Amphitruo (Plautus)

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The Amphitruo in the Florence manuscript, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana , Plut. 36.41, fol. 1r (15th century)

Amphitruo ( Latin form of the Greek name Amphitryon ) is a tragic comedy by the Roman poet Plautus .

The piece, the exact date of which is not certain, deals with the myth of Jupiter's cohabitation in the form of Amphitruo with Amphitruo's wife Alcumena ( Alcmene ).

Alkmene, ignorant and without personal guilt, commits adultery because she sleeps with Jupiter in the form of Amphitruus, while the real Amphitruo is still on a campaign. Jupiter is supported by his son Mercur, who also slips into the shape of another and, as Sosia, Amphitruo's servant, causes further confusion. The play shows features of a comedy of confusion . The conflict is resolved by Jupiter's intervention as deus ex machina after Alcumena gives birth to the hero Hercules .

The material was later adapted frequently, including by Rotrou , Molière , Heinrich von Kleist , Jean Giraudoux and Peter Hacks .

Arrangements for musical theater

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