A Flea in Her Ear

by Georges Feydeau

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

“A Flea in her Ear,” is a play written by the French playwright Georges Feydeau in 1907. During the play, Raymonde Chandebise, who has been happily married for years, begins to believe that her husband, Victor Emmanuel, is being unfaithful because “after having been a husband—and what a husband!—suddenly stopped—like that!” With the help of her friend, Lucienne, she writes a letter to her husband from an anonymous admirer requesting a meeting at a nearby hotel that is known for affairs. Upon receiving the letter, Victor Emmanuel believes it was meant for his single, handsome friend, Tournel. Tournel quickly leaves for the hotel, where he will find Raymonde waiting to confront her husband.

Victor Emmanuel, not knowing the letter was written by Lucienne, shows it to Lucienne’s husband. He recognizes the handwriting, and, thinking his wife is having an affair, quickly leaves for the hotel with plans to kill her. Victor Emmanuel follows, attempting to stop Lucienne’s husband from committing a murder.

At the same time, Victor Emmanuel’s nephew, Camille, arrives at the hotel with Antoinette to celebrate the correction of Camille’s speech impediment. They are followed by Antoinette’s husband.

As all the characters arrive at the hotel, the misunderstandings continue developing. Carlos, Lucienne’s husband, starts shooting, while Tournel tries to seduce Raymonde, who he has a crush on. Victor Emmanuel, seeing the two of them, believes his wife is cheating on him. Nothing is cleared up until Carlos finds the first copy of the letter in Raymonde’s handwriting, and Raymonde and Victor Emmanuel discuss their marital problems.

The play shows the importance of communication and trust in relationships. All of the misunderstandings and confusion could have been avoided if Raymonde and Victor Emmanuel would have openly communicated from the beginning instead of Raymonde tricking her husband. Victor Emmanuel, who received the letter first and thought it was a mistake because he trusted his wife, was the most innocent character to arrive at the hotel.

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