[In Le Dieu Caché, an interesting theory on Racine] has been put forward by a Marxist critic which has general implications going well beyond the one particular case. M. Lucien Goldmann derived Racine's 'tragic vision' directly from his Jansenism, and related this religious creed in turn to the discontent of a particular social class. This was the noblesse de robe, the higher ranks of the legal profession which (he argued) saw its powers and prerogatives curtailed by the development of a centralised bureaucracy directly responsible to the Crown. Whence came, not open opposition, but a half-conscious 'attitude of reserve towards the life of society and the State'.
In his analysis of the...
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