By Joseph Harris, Jean Racine, Pierre Corneille, Molière, John Edmunds

Note: switched over from the retail AZW3 edition.

The 'greatest hits' of French classical theatre, in brilliant and acclaimed new Penguin translations by way of John Edmunds and with editorial gear by means of Joseph Harris.

The performs during this quantity - Cinna, The Misanthrope, Andromache and Phaedra - span purely thirty-seven years, yet make up the defining interval of French theatre. In Corneille's Cinna (1640), absolute energy is explored in historical Rome, whereas Moliere's The Misanthrope (1666), the one comedy during this assortment, sees its anti-hero outcast for his refusal to comply to social conventions. right here are also key performs by means of Racine: Andromache (1667), recounting the tragedy of Hector's widow after the Trojan conflict, and Phaedre (1677), displaying a mom crossing the boundaries of affection along with her son.

This translation of Phaedra used to be initially broadcast on Radio 3 with a solid together with Prunella Scales and Timothy West, and was once praised by way of playwright Harold Pinter. this is often the 1st time it's been released. The variation additionally contains an advent by means of Joseph Harris, genealogical tables, pronunciation publications, evaluations and prefaces, in addition to a chronology and advised additional reading.

After a different occupation as an actor, instructor, and BBC television nationwide newsreader, John Edmunds grew to become the founder-director of Aberystwyth University's division of Theatre, movie and tv reports. Joseph Harris is Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, collage of London and writer of Hidden Agendas: Cross-Dressing in Seventeenth-Century France (2005).

Review

Racine's plays...create in functionality a terrifying and inescapable pace - they're grippingly fascinating -- Alan Hollinghurst

About the Author

Pierre Corneille (1606–1684), usually hailed because the father of French tragedy, made his identify with the tragicomedy Le Cid in 1637. His best-known works comprise Horace and Cinna.

Molière is the pen identify of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622–1673), one of many maximum French comedians. His a number of performs contain Tartuffe, Le Misanthrope, and L’Avare.

Jean Racine (1639–1699) turned often called one of many 17th century’s top playwrights with the neoclassical tragedies Andromaque, Britannicus, and Phèdre.

John Edmunds is the founder-director of the dept of theater, movie, and tv stories on the college of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Joseph Harris is a senior lecturer at Royal Holloway, collage of London.

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Extra info for Four French Plays: Cinna, The Misanthrope, Andromache, Phaedra (Penguin Classics)

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Phorkyas, in the proscenium, raises herself to gigantic height, steps down, takes off mask and veil, and shows herself as Mephistopheles in order to of.. n ACT FOUR High mountains (lines 10,039-10,344): A cloud approaches, parts, and Faust emerges. After a fine soliloquy, 1. 40 1ntroductwn «a seven-league boot appears, another follows soon. Mephistopheles gets off. p Faust is impressed by the grandeur of nature, Mephisto is not. Mephisto spices his remarks with quotations from and allusions to Ephesians 6: 12 and Matthew 4, the reference& being given in the text.

If anybody can produce a collection of passages better than Goethe's, let him offer these creations as his OWDwith apologies to Goethe, if necessary. Most attempts at improvements, however, would never deserve a reading in their own right. Shelley did not take such liberties when he translated the "Prologue in Heaven" from Faust; when he had some. thing of his own to say, he did it over his own name. nslator as poet were true. Rilke did a great deal of translating, much of it superb, but never took the liberties which most trans- 48 Introduction lators claim as their unalienable rights.

First day at the university. The young Bae.. calaureus is very full of himseH and extremely aggressive, leading Mephisto to say: Introduction 35 You do not seem to know how rude you are. In German, this line is often quoted, as is the retort: When you're polite in German, you are lying. At that point, Mephisto, whose chair has casters, rolls forward to the front of the stage and addresses the audi.. ence: Up he,e, I fear, I'm quite unpopular; Will you g,ant me asylum, if he becomes too trying? " His final speech isa parody of philosophical Idealism·· ("'The world was not till I created· if'), and commentators have ar...

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