Plautus’s Amphitruo is unique among his surviving comedies, in that it intertwines the world of the gods – traditionally a tragic realm – with the traditional urban world of comedy. The prologue Plautus wrote for the play negotiates the question with some uneasiness. He describes the generic amalgam he has produced as a tragicomedy.   The [...]


Dryden’s Actors

From 1682 to 1695 only one acting company operated in London. In that one company were gathered all the finest performers of the age, and they presented an amazing line-up of talent and originality. It is unlikely that there has ever been a single ensemble in England which exceeded them in quality.   Dryden knew the [...]

Banville, Kleist and God’s Gift by Bryan Radley

Heinrich von Kleist and John Banville (Copyright Michael Miller 2014) “‘Who if not I, then, is Amphitryon?’”: Banville, Kleist, and God’s Gift(1) Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) is an enduring influence on the Booker Prize-winning Irish writer John Banville (b.1945). Not only does Banville repeatedly nail his comedy to Kleist’s mast in novels such as Eclipse [...]