The Misanthrope and Other Plays: A New Selection (Penguin Classics)

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9780140447309: The Misanthrope and Other Plays: A New Selection (Penguin Classics)

Molière (1622-73) combined all the traditional elements of comedy—wit, slapstick, spectacle and satire—with a deep understanding of character to create richly sophisticated dramas which have always delighted audiences. Most are built around dangerously deluded and obsessive heroes such as The Would-Be Gentleman and The Misanthrope who threaten to blight the lives of those around them. Such Foolish Affected Ladies and Those Learned Ladies (both newly translated for this edition) expose the extravagant, fashionable fads and snobbery of the Parisian smart set, while the story of the falsely devout Tartuffe and his devoted disciple Orgon attracted huge controversy for its attack on religious hypocrisy. Finally, The Doctor Despite Himself forms a hilarious chapter in Molière's long-standing vendetta against the medical profession.

 

Like Shakespeare, Molière was a true man of the theatre whose comedies blend sharp insight into human nature with an unerring sense of what would work on stage and make people laugh. All his greatest achievements are included here and in the accompanying Penguin Classics volume, The Miser and Other Plays.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From the Back Cover:

Written during the triumphant final years of Moliere's career, these seven works represent the mature flowering of his artistry and the most profound development of his vision of humanity. They are essential to appreciating the full genius of this greatest and best-loved French comic author.

About the Author:

Moliere was the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673). His plays achieved great success, especially his masterpiece, The Misanthrope, and elicited enormous controversy with their religious irreverence.

John Wood was born in 1900 and went to Manchester University. After some years in teaching and adult education he spent his working life in educational administration. Concern with the relevance of the arts in education, combined with personal predilection, led to involvement with the theatre and with the work of Molière in particular, as producer and translator. He also translated The Misanthrope and Other Plays and The Miser and Other Plays for Penguin Classics.

David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England. He won a Scott-Moncrieff prize for his edition of Albert Cohen's Belle du Seigneur.

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