Life of Brian - Latin Lesson - Romans Go Home!

video imagePlay video
1979's "Life of Brian" comedically depicts the titular main character, played by Graham Chapman, defacing, in Latin, a Roman monument. A Roman centurion, played by John Cleese, stops him and punishes him for his "bad" grammar. The scene is largely a parody of the relationship between English schoolchildren and their teachers. Linguistically, it's interesting as a demonstration of prescriptive norms as well as the representation of different dialects. Cleese's dialect is meant to sound more elevated while Graham Chapman's, who is from Melton Mowbray, north of London, is meant to sound less elevated, which is supposed to add to the comedy. Funnily enough, I think some of Brian's usages correlate with changes that would end up occurring in Latin before it changed into the various Romance languages.

+ Show more artifacts