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.