Discuss the significance of the storm in Mrichchhkatika

 Discuss the significance of the storm in Mrichchhkatika

As a result, the audience sees a confluence of varied cultural influences with aspects they could relate to and enjoy. The “Greekish” was merged with the “Sicilyish”. Plautus not only emphasised that his performers were both actors and characters; he also kept his audience continually aware that the actors/ characters were both Greek and Roman. Plautus’s plays are generally set in Greek locales. The characters make allusions to Greek customs even as they present to the Roman audience mannerisms that belong to them and not Greece. Akin to Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Segal sees Euclio as a person who is unable to participate in any form of laughter in the play. An interesting explanation is given by Segal for the genesis of this figure. According to the critic, there were enough number of people in Roman society pre-occupied with everyday matters related to money.

Alison Sharrock too sees a kind of duality in the play. This refers to the connections say between the pot of gold and the pot-bellied daughter. Both Konstan and Sharrock see a duality regarding the loss of gold and the rape of the daughter. So the two situations are closely bound to each other. As the end of the play will testify, it is only when the pot of gold is given away in marriage to Lyconides, then both Euclio and Phaedria become a part of the social processes and there is peace. Dowry is a term we in India are extremely familiar with. Dowry existed even in ancient Europe. Lets’ see what dowry meant then and there (ancient Rome), as opposed to here and in these present time next.

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Discuss the significance of the storm in Mrichchhkatika

In the process of the integration of the miser into society, it is also important to reintegrate, Phaedria within marriage. The two ideas are closely linked and it is imperative that both cases be resolved for the play to move towards being a comedy. In the case where even one strand is left hanging the play will cease to be a comedy. Before we understand the critical perspectives marriage in this play, let us look at its construction in Rome. Marriage was a kind of contract and there was a system of dowry in place. There were two systems on which this contract was based—cum manu and sine manu. In the first kind of contract, the married woman came under the legal guardianship of her husband and shared her dowry with him. She became independent only after his death. In the second case,

the married woman continued under the guardianship of her father, even though she shared her dowry with her husband. Under the seemingly simple comic structure debates and discussions relevant to the time were taken up by Plautus. The playwright draws attention towards the discomfort of men in power with any kind of financial fortification of the women in society.

If as Braund elaborates, there was a shift to a system of marriage that kept the woman relatively free from the control of the husband, one can sense disquiet as expressed by Megadorus especially with respect to “dowried” women. His comments on dowry and marriage put forth the anxieties of the husband who is resentful of a somewhat strong partner. Further as Konstan points out there is also the repealment of the lex oppi in the backdrop. Paul B Harvey Jr. explains the law of Lex Oppia in detail, in the context of the historicity and attempts to date specific plays. In the context of the Pot of Gold.


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