chapter
Introduction
Pages 12

The funeral speech presents itself so patently as a version or a rewriting of the speech by Pericles that one can hardly describe or summarize the Menexenus without saying something about the tone of the rewriting. Certainly the Menexenus is sometimes read as a joke or satire. Speaking of other Athenian funeral speeches, and especially the one ascribed to Pericles, raises the inevitable first question, or rather a meta-question, about the Menexenus. Regarding the Menexenus, the main problem with casting the question in terms of parody' is specifying the alternative. Franco V. Trivigno directly attacks the dichotomy between seriousness and parody. Trivigno's discussion attributes a number of specific positions to the Menexenus, some of them more plausible than others. But his programmatic account of parody is separate from any specific parodies he identifies and the serious import that might lie behind them.