The plays of Menander have been largely absent from the recent critical attention given the metatheatrical aspects of ancient comedy because they avoid direct reference to performance and maintain dramatic illusion. But as readings of tragic self-reflexivity have shown, even consistently illusionistic drama can make reference to itself as drama so that the audience is encouraged to view the play in double focus, as both a pretense of reality and as an evident dramatic artifice. Metatheatricality in Menander has its basis in the recurring view of the characters that life is like a tragedy. A number of characters state that the events at hand resemble a tragic situation, comment on events by quoting from a tragedy, or ask other characters to view the current situation through the lens of a particular tragic drama. In other instances, reference is made to aspects of dramatic staging or to the constitutive parts of plays. Such comments are realistic, or probable, because it is likely that Greeks of the fourth century regularly interpreted their own lives through the paradigm of myth, best known in dramatized form, and used theatrical metaphors to refer to everyday events. At the same time, however, audience members may experience a character's comparison of the dramatic situation to tragedy as humorously ironic because they know that the plot is destined to fulfill itself in a comic mode. Tragedy is in fact a mask worn by Menander's comedy, and the audience has a metadramatic experience whenever it focuses on the fact of masking. Analysis of passages from the Dyscolos, Epitrepontes, Perikeiromene, and Samia, as well as fuller discussion of the Aspis, demonstrates that Menader's plays invite metadramatic readings in which the plot develops through the struggles of characters to impose on themselves and others tragic readings of their comic situation.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Raina 1987 on the Aspis
Stockert 1997 on the Epitrepontes
Scafuro 1997: 158, 347
2
Rau 1967
Silk 1993.
Goldhill 1991: 167-222
Hubbard 1991.
Bain 1977
Muecke 1977
Chapman 1983
Taplin 1993: 67-78.
3
Slater 1985a
Barchiesi 1970
Petrone 1983.
Williams 1993 on the Casina
Frangoulidis 1994
1997
Plautus and Terence, and Moore 1998
4
Slater 1985a: 147-48, 160-61
1985b.
Duckworth 1952: 10-13
Castellani 1988.
Arnott 1987: 17-20
Barchiesi 1970: 126
5
Taplin 1993, particularly 40-41
6
Bain 1977: 213
Slater 1985b: 105
Slater's 1995
7
Abel 1963: 40-58
8
Taplin 1986
Bain 1987
study (1996)
Easterling 1997: 165-77
Dobrov 2000
9
Segal 1982
Foley 1985: 205-58
Goldhill 1986: 244-86
Bierl 1991.
Zeitlin 1980
Segal 1993
10
Batchelder 1995 on the Orestes
Falkner 1998
Ringer 1998
11
Henrichs 1994-1995.
12
Lanowski 1965
Webster 1974: 56-67
Poole 1978
Goldberg 1980: 13-28
Hunter 1985: 114-36
Hurst 1990
13
Ober and Strauss 1990
Wilson 1996
Scafuro 1997: 158 with n. 11.
14
Muecke 1986: 223
15
Aristophanes are Nub. 218-30, fr. 192 K-A
Av. 1199-1200
Thesm. 1015.
Chapman 1983: 6-7.
16
Alexis, Lebes, fr. 131.9 K-A.
Katsouris 1975: 94-95
Hurst 1990: 104
Arnott 1996: 382-83.
17
Gomme and Sandbach 1973 ad 738-39.
18
Jacques 1978: 51-55
Aspis 303-87
Frost 1988: 29-31.
Hurst 1990: 117
19
Lowe 1987: 134
Knemon ([Unrepresented Characters], 958)
20
Arnott 1972
Nesselrath 1993
Katsouris 1975.
21
Demetrius' Areopagites (fr. 1 K-A)
Alexis' Kybernetes (fr. 121 K-A)
Menander's Phasma
Mostellaria 1149-51.
Bain 1977: 212-22
Slater 1985b
22
Katsouris 1975: 131-35
Jäkel 1982
West 1991: 17-22
Lamagna 1998: 64-67.
23
Kasser and Austin 1969.
Webster 1974: 61-62
Hornby 1986: 88-94.
24
Gomme and Sandbach 1973 ad 495ff.
Hurst 1990: 109.
25
Webster 1967: 84-85.
26
Sutton 1984: 152-56
Radt, TrGF IV, pp. 463-72
Lloyd-Jones 1996: 313-21.
27
Scafuro 1997: 158
28
Hyginus Fab. 187
Webster 1967: 94.
