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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses trends in the production of fourth-century comedies (revivals, prizes for comic actors), and considers these and other trends through the perspective of an imaginary Athenian theater-goer who, by 305 BCE, had been attending performances for some sixty years; he helps answer questions such as: Did the audience change over the years? Are changes in the style of acting, costumes, and use of masks observable? Or changes in the style of composition (choruses, meters, virtuoso monologues)? Then, in order to provide a firsthand experience of the compositional style of Menander’s near contemporaries (e.g., Alexis, Philemon, Diphilus, Anaxandrides), select passages are presented and discussed; these focus on traditional “stand-up topoi,” where characters quote speeches of others, often using a comic paratactic patter, and sometimes “euripidizing” their speech and situations.

Keywords: revivals, audience, virtuoso monologues, masks, Alexis, Philemon, Diphilus, Anaxandrides, comic patter, “euripidizing”

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