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English Adaptations of Plays by Moliere

The purpose of this research is to examine English adaptations of selected plays by Moliere, with a view toward showing diffferences in social context and meaning. The plan of the research will be to position Moliere's The Misanthrope (Mis.), School for Wives, as well as Don Juan, or the Stone Guest as works that illustrate a specific social milieu, and then to show how Anglicizers of Moliere, notably Wycherley in The PlainDealer and The Country Wife and Byron in Don Juan, offer a "take" on Moliere that becomes both a tribute to Moliere and a comment on the society to which they wrote.

Moliere's plays reveal that social satire was his forte. Throughout his work, he derives laughter from the foibles, follies, and pretenses of seventeenthcentury France; in so doing, he exposes many faults of mankind in general. Social masks, deception, hypocrisiesthese are the principal issues that engage Moliere. In his comic situations and characters worthy of them, he exposes human folly with merciless farce. Moliere's comedies are at most an imitation of life; they are anything but a duplication, and after all nothing more need be required of comedy, which by its nature has an unreal quality about it. A completely accurate picture of the whole life is not comedy, and Moliere was a neoclassic comedian, not a realistic tragedian or documentarian.

By and large, Moliere's characters are not duplications of actual people but character types or more exactly archetypes of character. The characters themselves are maskline inasmuch as their character traits rarely change; neither do masks change expression. Moliere is not concerned to show development. Rather, he takes snapshots of behavior and follows the logic of that behavior to its conclusion. If his characters undergo change, it is only to the extent that they may come to recognize the authentic persona behind another's mask. But their own personality remains. Thus Alceste in Mi...

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English Adaptations of Plays by Moliere. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:04, June 19, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1702930.html