Laughing Awry: Plautus and Tragicomedy

Hardcover | June 14, 2015

byErik Gunderson

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Laughing Awry offers a comprehensive overview of key themes in the interpretation of the plays of Plautus, and explores the connections between deception, desire, slavery, genre, and audience. In doing so, it offers an account of the mechanisms of Plautus' humour and the uncomfortable originsof laughter, revealing how his dramas do not just play to but also work on the audience. The volume examines the whole corpus of Plautine plays, providing longer accounts of selected dramas and choice scenes. An emphasis on methodological and theoretical questions is maintained throughout, andparticular attention is paid to the psychic life of humour and its relationship to questions of social power. Chapters discuss, among other topics, the problem of writing about humour, Plautus' reception by subsequent Roman authors, the plays' embedded social theory, the intersection of circuits of desire, laughter as a scandalous surfeit, and the sublime perversity of laughter. The volume asks what we arelaughing at, why we laugh, and what this laughter means.

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Laughing Awry offers a comprehensive overview of key themes in the interpretation of the plays of Plautus, and explores the connections between deception, desire, slavery, genre, and audience. In doing so, it offers an account of the mechanisms of Plautus' humour and the uncomfortable originsof laughter, revealing how his dramas do not...

Erik Gunderson is Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:June 14, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198729308

ISBN - 13:9780198729303

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Table of Contents

1. I Clowns2. Forget Plautus3. Giving Words4. Object Lessons5. Lepide ludificatus6. Surplus Enjoyment7. The Last Laugh8. Curtain CallBibliographyIndex