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The misanthrope by Molière

The misanthrope (edition 1992)

by Molière

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807811,245 (3.7)8
Title:The misanthrope
Info:New York : London : Dover ; Constable, 1992.
Collections:Your library

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The Misanthrope by Molière



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English (7)  French (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
4½ stars. This play is full of humorous word-play so make sure that you have a good translation. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
This is a simple and straight-forward drama. Alceste has his ideals but is in love with a woman who falls short of them. There are a number of amusing characters who come and go and a pair of likeable people that I wanted to see more of. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Sep 22, 2012 |
Moliere has long been on my to-read list because his comedies were on a list of "100 Significant Books" I was determined to read through. The introduction in one of the books of his plays says that of his "thirty-two comedies... a good third are among the comic masterpieces of world literature." The plays are surprisingly accessible and amusing, even if by and large they strike me as frothy and light compared to comedies by Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Wilde, Shaw and Rostand. But I may be at a disadvantage. I'm a native New Yorker, and looking back it's amazing how many classic plays I've seen on stage, plenty I've seen in filmed adaptation and many I've studied in school. Yet I've never encountered Moliere before this. Several productions of Shakespeare live and filmed are definitely responsible for me love of his plays. Reading a play is really no substitute for seeing it--the text is only scaffolding. So that might be why I don't rate these plays higher. I admit I also found Wilbur's much recommended translation off-putting at first. The format of rhyming couplets seemed sing-song and trite, as if I was reading the lyrics to a musical rather than a play. As I read more I did get used to that form, but I do suspect these are the kinds of works that play much better on stage than on the page.

Misanthrope was the first Moliere play I ever read, and arguably the most famous of all his plays. The introduction in what might seem an oxymoron calls it a comic King Lear, and I can see that side of it. As comic as this might read, it is basically a tragedy about the young man Alceste, the "misanthrope" of the play, who makes such a fetish of always being honest he alienates everyone around him. The character I enjoyed the most was definitely the malicious Arsinoe who plays the prude. The catty scenes between her and Alceste's love Celimene is particularly hilarious. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Mar 10, 2012 |
Almost alone at the office between christmas and New Year's, I find the time to read this classic. This is one of the few major Moliére plays I've never seen a performance of, and it's been ages since I read it too. Moliére is never as fun to read as to - sometimes - see staged. The comedy is rarely in the lines themselves, but rather in the situations, the potential of the text. Therefore, I find his plays are best read fairly slowly.

Which I, this time, didn't do.

Still, I enjoyed revisiting the story of Alceste, choking on the gossip and fakeness of high society and demanding full honesty from everybody, and his reluctant love for the sharp-tongued gossip Céliméne. There are some good situations derived from the premise, the funniest one probably being when he's asked to comment on a horrible piece of poetry. Moliére is also good at looking at things from two sides - Alceste is honest and upstanding, but because of this also more than a little annoying. The middle road of his friends Philinte and Éliante - trying to be honest but not being rude or stupid about it - is presented as a more sensible approach.

The strangely open ending is not quite satisfactory. But on the other hand it has a rather true ring to it. Not everything can end in a happy landing - sometimes people are just too far apart. ( )
  GingerbreadMan | Dec 29, 2011 |
In this five-act comedy, the titular misanthrope Alceste is sick of the hypocrisy and superficiality of the people around him, including his friend Philinte and his overly flirtatious beloved Celimene as well as the many courtly men who seek to win her affections.

When I saw that The Misanthrope was being played at a local theater, I was intrigued but unable to go within the timeframe it was playing. So I decided to take out a copy of Moliere’s famous play from the library but ended up with the Martin Crimp version instead of the original the first time. I found this edition odd and so went back for the original.

After reading the original, I'm still puzzled as to the popularity of this play over time. Besides an occasional speech here or there and the character of Celimene, I did not find this "comedy" particularly funny. The plot is paper-thin, I did not find a single character that I really liked, and the conclusion was far from satisfying. It's not that I'm necessarily recommending other readers (or viewers) stay away from this play, it's just that I'm not getting it myself. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Sep 18, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Molièreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bouton, Charles P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grebanier, Bernard D.N.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jasinski, RenéForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wendel, W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilbur, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Classic Comedies by Maurice Charney

Dom Juan / Misanthrope / Tartuffe by Molière

Misanthrope / Miser / Tartuffe by Molière

Misanthrope / Tartuffe by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Imaginary Invalid / Misanthrope / Tartuffe by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Imaginary Invalid / Misanthrope / Miser / School for Husbands / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Imaginary Invalid / Misanthrope / Miser / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Dom Juan / Imaginary Invalid / Learned Ladies / Misanthrope / Miser / Tartuffe by Molière

Dom Juan / Misanthrope / Miser / Pretentious Young Ladies / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Misanthrope / Miser by Molière

Misanthrope / Pretentious Young Ladies / Tartuffe by Molière

Doctor in Spite of Himself / Misanthrope / Miser / Pretentious Young Ladies / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Doctor in Spite of Himself / Misanthrope / Miser / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Doctor in Spite of Himself / Misanthrope / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Four comedies by Molière

Dom Juan / Misanthrope by Molière

Imaginary Invalid / Misanthrope by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Imaginary Invalid / Learned Ladies / Misanthrope / Miser / Scapin / School for Wives / Tartuffe by Molière

Amphitryon / Bourgeois Gentleman / Dom Juan / Imaginary Invalid / Misanthrope / Miser / Tartuffe by Molière

Forced Marriage / Learned Ladies / Misanthrope by Molière

Bourgeois Gentleman / Doctor in Spite of Himself / Imaginary Invalid / Learned Ladies / Misanthrope / Miser / Scapin by Molière

The Misanthrope and Other French Classics (Eric Bentley's Dramatic Repertoire ; V. 3) by Eric Bentley

Théatre complet : tome III by Molière

The Bedford Introduction to Drama by Lee A. Jacobus

Nine Great Plays from Aeschylus to Eliot by Leonard F. Dean

Comedies of Molière by Molière

A Treasury of the Theatre; an Anthology of Great Plays From Aeschylus to Hebbel by Philo M. Jr. Buck

The Misanthrope and Other Plays by Molière

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486270653, Paperback)

One of the best of Molière's plays — and one of the greatest of all comedies — spotlighting the absurdities of social and literary pretension, focusing on a man who is quick to criticize the faults of others, yet remains blind to his own. Publisher's Note.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Razor-sharp wit inflames a competitive game of survival in the salons of 17th century France where, in this world of "finest appearances," one man's blunt honesty shatters his society's delicate web of manners.

(summary from another edition)

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