Original Research

Die proloë van Terentius - ’n teatercredo

J. Scholtemeijer
Literator | Vol 12, No 1 | a743 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v12i1.743 | © 1991 J. Scholtemeijer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1991 | Published: 06 May 1991

About the author(s)

J. Scholtemeijer, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

In his prologues Terence replies to criticism on his work and criticizes the comic convention, but also expounds his own theory of theatre. The theatrical event is contained in three elements: text, actor and audience. Only when these three elements meet and work together in the theatre do we have living drama. The playwright entrusts his text (studium) to the guardianship (tutela) of the actor who has the authority (auctoritas) of a guardian (tutor) to act in the interest of the author and his work. The text is also entrusted to the good faith (fides) of the audience who has the moral duty (fideicommissum) to give the play a fair hearing. By employing technical terminology from Roman public and legal life, however, Terence makes theatre a res publica, a public affair where playwright, actor and audience have a civic duty to promote theatre.

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