Molière World Literature Analysis - Essay

Molière World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Molière’s art derived from two sources. The first was the French farce, a story of trickery, punctuated with physical action, which had delighted simple audiences during the Middle Ages and continued to please more sophisticated audiences in Molière’s own century. The second was the commedia dell’arte, which had originated in Italy and had only recently been introduced to France. These were plays with set situations but with improvised dialogue, presented by actors in masks, who represented character types. In developing his own kind of comedy, Molière depended for his plots on farce, with its elaborate schemes of deception, mistaken identity, disguise, and misdirection. The commedia dell’arte, however, suggested...

(The entire section is 3724 words.)