French 230A: Molière: Stage, Page, Patronage

Instructor: Nicholas Paige

Crafted to appeal to a mixed urban audience as well as to King and court, running the generic gamut from farce and Latin comedy to a new kind of satire that provoked, in the words of a contemporary, a silent “rire dans l’âme,” Molière’s theatrical output is astonishingly varied.  In addition, his plays (of which we’ll be reading a selection) offer a profound engagement with the politico-cultural mutations of the 1660s, a decade that in hindsight has appeared to many as the founding moment of modernity in France. Our seminar will take the measure of the main lit-critical approaches as well as canvass more recent attempts to understand his work in the context of the institutions that shaped it.  Readings in French and English; discussions mostly in French but English speakers welcomed.

  • Elective Requirement: This course fulfills the elective requirement for the DE in REMS.