The Doctor in Spite of Himself Essay - Critical Essays



(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

This drama, ordinarily considered one of Molière’s less important works, nevertheless demonstrates his ability to ridicule the fads of his day, in this case the vogue, not wholly extinct three centuries later, of showing obsequious deference to men of science no matter what their real qualifications may be. Exposing the fact that ignorance often hides behind a smattering of superficial learning, he levels his barbs against the doctors of his time. The comedy was an immediate success and has always been popular. Sixty-five years after its first presentation, Henry Fielding, English novelist and dramatist, adapted the basic plot in a play presented at the Drury Lane Theatre under the title of THE MOCK DOCTOR; OR, THE DUMB LADY CUR’D.