Stockert 1997: 9-12
Scafuro 1997: 160-61
29
[Unrepresented Characters], 262-63
Euripides' Orestes (866-67, 920).
Katsouris 1975: 35-54
Hunter 1985: 129-30
Hurst 1990: 101-103
Hofmeister 1997: 303-16.
30
Webster 1970: 57-58
Nesselrath 1990: 241.
Nesselrath 1990: 193-94.
31
Taplin 1993: 65
32
Nesselrath 1990: 200.
33
Barigazzi 1965
Steinmetz 1960
Gaiser 1967
Webster 1974: 43-56.
Webster 1974: 58-59
Hurst 1990: 96-97, 119-210
Stockert 1997: 13-17
35
Janko 1984
36
Plautus' Cistellaria
Ludwig 1969.
[Unrepresented Characters], 3, 13
Bain 1977: 186-87.
37
Bain 1975: 13-25
1977
1987
Bain's discussion at 1975: 22-23
38
Sicyonius (23-24)
Dys. 967-69
Mis. 464-66
Sam. 733-37
39
Hunter 1985: 136
Scafuro 1997: 353-54.
40
Muecke 1982.
41
Sharrock 1996: 154-55.
42
Gaiser 1973: 117-21
Blänsdorf 1982.
Blanchard 1983: 376-86.
43
Zagagi 1994: 83-93
Dyscolos, 89-90
44
Handley 1965 ad 754f.
45
Ludwig 1969: 84-91
Zagagi 1994: 156-68
n. 27
46
Leo 1912: 162-65.
47
Ludwig 1969: 94
Stockert 1997: 8-9.
48
del Corno 1974: 80-81
Blänsdorf 1982: 37-41
Muecke 1986: 222- 24
Raina 1987
Scafuro 1997: 345-47
49
Nelson 1958
Hornby 1986: 31-48
Pfister 1988: 223-30.
Blänsdorf 1982: 131-35.
50
del Corno 1974: 75-81
Hurst 1990: 95-100, 117-18
Goldberg 1980: 27, 29-43.
Lampignano 1971-1974: 601-607
Lombard 1971: 123-33.
Blundell 1980: 71-72
51
Taplin 1993: 45-46.
52
[Unrepresented Characters], EN 4.3.16
53
Del Corno 1970: 214
Bain 1977: 132-33
Dedoussi 1995: 128-29.
54
Styan 1975: 153
55
Gaiser 1973: 122-24
Konet 1976
Vogt-Spira 1992: 75-88
Zagagi 1994: 142-49.
56
Gomme and Sandbach 1973 ad Epit. 918.
[Unrepresented Characters], (908)
[Unrepresented Characters] (918)
Sam. 637, 703.
Bremer 1969
Stinton 1975: 221-54.
Barigazzi 1965: 148-50
Anderson 1970
Dworacki 1977.
57
Henry 1986: 141-50
Wiles 1991: 29
Konstan 1995
"The function of Sostratus' passion for Cnemo's daughter is ... to draw Cnemo's household back into the society constituted as a closed conjugal group," 99
59
Goldberg 1980: 36-37.
60
[Unrepresented Characters] Kock iii p. 735
61
Slater 1985a: 155-60
"theatre of role-playing" (160).
62
MacCary 1969: 282
Sherk 1970
Lombard 1971: 143-45
Gaiser 1973: 128
Long 1979.
63
MacCary 1969: 277-86
Wiles 1991: 95.
64
Hunter 1979
Rothwell 1992.
65
Austin 1970 ad 248
Sisti 1971 ad 248
Borgogno 1972: 77
Gomme and Sandbach 1973 ad 245-49.
Frost 1988: 27
66
Epit. 169-71
Dys. 230-32
Pk. 261-66
Alexis fr. 112 K-A
Arnott 1996: 298-304.
67
Bain 1977: 194-207
Görler 1973: 49.
68
Rees 1972: 5
69
Epit. 223, 226, 352-53, 1103.
70
Koster, Scholia in Aristophanem, Prol. V 24-26
Auct. ad Her. 1.13
Quint. Inst. 2.4.2.
Nesselrath 1990: 149-61
[Unrepresented Characters] in 390
[Unrepresented Characters] 667
Bierl 1990
[Unrepresented Characters], 20-21
de Romilly 1973.
71
Austin 1970
Gomme and Sandbach 1973 ad 387-90
Frost 1988: 31.
Smicrines or Daos (94-96, 245-49, 388-90)
72
Lamagna 1998 ad loc.
