Though much beloved and widely produced, Moliere's satirical comedies pose a problem for those reading or staging his works today: how can a genre associated with biting caricature and castigation deliver engaging theatre? Instead of simply dismissing social satire as a foundation for Moliere's theatre, Larry F. Norman takes seriously Moliere's claim that his satires are first and foremost effective theatre. Pairing close readings of Moliere's comedies with accounts of French social history and aesthetics, Norman shows how Moliere perceived satire as a "public mirror" provoking dynamic exchange and conflict with audience members obsessed with their own images. Drawing on these tensions, Moliere portrays characters satirizing one another on stage, with their reactions providing dramatic conflict and propelling comic dialogue. By laying bare his society's system of imagining itself, Moliere's satires both enthralled and enraged his original audience and provide us with a crucial key to the classical culture of representation.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226591520 Number of pages: 216 Weight: 330 g Dimensions: 230 x 152 x 14 mm Edition: 2nd ed.
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