Reading Questions: Neils chpt. 9 and Menander?s Dyskolos NB The Dyskolos of Menander was performed at the Lenaian festival in Athens in 317/6 BC, where it won first prize in the comedic competition 1. What are Alexander?s origins? How was his conquest of the east a continuation of the mission of his father? How did he negotiate the political and cultural difficulties that come with conquering such a large area in such a short period of time? Was he successful? 2. Who were Alexander?s successors, and what effect did the succession have on the remainder of ancient Greek history? 3. What are the distinctive features of Hellenistic life, at least as far as you can tell from Neils? chapter? Where are the lines of continuity and of change within the political, philosophical, and artistic spheres? What is new and ?unGreek? about the new world order? What remains the same? Do you find the shifts surprising? 4. What is the setting of the Dyskolos? Who are the main players? Do you see any similarities in the characters and plot points with the other plays?or even other works?we have read in this class? What is the role of Pan in the play? 5. What does Knemon want from life? Why is he the way he is? Who is Sostratos, and what does he want in the play? What role does the cook play? Getas, the clever slave? 6. Do you find the play?s resolution convincing? Is Knemon really a ?changed man? as he claims after his encounter with the well? If so, then why do Sikon and Getas feel the need to torture and make a fool of Knemon in the final scene? Do you think the audience is supposed to find this scene funny? 7. What kind of conclusions can you draw from the play about the society that produced it? Is there any discernible shift from, e.g. the Clouds to this comedy? Why do you think this is? Do you think this has anything to do with the changes of the Hellenistic period? 8. The Dyskolos won the dramatic competition in the year it was composed: why do you think this was? Do you think it was rewarded for its humor or rather for the moral lesson it seems to teach?
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