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|Read Kindle Ô L'École des Femmes ⚾ L cole des femmes est une com die en cinq actes et en versLa com die de Moli reL cole des femmes i est consid r par les critiques pour tre parmi ses plus beaux travaux L histoire d un homme qui est tellement obs d par l infid lit f minine qu il projette d pouser sa jeune pupille na ve, qu il a form pour tre la femme parfaite, est un exemple classique du style comique de Moli re As I read this play I couldn t help but draw comparisons between it and Shakespeare s The Taming of the Shrew Despite the fact that Moli re has been translated, I felt that his humour transcended not only the limits of translation, but that it also transcended the limits of time and spacesuccessfully than Shakespeare I know that some argue that Katherina s final monologue is intended to be ironic, but I have difficulty reading it as such it seems to be promoting a certain misogynism, an As I read this play I couldn t help but draw comparisons between it and Shakespeare s The Taming of the Shrew Despite the fact that Moli re has been translated, I felt that his humour transcended not only the limits of translation, but that it also transcended the limits of time and spacesuccessfully than Shakespeare I know that some argue that Katherina s final monologue is intended to be ironic, but I have difficulty reading it as such it seems to be promoting a certain misogynism, and it has allegedly always been problematic for audiences I do not have such difficulties with finding the irony in Moli re s The School for Wives Though so many of the Maxims for Marriage that Agn s recites in this work given to her by Arnolphe, under whose care she has been since the age of four are very similar to the points raised by Shakespeare s Katherina, it is clear from the beginning of this play that Arnolphe, who has been trying to raise Agn s into an obedient and ignorant wife, is a complete fool Mostly when we laugh in the play it is at Arnolphe s expense, for we recognize in him a frustrated and paranoid man who is not taken serious by his friends, his ward or even his servants the latter who argue over who will open the door for him until he threatens them with starvation He is a man who lacks respect and is forced to resort to brute force and threats to maintain even any semblance of authority which he so hungers for And yet, despite all of his scheming, Arnolphe is unable to make Agn s the submissive little bride of his desire He tells Agn s that it is a sin to have relations outside of marriage so that he can make her a respectable woman by making her his wife, but she instead uses his advice to plan a marriage to Horace, the young man with whom she has fallen in love in Arnolphe s absence Arnolphe, no matter how desperately he tries, is unable to stop the fates from intervening and cementing the love of Horace and Agn s This is a humorous and entertaining play to read today, almost four centuries later it is one of those works that I would love to see staged though I recognize fully that this either could grow my appreciation for the work or that it could leave me unfulfilled if it failed to live up to my expectations, the vision of the play that blossomed in my mind as the dialogue unfolded A shopkeeper at one of my favorite bookstores once said to me, I don t know how anyone can read plays I was purchasing some Brecht at the time Just go see it I explained to him then that so many classic plays just aren t staged very often Butthan this, as with reading a novel, I feel that there is something with using one s imagination when reading a play As with a film adaptation of a novel, a play that is staged may fall short of the vision that we develop in our minds when we read it And so not only because certain works are infrequently staged, but because reading a play offers a different creative experience than viewing it in a theatre not to mention we may lose certain things when they unfold at a different pace or in a different way , I enjoy reading plays, and so far I am finding particular delight in the plays of Moli re, which I will continue to explore throughout this year What is Comedy What makes us laugh in theatre A great deal has been written about this and this review could not do the concept justice But reading and watching recently a performance of Moli re s L cole des Femmes raised the matter in front of my eyes.In this play, which as most of Moli re s plays, belongs to the subgenre of a comedy of manners, there are many of the elements that one would expect in funny plays There are stock characters following the tradition of the Commedia dell Arte What is Comedy What makes us laugh in theatre A great deal has been written about this and this review could not do the concept justice But reading and watching recently a performance of Moli re s L cole des Femmes raised the matter in front of my eyes.In this play, which as most of Moli re s plays, belongs to the subgenre of a comedy of manners, there are many of the elements that one would expect in funny plays There are stock characters following the tradition of the Commedia dell Arte there is a great deal of double entendre , often through parallel dialogues on the stage and which Marcel Proust could not fail to notice there is a critique to popularly unpopular professions, such as notaries and other representatives of the law the plot revolves around the universally farcical figure of the cuckold or cocu there are surprising and magic solutions to tangled up problems that will draw out a smile there is a bit of slapstick and coups de b ton in a purely guignol tradition All these elements are in the text and the staging can supplement them with mimicry, ridiculous clothing, and doll like movements As was the tradition in seventeenth century French drama, the play is written in Alexandrines and follows the three Aristotelian units of plot, time and place athough in this play the time unit is as flexible as Dali s clock It also follows theFrench concepts of vraisemblance and biens ance which would have banned Shakespeare as even the he guignolian coups have to happen off the stage.This is, and was from its first performance in 1662 onwards, one of the most successful plays by Moli re Jean Baptiste Poquelin, 1622 1673 At its premi re it already pleased the King, Louis XIV, gaining his support which later became crucial L Ecole des Femmes followed L Ecole des Maris by one year, and it continued the very popular themes of cheated husbands and of the education of women It was also successful because it was controversial, highly controversial in fact And this was easily the best thing for its ticket office Apart from some sous entendres or equivoques which at the time seemed to border obscenity too closely and therefore violating the biens ance rule the play also raised debates on the role and education of women at