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From Plautus to Shakespeare: The Fool and its Metamorphosis in the Context of Cultural Dynamics

Härter, Pia Katharina

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This dissertation investigates the fool figure’s complexity and the transformation from Plautus’ clever slaves to Shakespeare’s clever servants, witty heroines and most of all, the wise fool. The thesis offers a detailed description of Plautus’ "servus callidus", his concept, embedment, and function for comedy as a prototype of the professional fool. To analyze the relations between those instantiations of one type distanced by centuries and their ideologies, an explanatory model for cultural dynamics will be introduced. It is an attempt to understand the transformation of popular configurations juxtaposing folly and wisdom, the comparability and continuity of the underlying pattern paradox, and its sequence of productivity. This thesis investigates the productivity of the pattern and its type in Shakespeare’s plays, focusing on Plautus’ clever slave as an available source.

Document type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Möller, Prof. Dr. Melanie
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 27 September 2017
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 08:21
Date: 2022
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Seminar für klassische Philologie
DDC-classification: 420 English
470 Italic Latin
800 Literature and rhetoric
Controlled Keywords: Lateinische Literatur, Englische Literatur, Theater, Rezeption
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drama, Komödie, Tragödie, Plautus, Shakespeare
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