Synopses & Reviews
With the discovery and translation of the Dyskolos ( The Grouch ), Menander comes alive with subtle philosophy and vision. His world of troubled lovers, scheming servants, and foolish old men, with its witty dialogue and quick turnabouts in plot, offers friendly advice on life as we still experience it today and insightful commentary on the shortcomings of humanity. In this play about an outrageous misanthrope, the mischief he causes, and the comeuppance he receives, we encounter a comic spirit that Moliere would have bowed to in homage."
About the Author
Menander (341-290 BC) was the most distinguished author of Greek New Comedy. An Athenian of good family, he wrote over a hundred plays, although only one survives intact today: Dyskolos or Old Cantankerous. This won the prize in 316 BC and was recovered from an Egyptian papyrus as recently as 1958. Many more fragments of his plays have since been discovered, and some sizeable pieces from The Rape of the Locks, The Arbitration and The Girl From Samos have been known since 1907. These confirm Menander’s skill in drawing humorous or romantic characters and making good dramatic use of a limited range of plots with stock scenes of disguise and recognition. Menander’s plays were revived in Athens after his death and some of them were adapted for the Roman stage by Plautus and Terence, through whom they strongly influenced light drama from the Renaissance onwards.