a time when women were very actively engaging in their literary and intellectual Salons les Pr cieuses ridicules A querelle ensued for which the best ghostly protection came from the royal benefactor Moli re replied to the criticisms with another play, La Critique de l Ecole des Femmes in which a woman and a muse discuss the previous play Within a few months from the first staging, the two plays were subsequently performed together.The performance.I had read this play years ago, but I reread it recently because I was going to attend, two weeks ago, to a performance at the Com die Fran aise The theatre founded by Louis XIV, the ghostly patron of significant presence, in 1680.The mise en sc ne on the 3rd of July at the Com die Fran aise was by Jacques Lassalle and the two main actors were the formidable Thierry Hancisse Arnolphe and the angelical Adeline d Hermy Agn s.I extract no joy in summarizing the story of a novel or play in my reviews, although I am interested in plot dynamics In this text, the main character, Arnolphe, begins with great confidence on himself and on his aims, but gradually loses control of the situation he himself has created and falls prey in his own net This turn around constitutes part of the comic or the tragic , and follows the tradition of the Burlador burlado , a stock figure which originated in the Don Juan from early seventeenth century Spanish drama Tirso de Molina s El Burlador de Sevilla A superficial reading therefore could take us along a well trodden path of plot and charcter development.With Lasalle s interpretation accompanied by a flawless rendition of the two actors, however, the easy understanding of the play was turned upside down for me The Arnolphe I saw turned through the long monologues into the tragic figure of a man who desperately loses his love precisely during the process in which this love captivates himandHis obsession in controlling a woman, to the point that he is willing to marry someone ugly and stupid, becomes his undoing precisely because the chosen lady is neither dumb nor hideous The actor looked exhausted after wrenching out so much anguish out of his text.But if the above distressing Arnolphe could be extracted from Moli re s text and he himself was its first actor , we see in Lasalle s Agn s not just the one that Moli re concocted, who rebelled against the string of the puritanical moral laws and who was willing to take risks in order to reject her unsuitable suitor, but one who will also show disdain at her silly and weak beau when he proved not to have her courage.A memorable play.A memorable performance L cole des femmes The School For Wives, MoliereThe School for Wives is a theatrical comedy written by the seventeenth century French playwright Moli re, and considered by some critics, to be one of his finest achievements It was first staged at the Palais Royal theatre, on 26 December 1662, for the brother of the King The play depicts a character, who is so intimidated by femininity that he resolves to marry his young, na ve ward and proceeds to make clumsy advances to this purpose Arnolph L cole des femmes The School For Wives, MoliereThe School for Wives is a theatrical comedy written by the seventeenth century French playwright Moli re, and considered by some critics, to be one of his finest achievements It was first staged at the Palais Royal theatre, on 26 December 1662, for the brother of the King The play depicts a character, who is so intimidated by femininity that he resolves to marry his young, na ve ward and proceeds to make clumsy advances to this purpose Arnolphe, the main protagonist, is a man of 42 years who has groomed the young Agn s since the age of 4 Arnolphe supports Agn s living in a nunnery until the age of 17, when he moves her to one of his abodes, which he keeps under the name of Monsieur de la Souche Arnolphe s intention is to bring up Agn s in such a manner that she will be too ignorant to be unfaithful to him and he becomes obsessed with avoiding this fate To this end, he forbids the nuns who are instructing her from teaching her anything that might lead her astray Right from the very first scene, Chrysalde warns Arnolphe of his downfall, but Arnolphe takes no heed 2014 1391 82 978964899064517 1662 We love Moli re for his flair and wit And laugh out loud while the rest just sit I saw L Ecole des Femmes performed at the Com die Fran aise in Paris two weeks ago in the company of a little group of women friends It was a hugely enjoyable experience for many reasons but mainly because we found the play so funny, laughingfrequently than the other patrons of the theatre who seemed to be a very sober lot indeed It helped that we d all looked over the play recently I had read half of it We love Moli re for his flair and wit And laugh out loud while the rest just sit I saw L Ecole des Femmes performed at the Com die Fran aise in Paris two weeks ago in the company of a little group of women friends It was a hugely enjoyable experience for many reasons but mainly because we found the play so funny, laughingfrequently than the other patrons of the theatre who seemed to be a very sober lot indeed It helped that we d all looked over the play recently I had read half of it, hoping to keep a little of the suspense intact and so we were able to follow the dialogue easily and knew where the funny bits were But I think we laughed as much at the wonderfully dramatic performances of the actors as at the lines themselves All the performers were engaging but the actor who played the main character, Arnolphe, and who is on stage practically the entire time, was superb Objectively viewed, the character of Arnolphe lurches between ridiculously comic and morally reprehensible but the actor who played him managed to engage our sympathy for his predicament in spite of our better judgement I finished reading the play today and was surprised to see that the ending of the original was slightly different to the staged version I had applauded Moli re s foresight and wisdom in granting the main female character, Agn s, a say in her own destiny in the final scene of the play However, I was a little previous with my applause It would seem that the director, Jacques Lassalle created a slightlynuanced ending while the original ending isin keeping with the times Agn s s destiny is decided entirely by the men in her family Moli re did give Agn s some great lines though, words which shine with perfect simplicity and truth but which are subtly clever as well Horace J en suis assez press par ma flame auseAgnes Quand je ne vous vois point, je ne suis point joyeuseHorace Hors de votre pr sence, on me voit triste aussiAgnes H las s il tait vrai, vous resteriez iciAgn s learns some harsh lessons at the Ecole des Femmes but she manages to turn them to her advantageoften than not For a character created in 1662, she sometimes sounds surprisingly modern Bravo, Moli re