Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Laughter on the FringesThe Reception of Old Comedy in the Imperial Greek World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anna Peterson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697099

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697099.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2019

A Menandrian Interlude

A Menandrian Interlude

Alciphron and Old Comedy in Epistolary Form

(p.143) A Menandrian Interlude
Laughter on the Fringes

Anna Peterson

Oxford University Press

Alciphron’s collection of 123 fictional letters recreate in miniature the world of Menandrian New Comedy. Three of these letters, however, involve a basic scenario that is reminiscent of Clouds: disputes between a father and son and, in one case, a hetaira and her lover, regarding the corrupting influence of philosophers. Language borrowed directly from Aristophanes’s play further cements this connection. In this context, Old Comedy is subsumed into a New Comic context, and Clouds emerges as a literary shorthand for denoting corrupt philosophers. Yet the epistolary format also provides Alciphron with a way to recreate the dramatic elements of the original play: his readers are given unfettered access to the characters and are asked to fill in what is left unsaid by the letter from their knowledge of Aristophanes’s play.

Keywords:   Alciphron, Menander, Clouds, epistolography, hetairai

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .