Plays and Fragments

Plays and Fragments

Written by:
Introduction by:
Translated by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140445015
  • 272 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Menander (c. 341-291 BC) was the foremost innovator of Greek New Comedy, a dramatic style that moved away from the fantastical to focus upon the problems of ordinary Athenians. This collection contains the full text of ‘Old Cantankerous’ (Dyskolos), the only surviving complete example of New Comedy, as well as fragments from works including ‘The Girl from Samos’ and ‘The Rape of the Locks’, all of which are concerned with domestic catastrophes, the hazards of love and the trials of family life. Written in a poetic style regarded by the ancients as second only to Homer, these polished works – profoundly influential upon both Roman playwrights such as Plautus and Terence, and the wider Western tradition – may be regarded as the first true comedies of manners.

Table of Contents

Plays and FragmentsPreface
Further Reading
Old Cantankerous
The Girl from Samos
The Arbitration
The Rape of the Locks
The Shield
The Sikyonian
The Man She Hated
The Double Deceiver and The Two Bacchises by Plautus
The Farmer
The Toady
The Harpist
The Hero
The Phantom
The Girl Possessed
The Girl from Perinthos
Title Unknown
Some Longer Fragments
Some Fragments Doubtfully Attributed to Menander