THE POT OF GOLD QUESTION ANSWERS MARK 5 DOWNLOAD PDF
1 .Describe Euclio efforts to keep his gold hidden from everybody?
Ans: Plautus’ Pot of Gold focuses on how human beings become infatuated by materialistic things like gold. This is manifested beautifully through the central character of the play, Euclio. The obsession that he forms concerning the pot of gold given to him by the household god Lar Familiaris, is very significant here. He forgets everything after getting the pot of gold even his humanly qualities like compassion, sympathy, empathy, etc.
For example, when Megadorus, a wealthy gentleman offers to marry Euclio’s daughter, Phaedria without any dowry, Euclio suspects him of wanting to possess the pot of gold. Apart from this, at the beginning of the play, we see that Euclio beats Staphyla, his old slave who is very loyal to him because he thinks that Staphyla is going to take his pot of gold which he has hidden safely behind the idol of the household god.
Again, when he finds a number of cooks working in his house, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that they have already stolen his pot of gold, and that they had been sent to his house by Megadorus with a malicious purpose. Subsequently, Euclio decides to take out his pot of gold from its hiding place in his house and to take it to the shrine of Good Faith where he thinks it would be safer than it is in his house.
Unanimously, all the frantic efforts of Euclio to hide his pot of gold and keep it safe brings out fun and laughter among the audience and the readers, and this is the untold magic of Plautus.
What role does Lar Familiaris play in Pot of Gold?
Ans: Lar Familiaris is the name of the guardian spirit or the household god of Euclio’s house. Euclio’s daughter worships him and looks after him regularly. Lar Familiaris is not a human being, he is a god, who is invisible but appears on the stage to deliver the prologue. In the prologue of the play Lar Familiaris provides many information to the audience:
At first, he says that Euclio’s grandfather had buried a pot full of gold coins beneath the fire-place in the central hall of his house without having told anybody. So, Euclio did not have any idea about the buried treasure in his own house.
Apart from this, Lar Familiaris says that he is greatly pleased by the admiration and gratitude of Phaedria, daughter of Euclio, who worships him daily by offering incense and flowers. Again, he further says that he would give Euclio those buried gold coins so that he would use them at his daughter’s wedding. In conclusion, we may say that Lar Familiaris plays a very crucial role in the action of the play The Pot of Gold.
What does Eunomia suggest to her brother? What was his reaction?
Ans: Eunomia is one of the important characters of Plautus’ Pot of Gold. We met her first when she comes to her brother Megadorus with a matrimonial proposal. She makes him understand the desirability of his getting married and fathering a family. She says that men do not like their sisters because they think that sisters talk too much.
Anyway, she tells him that he should get married and should have a family. Again, she informs him that she has found a middle-aged woman whom he should marry and who would bring him a rich dowry.
But Megadorus does not pay any heed to this proposal. This proposal appears to him like a great shock. When Eunomia asks what is the matter with him, he replies that any talk of marriage to him is like beating his brains out with a stone. But finally, he tells Eunomia that, if he has to marry at all, then he would marry the younger daughter of Euclio even though he would not receive any dowry from him.
- Describe the role of slaves in Plautus’ Pot of Gold.
Ans: In The Pot of Gold, various slaves and servants are used as what is called stock characters.
In the works of Plautus and other playwrights of the ancient world, we are often introduced to the stock character of the wily, intelligent servant. He or she acts as a kind of chorus, providing a running commentary on the action. In this play, they are introduced by Plautus to poke fun at the habits and social conventions of the Roman upper classes.
Slaves in Plautus’ The Pot of Gold are more intelligent than their masters and often carry out tasks that the masters are not sawy enough to accomplish. For instance, Staphyla is more wiser and intelligent than Euclio. At the beginning of the play, she wonders why her master has become so erratic in his behaviour. She knows that Phaedria is pregnant, and Staphyla looks after Phaedria when her father is not careful of his daughter’s physical condition.
