Vis comica w komediach Publiusza Terencjusza Afera
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Vis comica in the comedies of Publius Terentius Afer
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During ludi gladiator fights, the Romans enjoyed chariot races, wild hunts, staged sea battles and circus and theatre performances. Terence’s comedies were also put on the stage during these games. Six of his plays, which the Roman people applauded as spectators in the years 166–160 BC, have been preserved to date. They are: Andria (The Andrian Girl), Hecyra (The Mother-in-Law), Heauton timoroumenos (The Self-Tormentor), Eunuchus (The Eunuch), Phormio, Adelphoe (The Brothers). According to the assumptions of the text, all these plays have been analyzed with regard to the comic force (vis comica) they contain. The plot, characters and language of his plays have become an area of research in this context. The reason for choosing Terence and his comedies for the present research is the fact that he is an author who has been read, commented upon, analyzed, published, copied and staged – not only throughout antiquity, but also from the Middle Ages to modern times. His plays were read and staged in both the times of pagan and Christian traditions. The vis comica they contain has undoubtedly contributed to the great popularity of Terence and interest in his works throughout centuries. The conducted research has also confirmed that this writer also influenced the process of development of comedy as a literary genre in later centuries.
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