The Misanthrope * The Doctor in Spite of Himself * The Miser * The Would-Be Gentleman * The Mischievous Machinations of Scapin * The Learned Women * The Imaginary Invalid “The comedy,” Molière once quipped, “is excellent, and they who deride it deserve to be derided.” Written during the triumphant final years of Molière’s career, these seven works represent the mature flowering of his artistry and the most profound development of his vision of humanity. They are essential to appreciating the full genius of this greatest and best-loved French comic author. With an Introduction by Donald M. Frame and an Afterword by Lewis C. Seifert
Moliere (1622-73) combined all the traditional elements of comedy, wit, slapstick, spectacle and satire, with a deep understanding of character to create richly sophisticated dramas which have always delighted audiences. Most are built around dangerously deluded and obsessive heroes such as The Misanthrope who threaten to blight the lives of those around them.
'Why does he write those ghastly plays that the whole of Paris flocks to see? And why does he paint such lifelike portraits that everyone recognizes themselves?' Moliere, The Impromptu at Versailles This volume brings together four of Moliere's greatest verse comedies covering the best years of his prolific writing career. Actor, director, and playwright, Moliere (1622-73) was one of the finest and most influential French dramatists, adept at portraying human foibles and puncturing pomposity. The School for Wives was his first great success; Tartuffe, condemned and banned for five years, his most controversial play. The Misanthrope is his acknowledged masterpiece, and The Clever Women his last, and perhaps best-constructed, verse piece. In addition this collection includes a spirited attack on his enemies and a defence of his theatre, in the form of two sparkling short plays, The School for Wives Criticized and The Impromptu at Versailles. Moliere's prose plays are available in a complementary Oxford World's Classics edition, Don Juan and Other Plays. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
'Crimp has treated Molière the way Molière had treated Plautus: he has seized on the timeless core of the story and recast it with wit and respect. The result is both a genuinely new version of Molière's play and a homage to it. The writing it cool, sharp and ferociously funny... A thrillingly sophisticated modern version of a classical play.' Sunday Times Alceste abhors hypocrisy and the well-rehearsed, sycophantic pleasantries of the chattering classes. But having savaged Covington - a theatre critic who thinks he can write plays - Alceste goes on to attack Jennifer, the woman he really loves. What if his determination to tell the truth proves more destructive than their instinct to avoid it? Molière's greatest comedy, Le Misanthrope (1666), with its fierce argument between conformity and non-conformity, is reworked in this blistering contemporary version. Martin Crimp's version of The Misanthrope premiered at the Young Vic Theatre, London, in February 1996 and was revived at the Comedy Theatre, London, in November 2009.
Two classic plays translated by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet into English verse. In The Misanthrope, society itself is indicted and the impurity of its critic’s motives is exposed. In Tartuffe, the bigoted and prudish Orgon falls completely under the power of the wily Tartuffe. Introductions by Richard Wilbur.
Presents English translations of two plays by seventeenth-century French playwright Molière, including "The Misanthrope," the story of a man who loves a woman who is the embodiement of all that he abhors; and "Tartuffe," which tells of a wealthy, middle-aged bigot who is conned by Tartuffe into handing over his fortune and his daughter.
The 'greatest hits' of French classical theatre, in vivid and acclaimed new Penguin translations by John Edmunds and with editorial apparatus by Joseph Harris. The plays in this volume - Cinna, The Misanthrope, Andromache and Phaedra - span only thirty-seven years, but make up the defining period of French theatre. In Corneille's Cinna (1640), absolute power is explored in ancient Rome, while Molière's The Misanthrope (1666), the only comedy in this collection, sees its anti-hero outcast for his refusal to conform to social conventions. Here also are two key plays by Racine: Andromache (1667), recounting the tragedy of Hector's widow after the Trojan War, and Phaedre (1677), showing a mother crossing the bounds of love with her son. This translation of Phaedra was originally broadcast on Radio Three with a cast including Prunella Scales and Timothy West, and was praised by playwright Harold Pinter. This is the first time it has been published. The edition also includes an introduction by Joseph Harris, genealogical tables, pronunciation guides, critiques and prefaces, as well as a chronology and suggested further reading. After a varied career as an actor, teacher, and BBC TV national newsreader, John Edmunds became the founder-director of Aberystwyth University's department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies. Joseph Harris is Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London and author of Hidden Agendas: Cross-Dressing in Seventeenth-Century France (2005).
In this witty, cutting version of Le Misanthrope, Moliere's angry hero Alceste becomes Alan - journalist, intellectual and free spirit - who finds himself adrift in a social whirl of false flattery and schmooze. In a world where nobody calls a spade a spade (or even knows what a spade is for), how can the cantankerous but high-minded Alan secure the affections of Celia - a spoiled, feckless, fickle socialite, who happens to be the love of his life?
First performed in Paris in 1666, The Misanthrope is one of Molière’s great comic masterpieces. Exasperated by the corruption of society, the cynical but noble Alceste wrestles with his love for the wordly and coquettish Célimène. This version of The Misanthrope was first performed at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, by The Peter Hall Company, starring Michael Pennington, Elaine Paige, and Peter Bowles. Ranjit Bolt has translated many of the world’s masterpieces of theatre including works by Sophocles, Goldoni, Corneille, Beaumarchais and Brecht. His highly successful translation of Molière’s The School for Wives (The Peter Hall Company) ran in the West End for six months.
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