73
Raina 1987: 26
74
Crates (fr. 46 K-A)
Gigante 1969
Gil and Alfageme 1972
Goldberg 1980: 32
Arnott 1996: 431-32.
75
Gaiser 1973: 118
Raina 1987: 26-29
Vogt-Spira 1992: 84-85
Scafuro 1997: 348.
76
Arist. EN 4.3.30
Smicrines (369-71)
Gronewald 1992
PRob. inv. 38
Scafuro 1997: 340-45
77
Wright 1975: 413-16
Slater 1985a: 118-46
Sharrock 1996
Krieter-Spiro 1997: 96-102.
Anderson 1993.

Bibliography

Bibliography
Abel, L. 1963. Metatheatre. New York.
Anderson, M. 1970. "Knemon's Hamartia." G&R 17: 199-217.
Anderson, W. S. 1993. Barbarian Play: Plautus' Roman Comedy. Toronto.
Arnott, W. G. 1972. "From Aristophanes to Menander." G&R 19: 65-80.
_____. 1987. Review of Plautus in Performance. Gnomon 59: 17-20.
_____. ed. 1996. Alexis. Cambridge.
Austin, C., ed. 1970. Menandri Aspis et Samia ii. Berlin.
Bain, D. 1975. "Audience Address in Greek Tragedy." CQ 25: 13-25.
_____. 1977. Actors and Audience: A Study of Asides and Related Conventions in Greek Drama. Oxford.
_____. 1987. "Some Reflections on the Illusion in Greek Tragedy." BICS 34: 1-14.
Barchiesi, M. 1970. "Plauto e il 'metateatro' antico." Il verri 31: 113-30.
Barigazzi, A. 1965. La formazione spirituale di Menandro. Turin.
Batchelder, A. G. 1995. The Seal of Orestes: Self-Reference and Authority in Sophocles' "Electra." Lanham, Md.
Bierl, A. 1990. "Dionysus, Wine, and Tragic Poetry." GRBS 31: 353-91.
_____. 1991. Dionysos und die griechische Tragödie. Tübingen.
Blanchard, A. 1983. Essai sur la composition des comédies de Ménandre. Paris.
Blänsdorf, J. 1982. "Die Komödienintrige als Spiel im Spiel." A&A 28: 131-54.
Blundell, J. 1980. Menander and the Monologue. Göttingen.
Borgogno, A., ed. 1972. Menandri Aspis. Milan.
Bremer, J. M. 1969. Hamartia. Amsterdam.
Burian, P. 1997. "Myth into Mythos: The Shaping of Tragic Plot." In P. E. Easterling, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy, 178-208.
Calderwood, J. L. 1971. Shakespearean Metadrama: The Idea of the Play. Minneapolis.
_____. 1983. To Be and Not to Be: Negation and Metadrama in Hamlet. New York.
Castellani, V. 1988. "Plautus versus Komoidia: Popular Farce at Rome." In V. Castellani, Farce, 53-82. Cambridge.
Chapman, G. A. H. 1983. "Some Notes on Dramatic Illusion in Aristophanes." AJP 104: 1-23.
De Romilly, J. 1973. "Gorgias et le pouvoir de la poésie." JHS 93: 155-62.
Del Corno, D. 1970. "Note all'Aspis de Menandro." ZPE 6: 213-25.
_____. 1974. "Die neuen Texte von Menander." Eirene 12: 75-85.
Dedoussi, C. 1995. "Greek Drama and its Spectators." In A. Griffiths, ed., Stage Directions, 123-32. London.
Dobrov, G. W. 2000. Figures of Play. Oxford.
Duckworth, G. E. 1952. The Nature of Roman Comedy. Princeton. Reprinted edition with additions, Norman, 1994.
Dworacki, S. 1977. "'Hamartia' in Menander." Eos 65: 17-24.
Easterling, P. E. 1997. "Form and Performance." In P. E. Easterling, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy, 151-77.
Falkner, T. M. 1998. "Containing Tragedy: Rhetoric and Self-Representation in Sopho- cles' Philoctetes." ClAnt 17: 25-58.
Foley, H. P. 1985. Ritual Irony. Ithaca.
Frangoulidis, S. 1994. "Performance and Improvisation in Terence's Eunuchus." QUCC 48: 121-30.
_____. 1997. Handlung und Nebenhandlung: Theater, Metatheater und Gattungsbe- wusstsein in der römischen Komödie. Stuttgart.
Frost, K. B. 1988. Exits and Entrances in Menander. Oxford.
