This essay examines Plutarch’s juxtaposition of Stratocles, the demagogue, and Philippides, the comic playwright, in the Life of Demetrius. Plutarch uses these two figures as examples of the proper and improper use of humor in a political context. A close reading of the political essays of the Moralia in conjunction with the Demetrius reveals that the pairing of Stratocles and Philippides extends beyond the issue of humor in politics to the question of the definition of true statesmanship.

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