The Miser and Other Plays (Penguin Classics)

The Miser and Other Plays (Penguin Classics)

David Coward, Molière

Language: English

Pages: 498

ISBN: 0140447288

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Translated by David Coward

Moliere combined all the traditional elements of comedy - wit, slapstick, spectacle and satire - to create richly sophisticated and enduringly popular dramas. The Miser is the story of Harpagon, a mean-spirited old man who becomes obsessed with making money out of the marriage of his children, while The Hypochondriac, another study in obsession, is a brilliant satire on the medical profession. The School for Wives, in which an ageing domestic tyrant is foiled in his plans to marry his young ward, provoked such an outcry that Moliere followed it with The School for Wives Criticized - a witty retort to those who disapproved of the play's supposed immorality. And while Don Juan is the darkest and most tragic of all the plays in this collection, it still mocks the soullessness of the skinflint with scathing irony.


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M. DIAFOIRUS: My son Thomas and I – ARGAN: The honour you do me – M. DIAFOIRUS: To express to you, sir – ARGAN: And I wish I could – M. DIAFOIRUS: Our pleasure in – ARGAN: Have called on you – M. DIAFOIRUS: The kindness you have shown – ARGAN: And assured you – M. DIAFOIRUS: In receiving us – ARGAN: But you know, sir – M. DIAFOIRUS: Into the honour, sir – ARGAN: That a poor invalid – M. DIAFOIRUS: Of becoming connected by marriage – ARGAN: Who has no alternative – M. DIAFOIRUS: And

but only the best. All those tiresome callers we have to put up with are often the reason why I like being alone. URANIE: It means you’re too fussy if you can only put up with the best people. ÉLISE: It means a lack of discrimination if you put up with all sorts of people regardless. URANIE: I enjoy the company of the sensible ones and amuse myself with the fools. ÉLISE: But it doesn’t take the fools long to become very boring and most of them stop being amusing after the first visit. But,

hell, were greatly admired. Yet from the start the play was controversial and after the first performance Molière cut the scene (III.ii) in which Don Juan tries to force the Poor Man to blaspheme. Following the annual Easter closure of the Paris theatres the play was withdrawn in the face of mounting opposition. It was said to defend free thought and ‘atheism’. Here, said one critic, was a play in which ‘an unbeliever, who is seemingly struck down, in fact strikes at and overturns the very

in tune with my heart? SGANARELLE: Then it isn’t… You’re not… You… Oh, what a man, what a man, what a man! DON JUAN: I have not changed at all. My sentiments are still the same. SGANARELLE: And hasn’t the amazing, miraculous, walking, talking statue made you have second thoughts? DON JUAN: There’s certainly something there I don’t understand, but whatever it is it shall neither change my mind nor shake my courage. When I said I intended to mend my ways and start to lead an exemplary life it

HARPAGON: Really, I’m delighted to hear it. FROSINE: To be honest sir, this lawsuit is a very serious matter for me… (Harpagon looks stern again.) If I lose I’m ruined, but just a little help would save the situation. I only wish you could have been there to see her listening to me in raptures when I was talking about you. (Harpagon brightens again.) As I ran through your many qualities her eyes filled with pleasure, and in the end I made her terribly impatient for the marriage to be all

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