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Title:О Характере Конфликта В Комедиях Менандра (On the Nature of Conflict in the Comedies of Menander)
Author(s):Iarkho, V.N.
Abstract:The traditional theme of "the reversed social order" (in which the last become the first) , involving an illusory, Utopian solution of the play's plot, is present in almost every Aristophanic comedy. But the denouement of the Menandrean comedy proves to be equally illusory and Utopian, with the only significant difference that in Aristophanes the Utopia extends to the entire society, while in Menander it is limited to the interests of two or three families. Now, in Aristophanes Utopian solutions may have been encouraged by the nature of the traditional literary genre itself. But in Menander such an "illusory harmony" only attests to the incompatibility between the fresh — mostly peripatetic — social and ethical ideals, and the surrounding reality. In brief, Menander 's characters are not real Athenians but rather idealized models. The poet consistently re-examines the traditional characters in an effort to transform them into more humane, conscientious, noble-minded, self-denying, ideal human beings. Such is the case with the hetaera and with the professional soldier, while the traditional abuse of the parasite and the cook is reduced to a minimum. Accordingly, the traditional theme of "the acquisition of the bride" is also re-evaluated, usually ending in a legitimate matrimony. Finally, there are no real antagonistic forces in action in a Menandrean comedy: Chance is everybody's fiend or friend. She creates misunderstanding, confusion and conflict, and she usually brings them to a happy solution. The author substantiates these remarks with many examples from Menander.
Issue Date:1982
Publisher:Department of Classics. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:Iarkho, V.N. 1982. О Характере Конфликта В Комедиях Менандра (On the Nature of Conflict in the Comedies of Menander). Illinois Classical Studies 7(1): 62-76.
Series/Report:Illinois Classical Studies 07 (1) 1982
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 1982 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and Scholars Press.
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-05-12

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