source of theatrical power and complexity, and offers a fully reconsidered, helpfully annotated text for both readers and actors.
The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy marks the first comprehensive introduction to and reference work for the unified study of ancient comedy. From its birth in Greece to its end in Rome, from its Hellenistic to its Imperial receptions, no topic is neglected. The 41 essays offer cutting-edge guides through comedy's immense terrain.
Hamlet's combination of violence and introspection is unusual among Shakespeare's tragedies. It is also full of curious riddles and fascinating paradoxes, making it one of his most widely discussed plays. Professor Hibbard's illuminating and original introduction explains the process by which variant texts were fused together in the eighteenth century to create the most commonly used text of today. Drawing on both critical and theatrical history, he shows how this fusion makes Hamlet seem a much more `problematic' play than it was when it originally appeared in the First Folio of 1623. The Oxford Shakespeare edition presents a radically new text, based on that First Folio, which printed Shakespeare's own revision of an earlier version. The result is a `theatrical' and highly practical edition for students and performers alike.
Thomas Shadwell, The Libertine * George Etherege, The Man of Mode * Thomas Durfey, A Fond Husband * Thomas Otway, Friendship in Fashion These four plays in the Oxford English Drama series capture the range of responses to the fashionable and daring libertine movement in the second half of the seventeenth century. A Fond Husband and Friendship in Fashion are lesser-known comic gems of the Restoration stage; The Man of Mode is Etherege's masterpiece, and The Libertine is Shadwell's experimental and dark version of the Don Juan story. The texts are freshly edited using modern spelling. There is a critical introduction, wide-ranging annotation, and an informative bibliography which together illuminate the plays' cultural context and theatrical potential for reader and performer alike. 'The series should shape the canon in a number of significant areas. A splendid and imaginative project.' Professor Anne Barton, Cambridge University

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