Another slave, Strobilus outwits Euclio, a miser person who carefully guards his pot of gold. Strobilus knows that he has to do the work for his Lyconides who likes to marry Phaedria. At the end of the play, we see that Strobilus overhears Euclio speaking about where he has hidden his gold. His efforts allow Lyconides to return the gold to Euclio and to marry Phaedria.
So, the slaves in Plautus’ play The Pot of Gold play a very significant role. They make us laugh, and at the same time, they make us think about some grave issues of the play.
5. Do you think that Plautus’ The Pot of Gold is a satire on avarice and miserliness? Give reasons.
Ans: Plautus’ The Pot of Gold, beautifully portrays the impact of avarice and miserliness on a human being. He shows how Euclio becomes the source of comedy in the play. Through his character, Plautus projects the parasitic condition of society.
At the beginning of the play, we get to see Euclio scolding his servant Staphyla without any valid reason which brings out a sense of fun in the audience. The audience knows well that the housekeeper does not have any idea about the treasure, but, Euclio keeps on insulting and rebuking Staphyla, which provides us the ground to laugh at the character.
Euclio’s avarice and miserliness are emphasized once again through the condition on which he agrees to Megadorus’ proposal that he (Megadorus) should be allowed to marry Euclio’s daughter (Phaedria). But Euclio decides not to give any money to the groom as dowry not because he is against the dowry system but he does not want to spend any money on the wedding. Again, he does not spend a single penny on his daughter’s wedding as he says that the price of essential commodities is very high, so, he has returned from the market empty-handed. This shows the mere stupidity in Eucolio’s character.
So, Plautus attacks the very core of the utter stupidity of our society. Again, he knows that if he has to attack the great follies and foibles of society then he has to take comedy as a genre.
6. Character of Euclio in the pot of gold.
The plot of the play The Pot of Gold revolves around Euclio, the central figure of the play who is defined by his greed and avaricious nature.
One of the fundamental flaws in Euclio’s character is his over suspicious nature. He rebukes Staphyla of being over-inquisitive. He suspects Megadorus of having secret designs upon his pot of gold. Even, when he finds a number of cooks working in his house, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that they have been sent to his house by Megadorus to steal his pot of gold.
The play beautifully shows a number of transformations that occurs in a person’s behaviour. At the beginning of the play, we see that Euclio is poor but when he discovers the pot of gold he immediately becomes rich. when he becomes rich, he becomes avaricious as well as possessive, then quarrelsome.
Euclio’s suspicious nature is the reason behind his utter madness. He fails to distinguish between right and wrong, between good and evil. And this thing makes Euclio a comic character. When he suspects Megadorus of having secret designs upon his pot of gold when he goes to beat the cooks when he beats Staphyla.This creates a lot of laughter.
But, at the end of the play, Euclio undergoes a great change of heart. When he comes to know that he has lost his pot of gold. At first, he laments, but when he receives the pot of gold from Lyconides. He gifts a small gold coin to the and later he presents Pot of gold to Lyconides as a gift, which shows how great he has become, and how beautiful his heart has been transformed into.
7. What is Megadorus’s view on marriage?
His view against dowry.
The role of Megadorous in the Pot of Gold.
The character of Megadorus .
Ans: Megadorus plays a very significant role in the play The Pot of Gold where he cherishes a good feeling for Euclio’s daughter who is seduced by his nephew Lycondise. He is a good neighbour of Euclio.
As a miser, Euclio does not wish to give any dowry to his daughter when she will get married. Euclio,s primary wish is just fulfilled by generous Megadorous. When Megadorus asks Euclio for the hand of his daughter in marriage, Euclio agrees on the condition that Megadorus would not ask for any dowry. Megadorus immediately agrees and proposes to Euclio by saying “Don’t give her a halfpenny”.
Megadorous believes that dowry is the mischief in society because when a woman brings fat dowry with her, she would “only drag her husband into a slavery of extravagance”. He further says that it would be an excellent proposition if more rich men married a poor man’s daughters without a dowry. Such marriages would lead to greater harmony in the community and “there would also be much less friction in the home” .
