By Edward Forman
The time period "French theater" inspires so much instantly the glories of the classical interval and the peculiarities of the Theater of the Absurd. It has given us the works of Corneille, Racine, and Moliere. within the Romantic period there has been Alexander Dumas and surrealist works of Alfred Jarry, after which the Theater of the Absurd erupted in rationalistic France with Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Jean-Paul Sartre.The ancient Dictionary of French Theater relates the historical past of the French theater via a chronology, advent, bibliography, and over four hundred cross-referenced dictionary entries on authors, developments, genres, strategies, and literary and historic advancements that performed a primary function within the evolution of French theater.
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Additional resources for Historical Dictionary of French Theater (Historical Dictionaries Of Literature And The Arts)
ACTOR. The French word comédien (feminine comédienne) is generally used to refer to all actors, although it can also mean “comic actor,” in contrast with tragédien(ne). Pejorative terms in common use include cabotin, histrion and baladin. As in other Western cultures, actors in France have generally been treated with some disdain by social and intellectual snobs. In the 17th century, acting troupes were generally run as cooperatives, so actors such as Jodelet, Bellerose and Molière also had responsibility for stage direction and for company management.
Into this context, which seems to have been dominated by rather earnest attempts to recapture an age that had in practice receded, exploded the comic genius of Beaumarchais, with Le Barbier de Séville (1775) and above all Le Mariage de Figaro, completed by 1781, performed in 1784 and 8 • INTRODUCTION turned into an internationally successful opera by Mozart in 1786—still three years before the ancien régime, which it so mercilessly satirized, was finally brought to an end by the French Revolution.
Ancient Greek philosopher and literary theorist whose Poetics provided a constant source of ideas on classical drama, particularly tragedy (it is believed that a section of the Poetics devoted to comedy was lost). Allegiance to the ideas of Aristotle, as interpreted by theorists, was an essential test of orthodoxy in literary circles in the 16th and 17th centuries (see LA QUERELLE DU CID). Several key concepts that are considered integral to the special qualities of tragedy can be traced to the Poetics—the generation of catharsis by arousing pity and fear, the use of peripeteia and anagnorisis to produce a dramatic climax, and the notion of hamartia as the basis of ethical ambiguity—although Aristotle gave less weight than has often been thought to formal considerations such as the unities, and much of what he said on other topics is condensed and contradictory.
Historical Dictionary of French Theater (Historical Dictionaries Of Literature And The Arts) by Edward Forman