This is a digital reprint of Mme de Mourgues' critical introduction to the work of Racine for the student and the general reader. It concentrates entirely on the plays themselves, and attempts to say what they are and how they work on the mind of the spectator or reader. Mme de Mourgues' main point is admirably expressed in her title. Everything in Racine's plays is directed to a single end: the heightening of the feeling of tragic conflict. The separable literary or dramatic conventions have no importance in themselves - their only claim on the attention is their function in the drama, their relevance to the overriding purpose. Discussions include the use of time and space, the stylization of passion, the paradox of the héros moyen and the interplay of action and character. The author also looks at the tragedy of the individual character with the abiding moral order within which the action is set and considers the specific emotion which Racine evokes.