908-922

ΧΑΡΙΣΙΟΣ

ἐγώ τις ἀναμάρτητος, εἰς δόξαν βλέπων

καὶ τὸ καλὸν ὅ τι πότ’ ἐστι καὶ ταἰσχρὸν σκοπῶν,

ἀκέραιος, ἀνεπίπληκτος αὐτὸς τῷ βίῳ—910

εὖ μοι κέχρηται καὶ προσηκόντως πάνυ

τὸ δαιμόνιον—

ἐνταῦθ’ ἔδειξ’ ἄνθρωπος ὤν.

 

“ὦ τρισκακόδαιμον, μεγάλα φυσᾷς καὶ λαλεῖς,

ἀκούσιον γυναικὸς ἀτύχημ’ οὐ φέρεις,

αὐτὸν δὲ δείξω σ’ εἰς ὅμοι’ ἐπταικότα,915

καὶ χρήσετ’ αὐτή σοι τότ’ ἠπίως, σὺ δὲ

ταύτην ἀτιμάζεις· ἐπιδειχθήσει θ’ ἅμα

ἀτυχὴς γεγονὼς καὶ σκαιὸς ἀγνώμων τ’ ἀνήρ.”

 

ὅμοιά γ’ εἶπεν οἷς σὺ διενόου τότε

πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, κοινωνὸς ἥκειν τοῦ βίου920

κοὐ δεῖν τἀτύχημ’ αὐτὴν φυγεῖν

τὸ συμβεβηκός. σὺ δέ τις ὑψηλὸς σφόδρα

 

[ΧΟΡΟΥ]

ἀναμάρτητος -ον: unerring, blameless

ἀκέραιος -ον: pure

ἀνεπίπληκτος -ον: irreproachable

προσηκόντως: suitably, appropriately

δαιμόνιον -ου τό: spirit, god

τρισκακοδαίμων -ον: thrice-unlucky

φυσάω: to blow up, puff up

ἀτύχημα -ατος τό: misfortune

πταίω: to stumble

ἠπίως: kindly, gently

ἀτιμάζω: to dishonor

ἐπιδείκνυμι: to appear, seem

ἀτυχής -ές: unlucky, unfortunate

σκαιός -ά -όν: lefthanded, awkward, clumsy

ἀγνώμων -ον: ill-judging, senseless

διανοέομαι: to intend

κοινωνός -οῦ ὁ ἡ: partner

ἀτύχημα -ατος τό: misfortune

συμβαίνω συμβήσομαι συνέβην συμβέβηκα: to happen accidentally

ὑψηλός -ή< -όν: high, lofty

σφόδρα: very much, a whole lot

Following the build up by ONESIMOS, CHARISIOS himself finally appears on stage. This might be his first appearance in the entire play, after many other characters have been discussing and characterizing him. Although his speech is fragmentary, CHARISIOS is clearly a tour de force for an actor. He is drunk, raving, and depressed. As he recounts his perspective on events to the spectators, he imitates the voices of his wife PAMPHILE and that of a demon that he describes as possessing and punishing him.

 

909 ταἰσχρὸν: = τὸ αἰσχρὸν. κέχρηται > χράομαι 3 sing. perf. indic. mid.

912 ἐνταῦθ’ ἔδειξ’: = ἐνταῦθα ἔδειξα

913-918: CHARISIOS speaks in the voice of the demon who chastises him.

914 ἀτύχημ’: = ἀτύχημα

915 σ’: = σε. ὅμοι’: = ὅμοια. ἐπταικότα: > πταίω masc. acc. sing. perf. part. act.

916 χρήσετ’: = χρήσεται

917 ἐπιδειχθήσει: > ἐπιδείκνυμι 3rd sing. fut. perf. indic. pass. θ’: = τε

921 κοὐ: = καὶ οὐ. τἀτύχημ’: = τὸ ἀτύχημα

 

For the rest of this act, only scattered lines and words survive, so the text is omitted. In this section ONESIMOS returns and then HABROTONON, who inform CHARISIOS that PAMPHILE is in fact the mother of the baby, a revelation that closes out this act.

CHARISIOS (melancholy, Hamlet-esque, to the audience)

I am a flawless man. I tend to my reputation. I investigate matters of good and evil, honor and dishonor,

(noticing ONESIMOS)

(910) but still, pure and beyond reproach in his own life, the demon caught me

(turns on ONESIMOS, “catching him”, acting the part of the demon),

judged me, showed me to be human.

(wailing “demonically”)

“OHHHH UNFORTUNATE MAN!” he said,

(ONESIMOS sputters, trying to make excuses.

CHARISIOS waves him off/silences him)

“Do you puff up and chatter so greatly?

(turns back to audience, dramatic, teary eyed)

You do not bear the involuntary misfortune of a woman kindly, but you have stumbled into the same situation and then she will treat you kindly – you will treat her dishonorably, you will ridicule her, throw her out – you will appear an unlucky, clumsy, senseless man.”

(breaks down, wailing/sobbing; begins again with a bit of hope in his tearfulness)

But did she speak to her father the way you would have? the way you intended to?

(mimicking PAMPHILE, high pitched voice, sighing, demure)

(920) “I agreed to be his life partner and

(hands clutched, soft sigh)

mistakes are bound to happen! I mustn’t flee!

(dramatic swoon)

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Suggested Citation

Marie Plunkett, Menander: Epitrepontes (The Arbitration). Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2022. ISBN: 978-1-947822-19-1. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/menander-epitrepontes/908-922