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(born c. 342died c. 292 BC) Athenian dramatist. He produced his first play in 321 BC, and in 316 he won a festival prize with Dyscolus (The Misanthrope), the only one of his plays for which a complete text still exists. By the end of his career he had written more than 100 plays and had won eight victories at Athenian dramatic festivals. Menander was considered by ancient critics the supreme poet of Greek New Comedy. He excelled at presenting characters such as stern fathers, young lovers, and intriguing slaves. As adapted by the Romans Plautus and Terence, his plays influenced the later development of Renaissance comedy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Menander, visit Britannica.com.