Release Date
August 2023
2 hours 31 minutes
Miles Gloriosus by Plautus - is a comedic play written by Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254-184 B.C.). The title can be translated as 'The Swaggering Soldier' or 'Vainglorious Soldier'. His source for Miles Gloriosus was a Greek play, now lost, called Alazon or The Braggart. Although the characters in Miles Gloriosus speak Latin, they are Greeks and largely have Greek names, clothing, and customs. The action takes place in Ephesus, a Greek city on the coast of Asia Minor, famous for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Plot summary
The play commences with the entrance of Pyrgopolynices (the alazon stock character 'Miles Gloriosus' of the play's title), looking heroic and posing in a pompous manner. Several minions carry the soldier's monstrous shield, and behind him is his 'parasite', Artotrogus, who earns his meals by flattering the soldier excessively. The soldier constantly boasts about his accomplishments and portrays himself as a fantastic military hero. In reality, his accomplishments are far smaller, hence the play's title. These opening moments give the audience a sense of Pyrgopolynices' true nature.

After the soldier leaves the stage, Palaestrio, one of the main characters of the play, introduces himself. He tells the audience that he is a slave who formerly served a young Athenian, Pleusicles. Pleusicles had a girlfriend named Philocomasium, who was kidnapped from Athens by Pyrgopolynices, the soldier. 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 secretly sent a letter to his former master telling him where they are. Pleusicles has come to Ephesus and is staying with Periplectomenus, who lives next door to the soldier, and the cunning Palaestrio has cut a hole in the wall so the two lovers can meet one another.

Meanwhile, Sceledrus stands guard outside Pyrgopolynices' house. Philocomasium comes out of Periplectomenus' front door, giving orders to slaves inside. She challenges Sceledrus when he addresses her as Philocomasium, and her manner is that of a free woman. She says her name is Dicea and that she has arrived the previous night from Athens and wants to try to find her twin sister Philocomasium. Sceledrus is now convinced. He promises Palaestrio that he will not speak of this again. Just then, Periplectomenus comes out and is furious at Sceledrus and how he has treated his 'lady guest.' He threatens to have him whipped but gets over it right away. Sceledrus is distrustful and believes that Periplectomenus and Palaestrio are plotting to catch him when the soldier returns home. He declares that he will lie low for a few days until the matter has cooled.
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