MOLIERE: STRUCTURE AND COMIC RHYTHM

JEAN-DENIS M MARZI, Fordham University

Abstract

This study analyzes the evolution of structure throughout Moliere's dramatic production. All of Moliere's plays (as well as Le Remerciement au roi) are discussed in thirty-three individual chapters in order to provide the reader with a quantitative and qualitative understanding of Moliere's techniques of dramatic composition. Given particular importance is Moliere's preoccupation with structural design (the interdependent rapports between the constituent elements of comedy) and its relation to comic rhythm, an aesthetic approximation of the natural cycles of life.^ The opening chapters deal with Moliere's apprenticeship period wherein he experimented with conventional structures, acquiring his craft while adapting his conception of comedy to the stage. The middle chapters (L'Ecole des femmes, Le Tartuffe, and Dom Juan) treat Moliere's refinement of structure, and concentrate on his techniques of microcosmic/macrocosmic construction (acts and scenes are patterned after the overall arrangement of the play). The remaining chapters explore Moliere's new directions in structure: the musical structures of the comedies-ballets and their influence on the more conventional forms of comedy; structure as a parody of traditional comedy; and, new experimentation with diction as a preponderant element in structural design. These chapters discuss Moliere's modern traits and attempt to illustrate his original and diversified uses of structure.^

Subject Area

Romance literature

Recommended Citation

MARZI, JEAN-DENIS M, "MOLIERE: STRUCTURE AND COMIC RHYTHM" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8219251.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8219251

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