Gaiser, K. 1967. "Menander und der Peripatos." A&A 13: 8-39.
_____. 1973. "Menanders Komödie Der Schild." GB 1: 111-36a.
Gigante, M. 1969. "Il ritorno del medico straniero." PP 24: 302-307.
Gil, L., and I. Alfageme. 1972. "La figura del médico en la comedia ática." CFC 3: 35-91.
Goldberg, S. M. 1980. The Making of Menander's Comedy. Berkeley.
Goldhill, S. 1986. Reading Greek Tragedy. Cambridge.
_____. 1991. The Poet's Voice. Cambridge.
Görler, W. 1973. "Über die Illusion in der antiken Komödie." A&A 18: 41-57.
Gomme, A. W., and F. H. Sandbach, eds. 1973. Menander. Oxford.
Gronewald, M. 1992. "Zu Menanders Aspis." ZPE 90: 50-54.
Halliwell, S. 1983. "The Staging of Menander Aspis 299ff." LCM 8: 31-32.
Handley, E. W., ed. 1965. The Dyskolos of Menander. Cambridge, Mass.
Henrichs, A. 1994-1995. "'Why Should I Dance?' Choral Self-Referentiality in Tragedy." Arion 3: 56-111.
Henry, M. M. 1986. "Ethos, mythos, praxis." Helios 13: 141-50.
Hofmeister, T. P. 1997. "Polis and Oikoumene in Menander." In G. W. Dobrov, ed., The City as Comedy, 289-342. Chapel Hill.
Hornby, R. 1986. Drama, Metadrama, and Perception. Cranbury, N.J. Hubbard, T. K. 1991. The Mask of Comedy. Ithaca.
Hunter, R. L. 1979. "The Comic Chorus in the Fourth Century." ZPE 36: 23-38.
_____. 1985. The New Comedy of Greece and Rome. Cambridge.
Hurst, A. 1990. "Ménandre et la tragédie." In E. Handley and A. Hurst, eds., Relire Ménandre, 93-122. Geneva.
Jacques, J. M. 1978. "Mouvement des acteurs et conventions scéniques." GB 7: 37-89.
Jäkel, S. 1982. "Euripideische Handlungsstrukuren in der Samia des Menander." Arctos 16: 19-31.
Janko, R. 1984. Aristotle on Comedy: Towards a Reconstruction of Poetics II. Berkeley.
Kasser, R., and C. Austin, eds. 1969. PBodmer 25. Geneva.
Katsouris, A. G. 1975. Tragic Patterns in Menander. Athens.
Konet, R. J. 1976. "The Role of Tuche in Menander's Aspis." CB 52: 90-92.
Konstan, D. 1995. Greek Comedy and Ideology. New York.
Koster, W. J. W., ed. 1975. Scholia in Aristophanem, Pars I: Prolegomena de comoedia. Groningen.
Krieter-Spiro, M. 1997. Sklaven, Köche und Hetären. Stuttgart.
Lamagna, M., ed. 1998. La donna di Samo. Naples.
Lampignano, A. 1971-1974. "Il movimento scenico all'inizio dell' Aspis di Menandro." Dioniso 45: 601-607.
Lanowski, J. 1965. "KENH [Unrepresented Characters]." Eos 55: 245-53.
Leo, F. 1912. Plautinische Forschungen: Zur Kritik und Geschichte der Komödie. 2nd ed. Berlin. Reprinted Dublin/Zurich, 1973.
Lloyd-Jones, H., ed. and trans. 1996. Sophocles: Fragments. Cambridge, Mass.
Lombard, D. B. 1971. "A Study in Menander's Aspis." AClass 14: 123-45.
Long, T. 1979. "A Note on Menander's Aspis 206-8." Hermes 107: 117-18.
Lowe, N. J. 1987. "Tragic Space and Comic Timing in Menander's Dyskolos." BICS 34: 126-38.
Ludwig, W. 1969. "Die Plautinische Cistellaria und das Verhältnis von Gott und Handlung bei Menander." Ménandre. Entretiens sur l'antiquité classique, 16, 43-96. Vandoeuvres-Genève.
MacCary, W. T. 1969. "Menander's Slaves: Their Names, Roles, and Masks." TAPA 100: 277-94.
Moore, T. J. 1998. The Theater of Plautus: Playing to the Audience. Austin.
Muecke, F. 1977. "Playing with the Play: Theatrical Self-Consciousness in Aristo- phanes." Antichthon 11: 52-67.
