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Engl3700: Restoration and 18th-Century literature, February 3.docx

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ENGL 3700
Heather Ladd

rd February 3 2013 – English Moliere: Misantrope • Play in Verse • Moliere wrote 31 plays • Moliere was not his real name, it is a stage name. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin • Very popular, born in Paris, • Most preformed playwright after Shakespeare in North America • Trained by the a Jesuits, going to be educated in the law • Founded a dramatic company: director, producer, write plays, actors • First company was called: Ilustre Théatre: wasn’t really popular • Went into the Province and became a roaming theater: influenced by comedie del arte. • Eventually returns to Paris and gains the favor of the King: Theatre du Roi • Misanthrope is one of his masterpieces: 5 years writing o Written in rhyming verse o First performed June 4 1666 in Paris: theater du Palais Royal o Admired by his contemporaries, not extremely popular with the audience because it didn’t have many farces. The humor lies in the characters, produced by dialogue. o It did have a subtitle Misanthrope: The melancholy lover (but the subtitled was dropped) o What is a misanthrope? Someone who is very pessimistic (Charlie Sheen) hates humanity, hates the idea of people, cynical, isolated.  More than just about the love story. o Alceste was played by Moliere. His wife played his lover o Genre: comedy of virtue (you have a main character who believes he is virtuous), philosophical play (clashing of values,)  Philosophical aspect revolves around Alceste: an idealist, disillusioned with society and rejects it (or wants to reject it, can’t reject it because his lover is his tie to society, she is embedded in society. He attacks society and values truth and sincerity above all) (rejects anything hypocritical or phony) (civilized society needs lying and Alceste is brutally honest, not gentle with others, ignores the social contract)  Philinte is the Reasoner: the straight character, he’s very sensible, he preachers moderation (even truth), also talks about accommodation (that we do not expect perfe
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