Assistant Professor of Classics Anne Feltovich was invited to lecture at McGill University in conjunction with the college’s annual production of an ancient Greek or Roman play. This year, McGill students translated, directed, and acted in a production of Plautus’ Pseudolus.
In her lecture, Feltovich discussed “Masculinity and Power in Plautus’ Pseudolus.” She said that Pseudolus provides an excellent opportunity to study Roman masculinity as a function of class.
In the play, Ballio, a pimp, is excessively cruel towards slaves. His behavior illustrates his weakness as both master and man, according to Roman ideals. He is ultimately laid low not by an upstanding citizen, but a slave, making his downfall even more humiliating, and satisfying.
Feltovich used this opportunity to discuss with students intersectional approaches to studying the classics, focusing on power dynamics and controlling images of slaves and prostitutes.