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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter briefly surveys Menander's playwriting career, his political affiliations and relation to Demetrius of Phalerum, and the transmission of his work. It then delineates compositional structures: the division into five acts; the demarcating of one scene from another; the use of prologues (divine or abstract divinity, mere mortal; "delayed" prologue). It points out the absence of metrical diversity in the plays and considers interpretations for the unusual appearance of catalectic iambic tetrameters at the end of Dyskolos. The chapter then examines Menander's linguistic characterizations, focusing on Dyskolos and the ways that characters address one another. Next it discusses monologues; "speech within speech" is singled out as its most enlivening feature. In the final segment, the chapter compares the ways that Menander's characters address the audience with Aristophanic practice; the differences may have something to do with the composition of the audience.

Keywords: Menander, Demetrius of Phalerum, Dyskolos, prologues, linguistic characterization, monologue, “speech within speech, ” audience address

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