He opines that women who bring rich dowries with them are not likely to be happy as wives, and they are not likely to make their husband happy either. He says that women should bring a good character with them instead of fat dowries for the happiness of the family. He also adds that if a husband takes dowry the woman continuously demands from her husband costly items. As a result of this, the husband would be bankrupt and run into debt because his creditors would be knocking at his door.
Thus to conclude we may say that Megadorus serves the role of the mouthpiece of Plautus through whom the dramatist raises his voice of protest against the evil curse of the dowry system. Plautus wants to create a harmonious society where peace will be available in the family and the members of that family would lead a peaceful life. This is possible if marriage runs without any dowry. So Megadorus’s criticism is praiseworthy indeed.
8. Justify the title of the play ‘The pot of Gold’.
Ans: A tale, a novel, a poem, or a drama may have different themes, but the title ties them up and provides the reader with the briefest nutshell of what is going to happen. Now let us discuss how far the title of the play is just or appropriate.
After finding the pot of gold, Euclio feels overjoyed after becoming suddenly so rich and it is this pot of gold around which the plot of the play revolves and thrives. So Euclio’s joys begin with the pot of gold. The plot of the play is the concern of Euclio about the safety of his recently found treasure which he always tries to hide from the eyes of everybody. The motif and intention of every character of the play are intrinsically related to the pot of gold.
It is the pot of gold which makes Euclio miser, eccentric and anxious. It is the pot of gold for which Euclio quarrels and suspects others deeply. Moreover, it is the very pot of gold which snatches “contentment, peace of mind and sleep at night” of Euclio and he says with utter frustration “the damned stuff ( the pot of gold) is driving me off my head with worry”. So the pot of gold is the cause of his joys and sorrows, his duty, and his anxiety.
So it becomes a dominating spirit in the character of Euclio. Euclio’s queer behavior , after the pot of gold, is stolen, creates an atmosphere of fun, mirth, and humour for the audience.
Finally, we see that the pot of gold itself brings a sudden change in the dramatic structure of the plot. At the end of the drama, this pot of gold gives freedom to Lycondise,s slave and “secure for Lycondise the bride of his choice and for Euclio the restoration of his peace of mind and of his beloved treasure”.
To conclude we may say that the title here plays the many fold purposes. It presents the theme of the play, increases the curiosity of the audience. Here lies the overall glory of Plautus’ The Pot of Gold. So, the title of the play is just and appropriate and significant.
9. Character of Staphyla :
Plautus’s comic-satire The Pot of Gold has three important female characters, although one of them, Phaedria, has no appearance or action. Staphyla plays an important role in this play.
Despite Euclio’s ill-treatment with her, Staphyla remains a faithful servant to him and to his daughter Phaedria. She is a uni-dimensional character . She plays an important role in the story development of the plot of the play. She informs the audience of Phaedria’s pregnancy and her acute condition. Her exchange of words with Euclio provide enough fun and humour.
Her speeches throw light on Euclio’s nature as a miserly poor man. She is quite right when she says that her master’s house is so dirty that Dame Fortune would never set foot on it. She is an aged woman and serves as Euclio’s housekeeper over the years but he never trusts her and always behaves with her badly. She may not be an important character in this play but she has a huge contribution to revolve the play.
She exposes much her master’s follies and vices. What is more, Staphyla is sympathetic to Phaedria’s condition and wants to protect her from social ostracism. Here, though nothing but a slave, she is more humane than her master, Euclio.
10. Character of Eunomia.
In the play The pot of Gold, Eunomia is the sister of Megadorus. Eunomia’s conversation with Megadorus presents a very stereotypical picture of the women of the time. She has a habit to talk too much. She appears twice on the stage in the course of the play. As Megadorus’s sister, she shows her concern that her brother is not married yet, he must marry and suggests a middle-aged woman for him.
It is Eunomia for whom Megadorus reveals that he wishes to marry Phaedria, Euclio’s young daughter. In her second appearance, Eunomia, however, tries her best to divert her brother from his decision as she desiress her son to marry Phaedria. Plautus makes Eunomia an unsympathetic figure. However, she is both mother and sister. She is cunning.
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