The Litigants Essay - Critical Essays

Jean Racine


(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

Racine first planned LES PLAIDEURS as a French adaptation of Aristophanes’ THE WASPS, to be presented by an Italian company in Paris. As it turned out, he received some collaboration from a group of friends who dined together regularly, a circumstance which may explain the spontaneity of the comedy. The action, unimportant in itself, becomes the occasion for a series of amusing scenes which ridicule doctors and lawyers. Like Aristophanes, Racine took the greatest liberties with the logic of his plot. The play occupies an interesting place in Racine’s work, for it shows a master of tragedy equally at ease in a drama of completely different effect.