This Independent Study examines the work of the Greek comic playwright Menander, who lived from about 342 to 291 B.C. E. Specifically, I focus on his play the Dyskolos, first performed in 316 B.C.E., and often titled in translation The Grouch or The Misanthrope. One of the few complete and extant examples of Greek New Comedy, the text of the Dyskolos offers modern readers a rare glimpse onto the Athenian stage. My research questions include: What kinds of humor does Menander employ? How does humor contribute to the play? My work draws principally on the theoretical bases of two anthropologists: Keith Basso and Victor Turner. Basso offers a method of analyzing joking behavior, while Turner contributes a means of understanding of festival and drama as processual social spaces. I argue that Menander repeatedly uses humor based upon social class differences in the Dyskolos.


Florence, Monica

Second Advisor

Frese, Pamela


Classical Studies; Sociology and Anthropology


Classical Literature and Philology


menander, dyksolos, comedy, greek

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Jessica Jordan