September 18, 2017
Miles Gloriosus: Slave/Master Relationship
The Greek play Miles Gloriosus, also known as “The Braggart Warrior” or “The Swaggering Soldier”, is a comedic play written by Titus Maccius Plautus. This play takes place in Ephesus, a Greek city on the coast of the Asia Minor. In this paper I will be explaining the Slave to Master relationship and how the slaves thought about their master. The Slaves in this play, especially Palaestrio, come up with a plan to outsmart their Master, Pyrgopolynices, and in turn making him look like a fool.
The play begins with the entrance of Pyrgopolynices looking heroic, and behind him is his “parasite”, Artotrogus. At these opening moments we get a sense for Pyrgopolynices' true nature. He constantly boasts about his accomplishments and portrays himself as a fantastic military hero. In reality, his accomplishments aren’t all what he makes them out to be. After he leaves the stage we meet one of the main characters of the play, Palaestrio, who formerly served a young Athenian, Pleusicles. His former master had a girlfriend named Philocomasium who was kidnapped from Athens and taken by Pyrgopolynices. When Palaestrio tried to reach his master with this bad news, the slave was seized by pirates and given, by chance, to the same soldier. Both he and the girl have been living in the soldier’s house in Ephesus, but Palaestrio has sent a letter secretly to his former master telling him where they are. Now Pleusicles has come to Ephesus and is staying with the pleasant elderly man, Periplectomenus, who lives next door to the soldier. Palaestrio comes up up with this plan to get Philocomasium, Pleusicles and himself back to Athens. Periplectomenus pretends to be married to Acroteleutium, a prostitute who is in on the plan, and with the help of Acroteleutium’s maid, Milphiddipa, and Palaestrio trick Pyrgopolynices into believing that Acroteleutium wants his love. In order to have her as his woman, Pyrgopolynices will have to get rid of Philocomasium first.
The relationship between Pyrgopolynices and his “parasite”, Artotrogus, is really...