“The mother-in-law” Terence in brief summary

The young man Pamphil was very partial to the Bacchides. But under the pressure of his parents, reluctantly, he married a neighbor – a respectable Filumen. She loves her young husband. But the heart of that, probably, still belongs to the heterere…

An unforeseen event: at death a close relative, and Lachet, the father of Pamphylus, sends his son to another city for inheritance cases.

In the absence of Pamphylus, the unexpected happens: Filumena returns to her parents’ house. This is puzzled and upset by her mother-in-law Sostrata: she managed to fall in love with her daughter-in-law and does not understand the reasons for her departure. And even attempts to see Philumen are in vain: the mother of the girl Mirinn and maid every time say that Filumen is sick and can not be disturbed by visits.

In ignorance are and Lahet, and even the father of the girl Fidipp. They are neighbors, are in good relations: all this is incomprehensible and unpleasant for them. Moreover, even Fidippa is not allowed to the female half of the house to her daughter.

Returns from the journey of Pamphylus. By the way, he did not bring any inheritance: the kinsman is still alive and, it seems, in general has decided not to die. Pamphil wants to see his wife. And soon it turns out that her illness was of a completely natural nature: Filumena gave birth to a boy!

But the obvious, it would seem, joy is overshadowed by the fact that this child is not from Pamphilus. He was conceived, at least two months before the wedding. This was the reason why Filumeny moved urgently to the... safe side of his mother, away from the gaze and gossip of his neighbors.

She confesses that a drunken rapist took control of her at some festival. And now a child has appeared…

A young mother loves her Pamphil very much. He, however, does not want to recognize another’s child. A more reasonable position is taken by the older generation: both Sostratus and Lahet are ready to take in the house and to Philumena and the little grandson. And Fidipp bitterly reproaches Mirinna for hiding the home situation from him.

And Lakhat immediately reminds his son that he is not without sin: well, at least his recent hobby for a hetare… Father-grandfather decides to talk directly with Bacchida. And it turns out that as soon as the young man married, the hetaera forbade him to come to her, showing undoubted nobility. Moreover, she agrees to go to the house of Fidippe: tell Philumene and Mirinne that since the wedding Pamfil has not visited her. And he not only talks, but solemnly swears, And says, addressing Lacheette: “… I do not want your son / Was rumored lies false and without foundation / Before you was too frivolous…”

During this visit, Mirinna notices the ring of the heterers on the finger And he recognizes him: this is the ring of Filomena! The ring, torn from her finger on that fateful night by a rapist and then… given to Bacchides.

So, Pamphil was himself a drunken rake! And the boy born is his own son!

“Bacchis, O Bacchis, You have saved me!” – exclaims the happy newlywed and the young father.

The comedy ends with a scene of universal joy.


“The mother-in-law” Terence in brief summary