The last of Terence's plays, The Brothers is generally accounted his greatest. Without resorting to any of the standard comic devices of disguise or sudden revelation of noble birth, Terence here contrives to create a strong piece of theatre. It combines intellectual interest (the relative merits of two educational methods), emotional involvement (generated by Aeschinus' apparent bad behaviour, when actually he is acting on behalf of his brother), and perceptive psychology in the depiction of the two sets of brothers. Plays which reveal the influence of The Brothers include George Chapman's All Fools (c.1604), Beaumont and Fletcher's The Scornful Lady (c.1615), Molière's The School for Wives, Shadwell's The Squire of Alsatia (1688), Steele's The Tender Husband (1705), Diderot's The Father of the Family (1758), Colman the Elder's The Jealous Wife (1761), Cumberland's The Choleric Man (1774), and Henry Fielding's The Fathers (1778).
Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).
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Richard Cumberland (1732—1811) playwright and novelist