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The Miser (1668)

by Molière

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0872016,007 (3.65)14
The miser of the title is called Harpagon, a name adapted from the Latin harpago, meaning a hook or grappling iron. He is obsessed with the wealth he has amassed and always ready to save expenses. Now a widower, he has a son, Cléante, and a daughter, Élise. Although he is over sixty, he is attempting to arrange a marriage between himself and an attractive young woman, Mariane.… (more)
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» See also 14 mentions

English (9)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Es una comedia en prosa en 5 actos, donde se analiza un defecto humano común y peligroso: la avaricia, encarnada en Harpagón.
La historia se sitúa en París en el siglo XVII, en el hogar de una familia acomodada, donde, sin embargo, los hijos sufren privaciones económicas y afectivas, a causa de la mezquindad de su padre. Harpagón está enamorado de Mariana y pretende casarse con ella a pesar de que su propio hijo se constituye en su rival, ya que también está enamorado de la joven.
El poder del protagonista radica en su dinero, con el que pretende comprar los sentimientos más puros, pero que se convertirá en su opresión y su ruina moral, ya que renunciará a todo por no perder lo material.
( )
  serxius | Aug 26, 2022 |
The Miser or L'Avare is a satire written in 1668 by French playwright Jean Baptiste Molière. It is a comedy of manners.

It was first performed in 1668, in which Molière played the central role of the miser himself.

The Miser is the story of Harpagon, who is maniacally possessive about his own wealth. Always afraid that someone will steal it, he suspects everyone including his own children of wanting to rob him. His children, especially his spirited son, in turn despise him and want to get way from him.

I started off intending to read only a few pages of this play. But I ended up reading the whole thing in just two hours. The Miser is simply hilarious!

The situations in the play are all funny but some of the scenes are so funny that I would remember them for a long time to come. For example the scene in which the servant, Master Jacques, gives a statement to the police officer wishing to implicate Valère for the theft. Or the scene in which Harpagon and Valère have a very odd conversation about the theft and Harpagon’s daughter Élise.

Certain theatrical conventions are mocked in the play to a humorous effect. We often see that characters use asides to reveal their inner most thoughts to the audience, which the other characters in the play seem to ignore. But in The Miser, everytime a character uses an aside to reveal their inner thoughts, some other character demands to know what is it that they are saying!

Even the play’s end is farcical, in which almost half a dozen of the plays characters turn out to be related to each other. This, I presume, mocks the mandatory happy ending that we all seem to crave.

None of the characters stand out on their own, which is not a bad thing as they are all equally well written and important.

What can one say about Molière’s writing except that it is brilliant. The dialogues are very, very witty.

I loved reading The Miser. My only wish is to see a live performance of this play one day, if possible. ( )
  Porua | Jun 26, 2020 |
Bir insan bu kadar da cimri olamaz. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
Harpagon, riche vieillard, fait subir à toute sa maisonnée sa passion aveugle et tyrannique pour l’argent. Son avarice fait obstacle aux projets amoureux de ses enfants, le pousse à soupçonner ses proches et donne envie à ses serviteurs de le tromper. Quand il apprend que son fils est son rival auprès de la belle Mariane et qu’une cassette pleine d’or lui a été dérobée, sa fureur est à son comble et frappe de stupeur tout son entourage…

Les grands personnages de Molière, M. Jourdain comme Argan, Alceste, Tartuffe ou les autres, ont tous dans leurs faiblesses quelque chose d'humain et de touchant qui nous empêche de rire sans retenue de leurs vices ou de leurs ridicules. A l'exception ! d'Harpagon. Celui-là n'est ni père, ni ami, ni bon ni mauvais, ni courageux ni craintif Rien qu'avare. Avare, pingre, ladre, fesse-mathieu, quoi qu'on fasse et quoi qu'il arrive. Grandiose, sublime, fou d'avarice. Les rires qu'il soulève ne sont pas près de s'éteindre. Mais Harpagon n'en a cure. Il n'est pas susceptible. Rien qu'avare, vous dis-je.
1 vote Haijavivi | Jun 9, 2019 |
Jan. 2021:
Basically no change in my previous opinion. I have since discovered that this play was one of the few that Moliere wrote in prose rather than rhyme and thus was never translated by R. Wilbur. I do find that the word play is better in Moliere's plays that were written in verse...

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2015 review:
This French classic was my first experience of Molière and made me a lifelong fan. Unfortunately, the translation in this Kindle edition (my copy is from Project Gutenberg) by Charles Heron Wall isn't as good as the one I remember from years ago (Richard Wilbur's?). While easy to read, I miss the rhyming couplets and the word play isn't as sparkling as I expect from Molière.

Even with these flaws, I still had fun reading this. The ending reminded me of something from a Shakespeare comedy ("The Comedy of Errors" perhaps) but I love the fact that Harpagon stays miserly to the end. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (63 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MolièreAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergstrand, AllanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonno, GabrielIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambers, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delaisement, GérardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrer, ÉliseEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrer, KonradEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirvensalo, LauriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Laun, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Ronald A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Hé quoi, charmante Élise, vous devenez mélancolique, après les obligeantes assurances que vous avez eu la bonté de me donner de votre foi?
What, dear Elise! you grow sad after having given me such dear tokens of your love; and I see you sigh in the midst of my joy!
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The miser of the title is called Harpagon, a name adapted from the Latin harpago, meaning a hook or grappling iron. He is obsessed with the wealth he has amassed and always ready to save expenses. Now a widower, he has a son, Cléante, and a daughter, Élise. Although he is over sixty, he is attempting to arrange a marriage between himself and an attractive young woman, Mariane.

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L'Avare est une comédie de Molière en cinq actes et en prose, adaptée de La Marmite (Aulularia) de Plaute et représentée pour la première fois sur la scène du Palais-Royal le 9 septembre 16682. Il s'agit d'une comédie de caractère dont le personnage principal, Harpagon, est caractérisé par son avarice caricaturale. Harpagon tente de marier sa fille de force, tout en protégeant obstinément une cassette pleine d'or. Les cinq actes comportent respectivement cinq, cinq, neuf, sept, et six scènes.Cette édition comprend une brève autobiographie de l'auteur.
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