Unmasking Fathers And Crisis of the Autorithy in Plautus’ Comedies

  • Gianna Petrone University of Palermo


Plautus’ theatre proposes the crisis of authority of the pater familias towards his son and towards the servus; on the stage we see the problems produced by the love rivalry between fathers and sons and the defeat of the masters’ intelligence, victims of the slave’s deception. The expression senati columen highlights with farcical irony the inability of unreliable fathers to occupy the role of power; at the same time, the senatorial metaphors for the slave’s intrigue construct an imaginative alternative power.