The Girl From Samos | Study Guide


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The Girl From Samos | Plot Summary

See Plot Diagram



The Girl from Samos takes place in Athens, Greece, between the houses of two neighbors. Demeas is a wealthy bachelor and his neighbor Nikeratos is less wealthy. The men are business partners. Demeas has an adopted son named Moschion who is a young man. Demeas has a mistress named Chrysis, a girl from a foreign land and unsuitable for marriage. Chrysis is much younger than Demeas and he feels some shame at having such a young mistress; he feels insecurity at being so much older than her. Chrysis is pregnant and Demeas demands she end the pregnancy or get rid of the child upon its birth.

Nikeratos has a daughter named Plangon. Plangon is pregnant with Moschion's baby but her father does not know she is pregnant. Moschion has promised Plangon's mother that he will marry Plangon but is afraid of Nikeratos's reaction to his daughter being pregnant out of wedlock.


Nikeratos and Demeas leave for an extended business trip. Both Chrysis and Plangon give birth while the two men are away. Chrysis's baby dies but Plangon's lives. Plangon and Moschion give their child to Chrysis to cover up Plangon's pregnancy. The baby lives with Chrysis and she nurses and cares for him.

When the men return home, Demeas is angry that Chrysis kept the baby until he is persuaded to believe that the baby was found abandoned and she is only helping take care of it. Demeas tells Moschion that he is to wed Plangon that very day and the household excitedly prepares for a wedding.


The baby cries and servants of the house take care of it. The servants talk to the baby to calm it down; they say that the baby's father is actually Moschion. Demeas overhears what the servants say. When Demeas sees Chrysis nursing the baby, he suspects that Moschion and Chrysis had an affair. Demeas kicks Chrysis out of the house and she takes refuge with Nikeratos's family. Nikeratos pities Chrysis and goes with Moschion to convince Demeas to let her back into the house. Demeas angrily reveals that Moschion is the father of the baby and that he had an affair with Chrysis. Nikeratos does not want to marry his daughter to such a treacherous young man and storms back over to his house.

Moschion confesses to Demeas that he is the father but the baby belongs to Plangon, not Chrysis. Nikeratos storms back over to reveal that he saw Plangon nursing the baby and that she must be the true mother. Moschion runs away in fear of Nikeratos. Demeas convinces Nikeratos to allow the wedding to happen, and Nikeratos returns home.

Public Shame

Moschion is offended that his father accused him of having an affair with Chrysis. He comes up with a plan to publicly shame Demeas. Moschion dresses up like a soldier and tells his father that he is running away to join the army. Demeas sees through Moschion's bluff and urges Moschion to leave instead of begging his son to stay. Moschion must admit to his father that he never intended to leave. Demeas apologizes for accusing Moschion of treachery but says that their disagreement was private and that family disputes should stay private so that they don't bring shame to the household.

Nikeratos sees Moschion dressed as a soldier and assumes that Moschion is trying to run away from the wedding. There is almost a fight but Moschion explains that he was trying to scare his father and apologizes. Moschion returns to Nikeratos's house and goes through with the wedding to Plangon. Chrysis returns to Demeas's household and Nikeratos is happy that his daughter is married.

The Girl From Samos Plot Diagram

Falling ActionRising ActionResolutionClimax123456789101112Introduction


1 Moschion gets Plangon pregnant.

Rising Action

2 Demeas demands that Chrysis get rid of her unborn baby.

3 Demeas and Nikeratos leave for an extended business trip.

4 Chrysis and Plangon have their babies.

5 Chrysis's baby dies and Chrysis takes Plangon's baby.

6 Demeas believes Chrysis and Moschion had an affair.

7 Demeas kicks Chrysis out of the house.

8 The baby is revealed as the child of Plangon and not Chrysis.


9 Moschion admits to fathering Plangon's baby.

Falling Action

10 Demeas calms Nikeratos.

11 Moschion tries to embarrass Demeas.


12 Plangon and Moschion marry.

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