Study Questions for Plautus
Discussion Questions for Pseudolus
1) What does this play tell us about Roman family life?
2) Give an example of a character in this play who is a decent human
3) What do you learn from this play about pietas, or the Roman value of
respect and dutifulness? Do characters uphold their promises and
show pietas towards other members of their family?
4) What can you learn about the roles of women in antiquity from this
5) What do you think Plautus is saying about wealth and power in
this play? Are the wealthy always powerful? Are the wealthy
Discussion Questions for Menaechmi
1) Do you sympathize with the characters in this play? Why
or why not? Be specific about the characters that you like or
dislike and why. What events occur that might encourage you to
like or dislike certain characters?
2) What techniques does Plautus use to generate comedy?
3) How does the play use metatheatrical commentary?
4) What kinds of stereotypical characters do you see in this
5) Menaechmus finds himself in a familiar world that has gone
mad. What kinds of things does he do to try to change this?
Assignment: Since we
will be discussing how Plautus uses the "Trickster" figure in his
plays, find an example in our modern culture (it can be a character in
a work of literature or a movie that behaves in a certain way, an ad in
a magazine that depicts a Trickster figure, etc.) and write a
one-paragraph essay on how this is a modern update of Plautus's