Discussion Questions on Terence's Brothers

1. What do you learn about the relationship of Demea and Micio in the first scene?

2. Describe Demea's and Micio's philosophies of education.

3. Which brother conforms more to the traditional Roman view of life? How?

4. What does the scene between Sannio and Aeschinus add to the play? What does it suggest about the character of Aeschinus?

5. What twist to the plot is revealed in the following scene between Aeschinus and Ctesipho? How does this complicate the situation? What does it suggest about the character of Aeschinus?

6. A further complication in the plot is revealed in the scene betwwen Sostrata and Geta. What is that? What does it suggest about the character of Aeschinus?

7. How does the scene between Demea and Syrus turn the Roman world upsidedown?

8. Does the scene between Hegio and Demea change your opinion of Demea's character and code of conduct?

9. What lie about Ctesipho does Syrus tell Demea in the scene beginning on pg. 53? Why does Demea believe it? Why does Syrus tell the lie?

10. What does Aeschinus' song at 610 tell you about his character?

11. What lie does Micio tell Aeschinus in the scene beginning on pg. 60? Why does Micio tell this lie? How does Aeschinus react?

12. How does Micio make this an educational experience for Aeschinus in his speech beginning at line 685? What virtues does Micio especially value?

13. Use Aeschinus speech at line 705 to illustrate whether or not Micio's educational technique was successful.

14. Which brother is in the right in the argument between Micio and Demea at line 790 ff? Why?

15. Discuss the validity of Micio's excuses at line 808ff.

16. How is Demea's monologue at line 855 pivotal in the plot of the play? Why do you think Demea says this? Do you agree with him?

17. Now look at Demea's final speech at line 985ff. How does this speech affect your understanding of his earlier monologue.

18. Try to project the situation in this family five years into the future.

19. What does this play suggest about images of masculinity?

This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at toms@monm.edu.

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