Marivaux and Molière: A Comparison

Synopsis

Marivaux and Moliere are, respectively, the greatest comedy writers of the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries. Whereas a library of critical material exists on Moliere, Marivaux has benefited from less commentary, and many questions concerning this eighteenth-century playwright remain unanswered. Among these, of primary importance is his relationship with Moliere. The present study represents an illuminating discussion of this relationship. It devotes a chapter to each of Marivaux's plays that recalls any aspect of Moliere's comedies. Without detracting from Marivaux's basic originality, Dr. Cismaru shows that Marivaux's alleged scorn for his illustrious predecessor did not prevent him from using molieresque scenes, tone, and vocabulary. The first book-length study of the relationship between Moliere and Marivaux is lucidly written and free from technical jargon. It should benefit both the student of the two playwrights and the specialist.

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