Miser

ISBN-10: 0822213419
ISBN-13: 9780822213413
Edition: N/A
List price: $9.00 Buy it from $7.52
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Description: THE STORY: The aging but vital Harpagon is hoarding every centime he can get his hands on, making sure that his two children, the virginal Elise and the dandy Cleante, live under his iron will. To complicate matters, Elise has fallen in love with  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1993
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.198

THE STORY: The aging but vital Harpagon is hoarding every centime he can get his hands on, making sure that his two children, the virginal Elise and the dandy Cleante, live under his iron will. To complicate matters, Elise has fallen in love with the handsome Valere, who masquerades as a servant in the household, despite his noble birth, and, worse yet, Cleante and Harpagon are both smitten with the same woman, the beautiful, if somewhat dim, Marianne. Meanwhile, scheming servants and assorted hustlers angle for Harpagon's incredible wealth, much of which is now buried and protected by snarling Dobermans. The delirious plot spirals to a wildly comic finish, filled with all the masterful plot twists and outrageous revelations one would expect from one of Molière's finest plays.

The French dramatist Moliere was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin on January 15, 1622, in Paris. The son of a wealthy tapestry merchant, he had a penchant for the theater from childhood. In 1636, he was sent off to school at the Jesuit College of Claremont and in 1643, he embarked upon a 13-year career touring in provincial theater as a troupe member of Illustre Theatre, a group established by the family Bejarts. He married a daughter of the troupe, Armande Bejart, in 1662 and changed his name to Moliere. The French King Louis XIV, becoming entranced with the troupe after seeing a performance of The Would-Be Gentleman, lent his support and charged Moliere with the production of comedy ballets in which he often used real-life human qualities as backdrops rather than settings from church or state. Soon, Moliere secured a position at the Palais-Royal and committed himself to the comic theater as a dramatist, actor, producer, and director. Moliere is considered to be one of the preeminent French dramatists and writers of comedies; his work continues to delight audiences today. With L'Ecole des Femmes (The School for Wives) Moliere broke with the farce tradition, and the play, about the role played by women in society and their preparation for it, is regarded by many as the first great seriocomic work of French literature. In Tartuffe (1664), Moliere invented one of his famous comic types, that of a religious hypocrite, a character so realistic that the king forbade public performance of the play for five years. Moliere gave psychological depth to his characters, engaging them in facial antics and slapstick comedy, but with an underlying pathos. Jean Baptiste Moliere died in 1673.

David A. Charters is a professor in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick and an amateur sports car racer.

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