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The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
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The Pot of Gold and Other Plays

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  809 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Plautus's broad humor, reflecting Roman manners and contemporary life, is revealed in these five plays: The Pot of Gold (Aulularia), The Prisoners (Captivi), The Brothers Menaechmus (Menaechmi), The Swaggering Soldier (Miles Gloriosus), and Pseudolus.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published September 30th 1965 by Penguin Classics (first published -195)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Best Play Ever
155th out of 411 books — 346 voters
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Community Reviews

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David Sarkies
Nov 10, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: A really good theatre company
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: comedy
A farcical collection of Roman comedies
10 November 2014

Okay, I have made comments on all of the plays in this book, but I wanted to spend a little time looking at the collection as a whole. As I have said time and time again, the difficulty that I have with reading plays is that they are designed to be performed, so when I read them I don't get the same pace and tone as a good actor would produce, and the characters are little more than names on a piece of paper. Also, it is a real shame that t
Tara Calaby
My trouble with Roman comedy and Greek New Comedy is that I always want it to be Aristophanes and, of course, it isn't. That said, I enjoy Plautus far more than Menander (although admittedly I haven't read anything by the latter for about a decade).

This collection contains five plays:
* The Pot of Gold (probably the weakest, although this is partially due to its unfinished state)
* The Prisoners (an interesting look at masters and slaves)
* The Brothers Menaechmus (my favourite: a comedy of mistak
Matthew Lowery
Funny in places but particularly bland when compared to Aristophanes. The jokes generally elicit a chuckle at best but consistently so at least. There's no sense of danger at all, no sense that Plautus is trying something risky or which might have the potential to offend. There's no political side to his plays either. Plautus really doesn't have much in the way of didacticism to offer his audience other than perhaps "Don't be arrogant." A particularly safe brand of comedy. The characters are tot ...more
Titus Marcius Plautus. I really enjoyed translating him, I translated Aulularia. His latin was fresh, thanks him we can know a bit more how romans spoke on the streets. In Aulularia you can find the archetypal characters of Plautus: The young and pregnant woman, the greedy and poor old man, the old woman, the slave, the young man, the older and rich man... The action changes all time, is full of life and the characters do all to get what the want. My favorite character, as usual is the slave.
I r
Feb 04, 2011 Tony rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
26. Plautus. THE POT OF GOLD AND OTHER PLAYS. ***. Plautus was born in Umbria in ca. 254 B.C. He was originally named Titus, after his father, but later acquired two additional nicknames that stuck: Maccius, perhaps the name of a clown in popular farce, and Plautus, meaning flat-footed. His full name, then, is Titus Maccius Plautus. He was a popular playwright of his time who also studied Greek drama and translated many of the Greek plays into Latin. This collection, translated and annotated by ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in May 2009.

What makes a "perfect comedy"? The German critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing described one of the plays in this volume, Captivi (The Prisoners) as such, but it is unlikely to be an answer that would occur to many people asked this question today. Even if the field is restricted to stage comedies on the grounds that Lessing lived before the invention of moving pictures (ruling out such contenders as Some Like it Hot and Fawlty Towers), there are many
Melissa Rudder
As I read all these Greek and Roman comedies, I find myself wondering if I find them funny just ‘cause I’m a sick, twisted English major. I remember my freshman year of high school, I was reading Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare in my English class and my teacher would talk about how hilarious it was and we would all just stare at her like she was crazy. Well, I assure you that, while my Literaturitis (my neologism for the day: lit “inflammation of the literature;” the madness possessing bib ...more
Plautus follows one of John Cleese's rules - make a vulgar situation like an angry argument funnier with the use of complicated language. But adapting the stereotypes of Greek New Comedy seems to have been a burden to Plautus: you can sense he's bursting at the seams of his aesthetics, pining for the freedom of an Aristophanes, but the strictures enforced by a Roman audience force Plautus into intricately woven ironies - in Captivi, for instance, master and slave reverse roles while both being s ...more
I would classify Plautus as the writer of farces. For most of his works that I’ve read, they involve extravagant mistaken identities, unbelievable coincidences, and, of course, lost twins. While some plays, like The Prisoners, touch on the meaning of freedom, most feature stock characters (the clever slave, the boasting general, the lovelorn youth). The stage action consists of silliness, slap stick, punning and general mayhem.

It’s not great literature, but it is entertaining theatre, well targe
The Swaggering Soldier was my last text for my A level Ancient Comedy course! I definitely would say I prefer the Greek plays but the two roman ones I read were definitely more challenging. Will definitely read some more of these in the future.
Heather Moore
The plays are really good. I would love to see them being performed, but I don't care too much for the translation. It is fine for younger readers who want to hear the old Roman plays in an easy to understand diction, but really I don't feel as though the Latin was well perserved.
Brianna Marie
I tried to space out each play so I didn't confuse them, so I ended up spending a lot more time on this than I originally intended. Overall, I thought some of them were really funny, and even the ones I liked the least still were able to get a couple chuckles out of me.
Jonas Dornelles
I only read two of them: "Pot of Gold" (Aulularia) and "The Swaggering Soldier".

it reminds me a lot of television gross humor of this days, which means that did not had any evolution since Roman Republic in this low-wit kind of comedy.
The Kindle version of this Penguin Classics book is full of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) typos, like "dungs" for "things", "Unes" for "Lines". Don't publishers use proofreaders any more?
The fun part about Plautus is his plays are about the common man (fool) and easy to relate to, even today. Included the Swaggering Soldier, one of his best plays.
Twins, mistaken identities, mistresses, slaves, etc. Great lines about a lobster. Very ridiculous.
Who would have thought that such brilliance existed before Shakespere...definitely not me
I read Terrence and despaired of Roman comedy, but this is quite good!
The comic slave...some fun back-and-forth jokes in here.
Maria Daniels
Read in its original form...naturally.
Kadbury(Young Readers)
Only read pot of gold
Read Plautus in this collection. Translation was fine
Alisia Barringer
Alisia Barringer marked it as to-read
Dec 26, 2014
Thomas Baughman
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  • The Comedies
  • Four Tragedies and Octavia
  • Frogs and Other Plays
  • Menander: The Plays and Fragments
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Bacchae and Other Plays
  • As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History
  • The Erotic Poems
  • The Jugurthine War and The Conspiracy of Catiline
  • The Satyricon
  • Selected Political Speeches
  • Prometheus Bound and Other Plays
  • The Odes
  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • The Eclogues: Dual Language Edition
  • Odes and Epodes (Loeb Classical Library)
  • Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation
Four Comedies: The Braggart Soldier; The Brothers Menaechmus; The Haunted House; The Pot of Gold Miles Gloriosus Menaechmi; Or, the Twin-Brothers Aululária Amphitryon

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