How can we use these comic texts to investigate the stereotypes and portraits that Romans used to talk about how families work?

1. Family – In both Poenulus and Brothers, we see examples of “Roman” family
dynamics at work; the reunited Punic father, daughters, uncles, all refugees in Plautus,
and a series of complex familial interactions in Brothers (keep in mind that slaves are
technically part of your familia). Using these texts as a reference, construct an argument
about what these Roman comedies teach their audience about how families work. What
do family members owe one another? Is there an “ideal” sort of interaction between
family members, especially parents and children (usually fathers and sons)? What is the
most “Roman” way? How can we use these comic texts to investigate the stereotypes and
portraits that Romans used to talk about how families work?

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