An important addition to contemporary scholarship on Plautus and Plautine comedy, provides new essays and fresh insights from leading scholars A Companion to Plautus is a collection of original essays on the celebrated Old Latin period playwright. A brilliant comic poet, Plautus moved beyond writing Latin versions of Greek plays to create a uniquely Roman cultural experience worthy of contemporary scholarship. Contributions by a team of international scholars explore the theatrical background of Roman comedy, the theory and practice of Plautus' dramatic composition, the relation of Plautus' works to Roman social history, and his influence on later dramatists through the centuries. Responding to renewed modern interest in Plautine studies, the Companion reassesses Plautus' works-plays that are meant to be viewed and experienced-to reveal new meaning and contemporary relevance. Chapters organized thematically offer multiple perspectives on individual plays and enable readers to gain a deeper understanding of Plautus' reflection of, and influence on Roman society. Topics include metatheater and improvisation in Plautus, the textual tradition of Plautus, trends in Plautus Translation, and modern reception in theater and movies. Exploring the place of Plautus and Plautine comedy in the Western comic tradition, the Companion: Addresses the most recent trends in the study of Roman comedy Features discussions on religion, imperialism, slavery, war, class, gender, and sexuality in Plautus' work Highlights recent scholarship on representation of socially vulnerable characters Discusses Plautus' work in relation to Roman stages, actors, audience, and culture Examines the plot construction, characterization, and comic techniques in Plautus' scripts Part of the acclaimed Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series, A Companion to Plautus is an important resource for scholars, instructors, and students of both ancient and modern drama, comparative literature, classics, and history, particularly Roman history.