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By John Edwin Sandys

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In Plautus it is possible to observe some distinctions of tone between the language of his senarii and of his long lines (classified by the ancients as cantica) and lyric. 27 526-9: The sequence of entrances has been altered as a consequence of Plautus' deletion of the two scenes between father and son. In Menander the young man is on stage directly after the departure of his father and it is his friend who appears second. Here, however, Plautus needs something to fill the gap during which the money is supposed to be handed over off stage.

In Menander the young man is on stage directly after the departure of his father and it is his friend who appears second. Here, however, Plautus needs something to fill the gap during which the money is supposed to be handed over off stage. Accordingly he brings on the friend first and Pistoclerus' words on entering (unlike Moschos') are delivered on an empty stage. Some but not all of the content of his entrance-speech is derived from Menander. Plautus has invented a motive for Pistoclerus' arrival on stage.

43 Poschl argues that the change Plautus has been shown to have made here should lead to a reassessment of his originality. He believes that the new discovery confutes Fraenkel's view that Plautine additions were inorganic and failed to advance the action. According to him, Plautus has here seized upon an idea familiar to him from elsewhere in New Comedy and composed a scene which not only advances the action, but is actually superior to that of the original. Before discussing this last claim, which I should say at the outset seems to me astonishing, not to say preposterous, I would point out that we cannot be absolutely certain that the inspiration for the use of the 'third man' motif did not come from Bis exapaton.

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