Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 June 1988

240 Pages

ISBN: 9780856683039

Bookseller Code (06)

Terence: the Self-Tormentor

A. J. Brothers

Liverpool University Press

Aris and Phillips Classical Texts

The Self-Tormentor is the most neglected of Terence's six comedies, no full scale edition having appeared in England since the end of the last century; yet it is in many ways the author's most exciting play. The plot, of the 'double' type favoured by Terence, is fast-moving, complicated and full of intrigues masterminded by the ever-optimistic Syrus, who provides one of the best examples of the 'cunning slave' of Roman comedy. The presence of the two old men, one the self-tormentor of the title, the two sons and the sons' romantic attachments provides a contrast and variety in characterisation which show Terence's perceptive treatment at its best.