Plautus, Germs, and Orlando’s Revenge

March 2, 2011 by Jen

Boy, I tell you what. I leave Orlando alone for one day and watch the cycle of revenge fly faster than a frisbee in high winds. I think he might have enlisted the aid of the entire germ community within a 50-mile radius. But enough mangled metaphors and hyperbole.

After approximately a week of on-again, off-again illness, I’m gaining a new appreciation for the simple process of breathing. And sleeping.

Slightly behind schedule, I’m now working through a sludge of material for chapter two, with about 26 pages previously written, hoping that some small percentage of that is salvageable. Deadline: the early parts of spring break (!!).

The current topic of study is multiple plots in Renaissance drama, and I can’t help but wonder if that’s where Orlando’s been getting his ideas… surely there’s something about germ warfare in Plautus.

Well, Orlando, as long as we’re in the business of appropriating Plautus, here’s one for you:

Now mark my words, if you act like this toward me after today, you shall hie yourself home to your library as an incomplete thesis. Why, whenever I want to go out, you catch hold of me, call me back, cross-question me as to where I’m going, what I’m doing, what business I have in hand, what I’m after, what I’ve got, what I did when I was out. I’ve been paired with a custom-house officer, judging from the way everything–all I’ve done and am doing–must be declared. I’ve pampered you too much; now then, I’ll state my future policy. Inasmuch as I keep you well provided with books, analysis, research, punctuation, epigraphs, bibliographies, and you lack for nothing, you will look out for trouble if you’re wise, and cease spying and wishing illnesses on your writer.

-freely adapted from Menaechmi

So there.

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