Test Your Knowledge on Ancient Greek Comedy



9 Questions

What are the three periods of Athenian comedy?

Which playwright is known for his eleven surviving plays in the genre of Old Comedy?

What are the three essential differences between Old Comedy and Middle Comedy?

Which playwrights are known for their works in the genre of New Comedy?

What did Menander's comedies provide to their audience?

Which two playwrights were primarily responsible for the influence of New Comedy on Western European literature?

Which Roman poet claimed Menander as a model for his own gentle brand of satire?

What is the significance of Menander's comedies in the history of theater?

What contemporary genres descend from the New Comedy sensibility?


Ancient Greek literature: Genre of ancient Greek comedy

  • Ancient Greek comedy is one of the final three principal dramatic forms in classical Greek theatre.
  • Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods: Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy.
  • Old Comedy is largely preserved in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes.
  • Middle Comedy is generally seen as differing from Old Comedy in three essential particulars.
  • New Comedy followed the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and lasted throughout the reign of the Macedonian rulers, ending about 260 BC.
  • The three best-known playwrights belonging to this genre are Menander, Philemon, and Diphilus.
  • Menander's comedies not only provided their audience with a brief respite from reality but also gave audiences an accurate picture of life.
  • The New Comedy influenced much of Western European literature, primarily through Plautus and Terence.
  • Horace claimed Menander as a model for his own gentle brand of Roman satire.
  • The 5-act structure later to be found in modern plays can first be seen in Menander's comedies.
  • Much of contemporary romantic and situational comedy descends from the New Comedy sensibility.
  • Some dramatists overlap into more than one period.


Think you know your ancient Greek literature? Test your knowledge on the genre of ancient Greek comedy! From the three periods of Athenian comedy to the famous playwrights and their influence on Western literature, this quiz covers it all. See if you can identify the differences between Old Comedy and Middle Comedy, and learn about the lasting impact of New Comedy. Whether you're a literature buff or just looking for a fun challenge, this quiz is sure to entertain and educate.

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