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2. [20]

Such then is the character of the magnificent man. His counterpart on the side of excess, the vulgar man, exceeds, as has been said, by spending beyond what is right. He spends a great deal and makes a tasteless display on unimportant occasions: for instance, he gives a dinner to his club on the scale of a wedding banquet, and when equipping a chorus at the comedies he brings it on in purple at its first entrance, as is done at Megara.1 Moreover, he does all this not from a noble motive but to show off his wealth, and with the idea that this sort of thing makes people admire him; and he spends little where he ought to spend much and much where he ought to spend little.

1 In the earlier scenes of the comedies of Aristophanes, the chorus appear in character as charcoal-burners, cavalrymen, wasps, clouds, etc., and take part in the action of the play as such. They seem to have stripped off their outer dress for the Parabasis, or interlude, in which they address the audience on behalf of the author (Aristoph. Ach. 627,Aristoph. Peace 730). In the later scenes they tend to fall more into the position of spectators, like the chorus of tragedy; and the play usually ends with something in the nature of a triumphal procession, when purple robes (like the scarlet worn by the chorus at the end of the Eumenides of Aeschylus) would not be inappropriate, as they would be in the opening scenes. Megarian comedy is elsewhere associated with coarse buffoonery.

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Megara (Greece) (1)

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hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 730
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 627
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