By Plautus

Amphitryon half guerroyer contre les Téléboens. Son épouse, l. a. vertueuse Alcmène, attend son retour avec impatience. Mais Jupiter, séduit par ses charmes, los angeles dupe en prenant les characteristics de l'absent. De son côté, Mercure, le messager de Jupiter, s'amuse à faire douter de sa propre life Sosie, dont il a également pris l'apparence. L'avare Euclion n'a qu'une obsession: mettre en lieu sûr l'"aululaire", une marmite remplie d'or. Que les prétendants se le tiennent pour dit: il ne dépensera pas un sou pour marier sa fille ! Pyrgopolinices, soldat fanfaron, a enlevé los angeles jeune fiancée de Pleusiclés. Les deux amants pourront-ils un jour se retrouver ? Par probability, un esclave rusé veille sur eux et rivalisera d'invention pour ridiculiser le ravisseur... Ces comédies virevoltantes, Plaute les a écrites pour un public populaire avide de dépaysement et de rebondissements. Près de deux mille ans plus tard, Molière s'inspirera de ces quiproquos improbables.

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In Shakespeare’s time, cyclical plays were staged during similar festivals by theatrical guilds. Visit Britain/Britain on View/Getty Images e 28 f Tragedy in Shakespeare’s Time and the Ark, for example, went to the shipwrights), which took over complete responsibility for the production. Hundreds of actors and long preparation went into the festivals. These “miracle” and “mystery” plays, however crude they may now seem, dealt with the loftiest of subjects in simple but often powerful eloquence.

From the time of the poet Hesiod (8th century BCE) on, however, the Fates were personified as three very old women who spin the threads of human destiny. Their names were Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Allotter), and Atropos (Inflexible). Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual’s moment of death). The Romans identified the Parcae, originally personifications of childbirth, with the three Greek Fates. The Roman goddesses were named Nona, Decuma, and Morta.

From this vantage point, as contemporaneous fears and modern audiences’ continuing fascination testify, the popular stage developed a remarkable capacity to explore and realize, in dramatic form, some of the fundamental controversies of its time. In effect, the stage translated London’s social and civic margins, the liberties of the city, into margins in the textual sense: into places reserved for a “variety of senses” (as the translators of the 1611 Bible described their own margins) and for divergent points of view—for commentary upon and even contradiction of the main body of their text, which in this instance means the body politic itself.

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