Desjardins’ Le favori and Molière’s Tartuffe: Dissimulators and Dupes Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Killey, Julian Hamilton
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • The French writers of the 1660's-1680's such as La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyère, whom we now know as the moralistes, critiqued the theatricality of life among the urban bourgeois and among the nobles at court. Meanwhile, the Jansenist theologian Pierre Nicole in fact blamed theater for instructing French subjects in the ways of dissimulation. In the midst of this debate, Desjardins and Molière wrote their plays Le Favori and Tartuffe, which appear to respond to some of the moralistes' concerns about dissimulation in society. These authors offer contrasting messages on the question of dissimulation's morality in seventeenth century French society. While Desjardins depicts dissimulation as a necessary means to ends at court, Molière ostensibly warns his audience to be wary of malign dissimulators in society. These authors' messages about dissimulation give us insight into life and theater in Louis XIV's France.
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  • Welch, Ellen
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