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The Comedies of Terence   By:

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Terence, a celebrated playwright of ancient Rome, is known for his delightful and entertaining comedies. In his collection, The Comedies of Terence, he skillfully crafts five unique and vibrant stories that captivate readers with their wit and charm.

One striking aspect of Terence's work is his exceptional talent for creating vibrant and relatable characters. Through their interactions and dialogues, the author brilliantly captures the complexities of human nature. Each comedy presents a diverse cast, from cunning servants to lovestruck youth, and Terence expertly brings their struggles and triumphs to life. The characters' flaws and quirks are evident yet endearing, making them instantly relatable to audiences of any era.

Another notable feature of this collection is Terence's sharp and witty writing style. His clever wordplay and skillful use of satire add an extra layer of depth to the narratives. His comedies delve into various themes such as love, friendship, and class divide, all while maintaining a lighthearted and humorous tone. The way Terence juxtaposes societal norms and expectations with the absurdities of human behavior keeps readers intrigued and entertained from start to finish.

Terence's brilliance also lies in his ability to blend comedy with social commentary. Beneath the surface of these amusing stories, he subtly addresses prevalent issues of his time, such as gender roles and societal constraints. Through the lens of comedy, Terence provides astute observations and critiques, prompting readers to reflect on the world around them even centuries later.

While some readers may find the language and cultural references of ancient Rome initially challenging, dedicated readers will undoubtedly be rewarded. Various translations and adaptations of Terence's comedies are available, allowing a wider audience to access and appreciate his timeless works.

In conclusion, The Comedies of Terence is a delightful collection that showcases the genius of an ancient Roman playwright. Terence's witty writing style, relatable characters, and insightful commentary make this book a true gem. Whether one is interested in classical literature or simply in search of an entertaining and thought-provoking read, this collection is a must-have for any bookshelf.

First Page:

[Transcriber's Note:

This translation of Terence was published by Harper & Brothers as the second part of an omnibus volume also containing the 1853 Riley translation (prose, with notes and commentary). The Riley portion has been released as a separate e text, 22188.

This e text includes readings from the 1768 second edition of Colman. In general, only differences in wording are included; variations in spelling and punctuation were disregarded. It is not known whether the Harper's text was based on the first edition of Colman or some later edition. Where the Harper text was clearly in error, the 1768 reading was substituted in the main text. In all cases, the alternative readings are shown at the end of each Scene.

Stage directions in braces such as { MICIO and DEMEA apart. } were added by the transcriber where the original format was impractical.

Each play is a free standing unit.]


Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes.

By HENRY THOMAS RILEY, B.A., Late Scholar of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

To which is added the blank verse translation of GEORGE COLMAN... Continue reading book >>

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