Amphitryon half guerroyer contre les Téléboens. Son épouse, l. a. vertueuse Alcmène, attend son retour avec impatience. Mais Jupiter, séduit par ses charmes, l. a. dupe en prenant les qualities de l'absent. De son côté, Mercure, le messager de Jupiter, s'amuse à faire douter de sa propre lifestyles Sosie, dont il a également pris l'apparence. L'avare Euclion n'a qu'une obsession: mettre en lieu sûr l'"aululaire", une marmite remplie d'or. Que les prétendants se le tiennent pour dit: il ne dépensera pas un sou pour marier sa fille ! Pyrgopolinices, soldat fanfaron, a enlevé l. a. jeune fiancée de Pleusiclés. Les deux amants pourront-ils un jour se retrouver ? Par probability, un esclave rusé veille sur eux et rivalisera d'invention pour ridiculiser le ravisseur... Ces comédies virevoltantes, Plaute les a écrites pour un public populaire avide de dépaysement et de rebondissements. Près de deux mille ans plus tard, Molière s'inspirera de ces quiproquos improbables.
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Additional info for Amphitryon ; L'Aululaire ; Le soldat fanfaron
With the extreme cruelty of Shylock the Jew towards the said Merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh, and the obtaining of Portia by the choice of three chests. The character of Shylock and the courtship of Portia by Bassanio were clearly considered to be the play’s principal selling points, and yet it is “the merchant,” Antonio, who gets the top line of the title to himself, a unique distinction in the Folio corpus of Shakespearean comedy (his only rival in this regard is “the shrew” in her play, but “the taming” implicitly gives equal weight to her antagonist, the tamer).
I think the Frenchman became his surety71 and sealed under for another. NERISSA How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony73’s nephew? PORTIA Very vilely in the morning when he is sober, and most vilely in the afternoon when he is drunk: when he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast77. An the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift78 to go without him. NERISSA If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should80 refuse to perform your father’s will, if you should refuse to accept him.
Locations are provided by the Folio for only two plays, of which The Merchant of Venice is not one. Eighteenth-century editors, working in an age of elaborately realistic stage sets, were the first to provide detailed locations (“another part of the city”). Given that Shakespeare wrote for a bare stage and often an imprecise sense of place, we have relegated locations to the explanatory notes at the foot of the page, where they are given at the beginning of each scene where the imaginary location is different from the one before.
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