The Masks of Menander: Sign and Meaning in Greek and Roman Performance
This book provides a detailed analysis of the conventions and techniques of performance characteristic of the Greek theatre of Menander and the subsequent Roman theatre of Plautus and Terence. Drawing on literary and archaeological sources, and on scientific treatises, David Wiles identifies the mask as crucial to the actor's art, and shows how sophisticated the art of the mask-maker became. He also examines the other main elements which the audience learned to decode: costume, voice, movement, etc. In order to identify features that were unique to Hellenistic theatre he contrasts Greek New Comedy with other traditions of masked comedy, and shows how different Roman conventions of performance rest upon different underlying assumptions about religion, marriage and class. David Wiles offers theatre historians and classicists a radical new approach to reading play texts. His book will also be useful to archaeologists seeking to understand what masks mean and how Greek and Roman theatres were used.
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Text and performance
The system of masks
contrasts and comparisons
The Roman mask
The four mask genera
Costume and movement
Language and voice
action actor analyse Aristophanes Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle's Arlecchino Athenaeus Athenian Athens audience body Brea brows catalogue chapter character chiton citizen classical cloak colour comic commedia dell'arte complexion contrast conventions costume courtesan create culture Daos Dionysus distinction doorway Drama dramatist emotions ethos Euripides example exomis eyebrows eyes face festival frescoes gesture Girl from Samos Greek New Comedy hair Hellenistic Hellenistic theatre HGRT human hypokrisis Knemon Lipari London Menander Menander's Menander's plays Menander's texts Menander's theatre mimesis MINC moral mosaic Moschion mouth movement MTGTL narrative nature Nicomachean Ethics nose Old Cantankerous parasite Physiognomics Plautine Plautus plot Plutarch political Pollux problem pseudo-virgin psyche Quintilian Rape represents Rhetoric role Roman stage Roman theatre Rome scene seems sense signified slave Smikrines Sostratos spectator stage wall structure style system of masks Terence Terence's theatrical Theophrastos toady tradition tragedy types visual Vitruvius voice wear women young youth