In this comedy, the main thing is not the plot, but the hero, the “boastful warrior”. In the old days in Greece there were no professional soldiers, there were militiamen. And then, when the war became a profession, there were dashing mercenaries who went to serve anyone, even to the ends of the world, mostly died, and whoever did not die returned to their homeland rich and boasted of the miracles he saw, and the exploits that he allegedly committed. Such an enriched, rich boastful warrior became a constant character in comedies.
In Plautus his name is the magnificent name of the Pirgopolitan, which means “Tower-winner”. He sits in front of his house and watches as servants clean his armor – “so brighter than the sun!”. With him – a hanger named Khlebogryz, they alone consider how many enemies the Pirgopolitan put in their campaigns: in Scythia, in Persia, only seven thousand, and all in one day! And then in India, he left the elephant’s hand with one left, that is, his leg, and then only half-heartedly! And in general, what a hero he is – and a hero, and brave, and handsome, and how women love him!
In fact, he is a fraud, a coward and a debauchee. This is reported to the public by his slave named Palestrion. Palestrion served in Athens from one young man, and he loved one girl. When the young man was away, this very Pirgopolitan deceived this girl and took him to the city of Ephesus. Palestrion rushed to warn the master, but in the way he was seized by pirates and sold into slavery to the same Pyrgopolitan. However, he managed to send the news to the former owner; he came to Ephesus, settled next door to the warrior of a good old man and secretly sees his beloved. Here is the house of the warrior on the stage, but the old man’s house, they are near, and between them a clever slave easily built a secret passage.
All would be nice, but another slave soldier peeped for a meeting of lovers, and the old man is very alarmed: a ruffian would not arrange a pogrom for him. “All right,” says Palestrion, “we’ll think up that his girlfriend had a twin sister in Athens, so she settled with her lover with you, old man.” As for the witness, it can be confused and intimidated: from him, after all, the demand, if overlooked. In fact, while the spy is in a hurry with the denunciation, the girl, having made her way through the secret passage, is already at home and is attacking the ill-fated informer as a slanderer; and then, once again having moved to the neighbor, she already shows herself openly and under the guise of her own sister she admires the young man, and at the stupid slave his head goes completely round.
The old neighbor...
Find a hetaera, beautiful and greedy, and give her away for your wife… “-” Why is that? “- the old man is surprised.” Let her pretend that she is in love with the Pyrgopolitanic ears and if she gave me this for him your ring… “- offers a young man.” I do not understand anything, but I believe you: take it, do what you want, “the old man decides.
Heroes easily negotiate with the hetaera; The slave is to the Pyrgopolitan, hands over the ring to him, praises his neighbor, paints her love. The warrior, of course, believes: how not to fall in love with him? Now, therefore, you just need to get rid of the thefted by him, so that the new beauty is not jealous. Perhaps, it’s even good that her sister appeared next door: the warrior decides to give her his mistress from hand to hand, and even generously bestow to keep quiet, and the slave Palestrina for services to give freedom and send them with escorts. A young man appears, betraying myself for the confidant of the mother of both girls; warrior gives him his Athenian, she portrays a great grief: oh, how hard it is for her to part with such a handsome man and hero! The young man with his girlfriend, slave and gifts safely sail to Athens.
Virtue triumphed, but the vice has not yet been punished. However, this will not be long. The hetaera appears and plays, as conceived, the old man’s wife, in love with the Pyrgopolitan. He obediently follows on a date with her in the neighbor’s house. There, an old man with strong slaves jumps at him: “How dare you, damned, drive up to my wife?” He is grabbed, banged, sharpened knife, to emasculate on the spot; with loud screams, the soldier pays off big money from the massacres and, “having limp from beatings”, runs away with disgrace, “I am deceived, I am punished – but, alas, deserved! All the libertines would have done so: they would have become smaller. you to us, the audience, I clap! ” Such morality ends comedy.