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Lysandre by Edmond Geffroy (my collection)

A Short Book

There are indications I will not live eternally, but I have an unfinished project: publishing a book on Molière.

This goal may be unrealistic. However, I will not be given another chance. It will be a short book and I may not have reviewed recent literature on the subject as thoroughly as I would like to. Yet, I wrote a PhD thesis on Molière, and a PhD thesis is a scholarly venture. Moreover, I was expected to “dust it off,” a thesis is a thesis, and publish it.

Dusting it off is what I plan to do. In other words, it will not sound too scholarly. I will quote fellow moliéristes, but will focus on my findings.

L’Avare (www.gettyimages.fr)

Problematic Plays

  • Tartuffe, 1664 – 1669
  • Dom Juan, 1665
  • Le Misanthrope, 1666
  • L’Avare, 1668

Were it not for the intervention of a second father, the young couples in L’Avare (The Miser), 1668, could not marry. They would be at the mercy of Harpagon’s greed.

Matters are worse in Tartuffe1664 -1669. Were it not for the intervention of the king, not only would the young lovers not marry, but Orgon’s family would be ruined. In The Misanthrope,1666Alceste is his own worst enemy. In Dom Juan, 1665, Dom Juan is removed by a deus ex machina and he has left Elvira, his wife.


Chapters may resemble Molière’s “L’Avare: Doublings, a post. This post is informative, but not too scholarly. It also illustrates my main finding. In Molière’s plays, the young lovers cannot marry without an intervention, or putting on a play (Le Bourgeois gentilhomme). In L’Avare, they are saved by a second father: doublings. Molière uses stage devices, such as a deus ex machina, to save the society of the play.

Therefore, if a blocking character is removed, he is a pharmakos (a scapegoat).

L’Avare, 1668, (The Miser) is rooted in Roman playwright Plautus‘ Aulularia. Plautus died in 184 BCE. Molière’s miserly father is a Shylock (The Merchant of Venice, c. 1600, by Shakespeare). There are misers in the commedia dell’arte, and Molière knew the stock characters of the commedia dell’arte. Comedy has a tradition. Greek playwright Aristophanes is considered its father. Molière also wrote farces. These date back not only to medieval France, but to the Atellane farces, which featured stock characters, as does the commedia dell’arte.

Conclusion & remerciements

I feel very young, but time goes by so quickly. It would please me to tell more about Molière, but it has to be now. It’s my last chance and there you are, supporting me.

I wish to thank a very kind gentleman who sent me images of Colette‘s La Chatte by Raoul Dufy.


Je vous remercie bien sincèrement d’avoir pensé à moi. Ces dessins de Dufy me font plaisir. Votre générosité m’a beaucoup touchée.

Colette a eu une « dernière chatte », et j’ai, pour ma part, une dernière occasion.

Love to everyone  💕


Marc-Antoine Charpentier — Te  Deum

Elmire (Tartuffe) by Tammy  Grimes (my collection)

© Micheline Walker
16 February 2019