Plautus was Ancient Rome's greatest comic playwright, Shakespeare drew heavily on his plots, and his legacy is prevalent throughout modern drama. In this expanded edition of his successful book, one of America's foremost Classical scholars introduces performance criticism to the study of Plautus' ancient drama. In addition to the original detailed studies of six of the dramatists's plays, the methodology of performance criticism, the use of conventions, and the nature of comic heroism in Plautus, this edition includes new studies on:
* the induction into the world of the play
* the scripted imitation of improvisation
* Plautus's comments on his previous work
* the nature of 'tragicomedy'.