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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The main function of the prologue is to support the process of establishing a festive frame of mind and to set an important part of the conditions under which the performance of the play can be enjoyed. Thus it is used for the troupe’s interaction with the audience, preparing its cognitive appreciation of the action and the emotional rapport necessary for drawing up the mutual player-spectator “contract” by which alone theatricality becomes possible. While Plautus focuses greatly (and successfully) on the spectators’ expectations, Terence shows a stronger tendency to challenge them.

Keywords: rhetoric, prologue, proem, Aristotle, prologue-speakers, prologus, exposition, introduction, audience participation, emotional rapport

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