_____. 1982. "'I Know You—By Your Rags': Costume and Disguise in Fifth-Century Drama." Antichthon 16: 17-34.
_____. 1986. "Plautus and the Theater of Disguise." ClAnt 5: 216-29.
Nelson, R. J. 1958. Play Within a Play. New Haven.
Nesselrath, H.-G. 1990. Die attische Mittlere Komödie. Berlin.
. 1993. "Parody and Later Greek Comedy." HSCP 95: 181-95.
Ober, J., and B. Strauss. 1990. "Drama, Political Rhetoric, and the Discourse of Athenian Democracy." In J. J. Winkler and F. Zeitlin, eds., Nothing to Do with Dionysos? 237-70. Princeton.
Petrone, G. 1983. Teatro antico e inganno. Palermo.
Pfister, M. 1988. The Theory and Analysis of Drama. Trans. J. Halliday. Cambridge.
Poole, M. 1978. "Menander's Comic Use of Euripides' Tragedies." CB 54: 56-62.
Raina, G. 1987. "L'Aspis di Menandro." Studi offerti ad Anna Maria Quartiroli e Domenico Magnino, 21-31. Pavia.
Rau, P. 1967. Paratragodia. Munich.
Rees, B. R. 1972. "Pathos in the Poetics of Aristotle." G&R 19: 1-11.
Righter, Anne. 1962. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Play. London.
Ringer, M. 1998. Electra and the Empty Urn: Metatheater and Role Playing in Sophocles. Chapel Hill.
Rothwell, K. S. Jr. 1992. "The Continuity of the Chorus in Fourth-Century Attic Comedy." GRBS 33: 209-25.
G. W. Dobrov, ed., Beyond Aristophanes, 99-118. Atlanta, 1995.
Scafuro, A. C. 1997. The Forensic Stage. Cambridge.
Segal, C. 1982. Dionysiac Poetics and Euripides' "Bacchae." Princeton.
- . 1993. Euripides and the Poetics of Sorrow. Durham.
Sharrock, A. R. 1996. "The Art of Deceit: Pseudolus and the Nature of Reading." CQ 46: 152-74.
Sherk, R. K. 1970. "Daos and Spinther in Menander's Aspis." AJP 91: 341-43.
Silk, M. S. 1993. "Aristophanic Paratragedy." In A. Sommerstein et al., eds., Tragedv, Comedy, and the Polis, 477-504. Bari.
Sisti, F., ed. 1971. Menandro: Aspis. Rome.
Slater, N. W. 1985a. Plautus in Performance. Princeton.
. 1985b. "Play and Playwright References in Middle and New Comedy." LCM 10: 103-105.
. 1995. "The Fabrication of Comic Illusion." In G. W. Dobrov, ed., Beyond Aristophanes, 29-45. Atlanta.
Steinmetz, P. 1960. "Menander und Theophrast." RhM 103: 185-91.
Stinton, T. C. W. 1975. "Hamartia in Aristotle and Greek Tragedy." CQ 25: 221-54.
Stockert, W. 1997. "Metatheatrikalisches in Menanders 'Epitrepontes.'" WS 110: 5-18.
Styan, J. L. 1975. Drama, Stage, and Audience. Cambridge.
Sutton, D. F. 1984. The Lost Sophocles. Lanham, Md.
Taplin, O. 1986. "Fifth-Century Tragedy and Comedy." JHS 106: 163-74.
1993. Comic Angels. Oxford.
1996. "Comedy and the Tragic." In M. S. Silk, ed., Tragedy and the Tragic: Greek Theatre and Beyond, 188-202. Oxford.
Vogt-Spira, G. 1992. Dramaturgie des Zufalls. Munich.
Webster, T. B. L. 1967. The Tragedies of Euripides. London.
1970. Studies in Later Greek Comedy. New York.
1974. An Introduction to Menander. Manchester.
West, S. 1991. "Notes on the Samia." ZPE 88: 17-22.
Wiles, D. 1991. The Masks of Menander. Cambridge.
Williams, B. 1993. "Games People Play." Ramus 22: 33-59.
Wilson, P. J. 1996. "Tragic Rhetoric: The Use of Tragedy and the Tragic in the Fourth Century." In M. S. Silk, ed., Tragedy and the Tragic: Greek Theatre and Beyond, 310-3 1. Oxford.
Wright. J. 1975. "The Transformations of Pseudolus." TAPA 105: 403-16.
Zagagi. N. 1994. The Comedy of Menander. London.
Zeitlin, F. 1980. "The Closet of Masks." Ramus 9: 51-77.
This content is only available via PDF.