The Imaginary Moliid And Tartuffe

Decent Essays

Molière: The Satirist In a quote widely attributed to Molière, he claims to have suffered from “the fault of being a little more sincere than proper,” a flaw that led him to write satirical plays that have stood the test of time. Works like The Misanthrope, The Imaginary Invalid, and Tartuffe still enchant audiences four hundred years after their creation. The reason these plays have survived the rise and fall of the French enlightenment, when they were written, as well as the trials of numerous translations, is their social commentary and unique cutting humor that was not merely a dissection but, rather, a vivisection of the evolving faults and follies of the human race. Molière’s literary scalpel was sharpened by his own education, …show more content…

(Bradby XVI) It was then that Molière encountered Commedia dell’Arte, the characters and comedic style of which he frequently utilized in his plays. Molière’s creation of comédie-ballet may even have been inspired by the use of lively music and dance in Commedia performances. (Gaines 95-95) After thirteen years of admirable success in touring the countryside, Molière returned to a Paris obsessed with social stature more than finances and appearances more than value. Molière re-entered Paris under the protection of the Monsieur, the King’s brother, to perform before King Louis XIV, who allotted the troupe a share of the Petit-Bourbon Theatre. Finding more success in comedy than in tragedy after the flop of Dom Garcie de Navarre, Molière continued to push social boundaries with his controversial plays, all the while protected by Louis XIV, who performed in Molière’s ballets and even became the godfather of Molière’s son.
Combining his experience and incisive wit with a variety of performance styles, Molière created the perfect storm of satire. Although the role of raisonneurs is frequently to present the author’s viewpoint, Molière realized that this tool was not the most effective in portraying satire. In his view, satire did not come from eloquent philosophical truths but from keen and recognizable depiction of public figures, or, as Molière put it, “The finest strokes of high moral philosophy are generally less powerful than those of satire; and nothing

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