“Prisoners” of Plautus in brief

“This is an unusual comedy,” warns the actor, who reads the prologue, “there are no obscenities, no pimp, no whore, no boastful warrior, no foundling, no lover, abducting a lover, but only a game of fate, a vanity of human intentions and nobility of the perfect valor “.

There were two neighboring regions in Greece, Aetolia and Elis. An old man from Aetolia had two sons, Filopolem and Tindar. The youngest, Tindar, was kidnapped by a cunning slave by a small child and sold to Elis. There the owner gave the boy to his own son, his son, Filokrat; Filokrat and Tindar grew up friends. Many years have passed, between Etolia and Elis the war began. The elder son of the Aetolian old man Filopol got into the Elide captivity, and Filokrat and Tindar into the Aetolian captivity, and the old father just bought them, not knowing that one of the captives was his own son. Truly “people play gods, like a ball!”.

The action takes place in Aetolia. The

play begins with the monologue of the hanger-even such an unusual comedy could not do without this character. It’s a hogwash of Filopolem, who recently fell into captivity; sorry for him, well done was a guy, no one left him hungry! And now you have to lose weight and wipe, until the old father does not help his son. “Suffer,” the old man tells him, “I just bought two Elid prisoners, a master with a slave, a nobleman, maybe he will manage to save his son for him.”

The old man knows that one of his captives is the master, and the other is a slave, but he does not know who is who. Meanwhile, the noble Filokrat and the slave Tindar conspired and exchanged clothes and names. The old man beckons to himself a nobleman – and Tyndar approaches him. “What do you want in slavery?” – “What to do, fate is a man: he was a master, he became a slave.” I will say one thing: if fate repays in fairness, then she will send me a master such as I myself was-meek and not cruel, and I will say another: if fate repays in justice, then what I have here, this will be your son

in captivity. ” – “Do you want to return to freedom?” – “Who does not want!” – “Help me get my son back – I’ll let you and your slave and money go.” – “Who is he in captivity?” “At such and such.” “This is my father’s friend, my father will help.”

A break in action is again filled in by the hanger who yearns for a satisfying past: everything has exactly degenerated, it’s as though they have conspired, they do not need jokes or services, just to get around the hungry lunch! If they have such a strike, it’s time to go to court: let them be fined ten lunches in favor of hangers-on!

Suddenly an old man returns to the stage, and with him an unexpected man – another Elid prisoner, a friend of the philocrate, who asked him to meet him. Tyndar is in a panic: this man knows perfectly who is who, he will reveal to the master all the deception; “I feel sorry for the poor rods that they will break me!”. Tindar tries to resist. “This man is crazy,” he says to the owner, “he calls me Tyndar, and you will be called Ajax, do not listen to him, stay away from him – he will kill!” “This man is a deceiver,” the prisoner tells the master, “he is young in his youth, all Elis knows this, and Filokrat is not even like that!” The old man’s head is spinning. “What about the kind of Filocrate?” – “Sour, with a pointed nose, black-eyed, his body white, curly, slightly with a rustle.” “Woe, that’s the way it is!” – exclaims the owner, hearing the exact description of that of the captives, whom he himself had just missed. “It is evident that they say the truth: there are no true slaves, a good one is lying for the benefit of the master, and bad for the good of the master.” Well, my dear that you are loyal to the gentleman, it may be commendable, but for deceiving me-in shackles him and to the quarry! ” The poor man is taken away, and his unwitting expositor bitterly repents, but it’s too late.

Then again the freeloader bursts in, no longer dull, but triumphant. “Host, master, feast, and thank me like a god! Glad news: came the ship, and on it your son Philopolem, and the prisoner you sent, and another slave that once ran away from you with yours the youngest son to a foreign land. ” – “Well, if so – YOU are my eternal guest, take you into the house caretaker for all supplies!” The old man runs to the pier, the freeloader runs into the pantry. So it is: Philopolis, but Filokrat – did not take the opportunity to escape, but fulfilled his promise and returned for his comrade. Apparently, there is still friendship and nobility in the world! “Well, and you,” the old man turns to a fugitive slave, “if you want mercy, confess: what have you done to my son?” – “I sold it into slavery-my father’s this.” “How? That means Tindar is my son!” And I sent him to the quarry! “Tindara is immediately released, the kidnapper is shackled in his shackles, Philopole hugs his brother, Filokrat admires them, and everyone turns to the audience in unison:” We gave you a moral comedy, the audience: “There are few such comedies, morals improve! / Now, and show which of you the reward to give / Virtues desire: let them pat! “

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“Prisoners” of Plautus in brief