BAM-February 2008--"heart"

So the BAM theme for February isn't love but heart. I'm still doing Amphitryon...but not just Plautus' play. I've included Moliere's Amphitryon as well. After work on Friday, being discouraged by my experience with Plautus, I went to TitleWave to find something to replace it. I wanted a play, preferably something Greek or Roman but came across Moliere instead. I thought it would be interesting to compare the two and rail on Plautus.

There is very little difference in each of the stories. Both men were trying to convey the corruption that exists in those who hold tremendous amounts of power. The gods Jove and Mercury take the forms of Amphitryon and Sosia (the slave) respectively and reek havoc on the mortal world. Accusations fly, sanity is questioned, hearts are broken...of course they are mended again with not much more than a word from Jove.

Here's my synopsis of the final scene (of both plays):

Jove: You are the real Amphitryon. I am Jove. My son Mercury took the form of your slave Sosia to trick you.

Sosia: *whew* I thought I was going crazy

Jove: I slept with your wife. You should be pleased. I mean, I did have to take your form and all. Besides, one of your sons is actually mine! You'll have to feed him and take care of him and be responsible for him. He'll always be doing things that seem stupid and dangerous and you'll worry about him even though he's my son and I'm always looking out for him. So don't worry.

Amphitryon: Oh, now that you put it that way, my wife isn't an evil adulteress. If she thought it was me then I guess it's okay. I'm not made at her or at you anymore. Thanks, Jove!

The Moliere play was significantly better. It was written in lyrical form. It was more clever. There were fewer asides to the audience (though some of those speeches in Plautus were quite amusing). All-in-all, Moliere was just more pleasant to read.

Besides, if Voltaire thinks it's funny, who is anyone to argue?

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