Dramas that both entertain and quicken the spirit, these classics are a blend of poetic beauty, intrigue, and rhetoric that have enthralled generations of theatergoers in France and around the world. Each of the authors is a playwright of international repute, whose works nevertheless embody a rigorously French style and tone.
From the pathos of Racine to the comic exuberance of Moliére, the landmark dramas span two centuries of French literary history and represent five different genres: the tragicomedy of Corneille's The Cid
(1636)/ Racine's tragic Phaedra
(1677); the high comedy of Moliére's The Intellectual Ladies
(1672); Marivaux's romantic comedy, The Game of Love and Chance
(1730); and the conspiratorial comedy of Beaumarchais' The Barber of Seville
Vivid translations by noted scholar Wallace Fowlie are remarkable for their faithfulness to the original text. In addition, Mr. Fowlie precedes each text with a brief historical-critical introduction that defines the importance of the play in the history of the French theater, the literary position of the playwright, and the general meaning of the play. Any student or lover of theater will welcome this treasury of masterpieces from the Golden Age of French drama, newly available in an attractive Dover edition at a reasonable price.
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