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The Cid ; Cinna ; The theatrical illusion

by Pierre Corneille

Other authors: John Cairncross (Translator)

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2352114,167 (3.47)1
The Cid, Corneille's masterpiece set in medieval Spain, was the first great work of French classical drama; Cinna, written three years later in 1641, is a tense political drama, while The Theatrical Illusion, an earlier work, is reminiscent of Shakespeare's exuberant comedies.
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The blank verse translation by John Cairncross has lots of energy, but I can only assume the French has more interesting imagery or something else that couldn’t be brought across, because I found these plays quite dull and one-dimensional. The characters just seem to take turns saying what they mean; there’s little subtext or double meaning here, just ideas being opposed and worked out to a formula. The Cid and Cinna are untragic tragedies; The Theatrical Illusion a mild and inoffensive comedy. Glad to have read some Corneille, I suppose. ( )
  yarb | Aug 9, 2023 |
I give it the 4 stars for Theatrical Illusion, which is very funny, and the Cid, which is gorgeous melodrama. Cinna, to me, is less exciting -- in real life, political forgiveness is a good thing, but it does not make for high tragedy ( )
  antiquary | May 19, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pierre Corneilleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cairncross, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The Cid, Corneille's masterpiece set in medieval Spain, was the first great work of French classical drama; Cinna, written three years later in 1641, is a tense political drama, while The Theatrical Illusion, an earlier work, is reminiscent of Shakespeare's exuberant comedies.

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