Home > Free Essays > Literature > Plays > Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex

Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Dec 3rd, 2021

Thesis Statement

This analysis will be devoted to the senex named Demea from the play Adelphoe by Publius Terentius Afer. Demea is one of the main characters of the play and is described to live outside Athens. He is imagined as a stern father, who trusted the upbringing of one of his sons to his brother Micio, who is the direct opposite Demea. As Duckworth pointed out, Demea is the most outstanding portrayal of the harsh father (p. 244), who could be severe without any reason, while growing up his son Ctesipho and condemning the upbringing of Aeschinus. The discussion of the differences in the upbringing process helps to reveal and realize the very essence of the play, which relates to the relations among children and parents.

Discussion

Demea is the example of an authoritative father, who wishes to make his children live the “correct” life, and in the play, he acts the role of the contrast, aimed to show the more preferable way of treating adolescent children. He is not pictured as stupid, vain, or cruel, however, sometimes he behaves like that. The only definition, that may be attributed to Demea is the “Harsh Father”, who finally realized that honey attracts more flies than vinegar, and he turns into the “Lenient Father”. IT is clearly shown in the following episode:

Ah me! Learn to be a father from those who are really so.
You are his father by nature, I by my anxiety.

As for the matters of the awareness of the occasions, it is necessary to mention, that Demea is not fully aware, as he is not trusted by his sons. He has to get to know everything from Micio, who is more trusted and respected by Aeschinus and Ctesipho as the upbringing, and someone, who really can help to solve the problems of the adolescents. However, this unawareness may be explained by the fact, that Demea lives in the countryside, while Micio and Aeschinus dwell in Athens.

Actually, Demea realizes, that the stern manner of bringing up children is not effective, and since the very moment he realizes it, Demea is imagined as a wise and experienced parent, who, probably, was misleading as for the growing process.

Demea

I will tell you: That I may convince you of this, Micio, that the fact that they consider you an easy and kind-hearted man, does not proceed from your real life, nor, indeed, from regard for virtue and justice; but from your humoring, indulging, and pampering them.

Duckworth gives the words by Norwood, who analyses the image of Demea, and he emphasizes, that Demea is “a splendid old man is this, who so late in life can learn such a lesson, announce his conversion without pettishness, and retain with dignity both the center of the stage and the mastery of the moral ” situation. It is also highlighted, that the traditional purpose of a senex in any play is “invested with breadth, freshness, and humanity” (p. 245)

Comparison

Comparing Demea with the senex from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, it is necessary to emphasize, that the images only seem similar, as both have two sons, and one of them experiences a love affair. Both seem to be cruel and authoritative, however, in the end, both are happy with the happiness of their sons and agree to give freedom to the slaves their families own. The key difference is in the fact, that senex from “A Funny Thing…” does not announce that he decided to change. On the other hand, senex is often described as the experienced aged man, however, it always appears, that he lacks the experience to solve the appeared problem, and there is no opportunity to deal without a slave. Who often appears to be much more witty and experienced.

The key generality of both characters is that they are created on the basis of a generalized image, which was rather popular in the Greek plays of that period. A significant point, that should be pointed out, is that senex is living in the suburbs of Rome, and Demea is the farmer from Athens. In spite of the geographical differences, there is no much difference in their behavior or live experience, as both used to live a life of well-to-do people, whose opinion is listened to. That is why they can not accept their son’s ardors. However, Demea had not used to listen for others’ opinions, while senex is obliged to listen to his authoritative wife Domina.

Their roles in both plays may be described as the classical image of a harsh father, who on the one hand should support his son (, and it happens at the very end of the play), but on the other hand, he can not afford such an affair to take place.

Conclusion

As it was emphasized, the image of a senex in both plays is included either to contrast the most effective way of upbringing and treating adolescent children or to add an authoritative person to a play, who would neither obstruct the main character to reach for happiness nor help him. It is also the image of an authoritative father, who aims to up bring his children like the best.

Works Cited

Berg-Parker (1999): Plautus & Terence. Five Comedies. Translated, with Introductions, by Deena Berg and Douglass Parker, Indianapolis / Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company 1999.

Duckworth (1994): George E. Duckworth, The Nature of Roman Comedy. A study in popular entertainment, 2nd ed., Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 1994 (first ed. Princeton 1952).

This essay on Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, December 3). Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex. https://ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, December 3). Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/

Work Cited

"Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex." IvyPanda, 3 Dec. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/.

1. IvyPanda. "Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex." December 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex." December 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex." December 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/roman-comedy-comparison-of-the-image-of-a-senex/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Roman Comedy: Comparison of the Image of a Senex'. 3 December.

Powered by CiteTotal, the best bibliography generator
More related papers