Moliere: A Playwright and his Audience

Overview

Up until the last century there was a tendency, among directors in the theatre and academic critics alike, to stress the philosophical and satirical content of Molière's comedy and to overlook the fact that he was a professional man of the theatre. More recently, certain influential critics have tended to go to the other extreme and to emphasise the theatrical and aesthetic qualities of his plays at the expense of what they may have to offer as plays of ideas. This study seeks to reconcile the two approaches: ...

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Overview

Up until the last century there was a tendency, among directors in the theatre and academic critics alike, to stress the philosophical and satirical content of Molière's comedy and to overlook the fact that he was a professional man of the theatre. More recently, certain influential critics have tended to go to the other extreme and to emphasise the theatrical and aesthetic qualities of his plays at the expense of what they may have to offer as plays of ideas. This study seeks to reconcile the two approaches: while exploring the evolution of Molière's comedy as a vehicle for his own talents as an actor and for the resources of his company, the author also seeks to define the composition of the original audiences, both in the public theatre and at Court, and to assess the taste and attitudes of the spectators for whom the plays were written.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521286794
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1982
  • Series: Major European Authors Series
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; General preface to the series; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Background: 1. The formation of an actor; 2. A playwright and his audience; 3. Comic drama before Molière; Part II. The Plays: 4. The legacy of farce; 5. Comedy and character; 6. Laughter and 'le rire dans l'ame'; 7. From satire to comedy of ideas; 8. Comedy and ballet; Part III. The Aesthetic of Comedy: 9. The playwright as poet; 10. Molière's comic vision; Translation of French passages quotes; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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