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MolièreReasoning With Fools$
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Michael Hawcroft

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228836

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228836.001.0001

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Le Malade Imaginaire: the raisonneur as brother and impresario

Le Malade Imaginaire: the raisonneur as brother and impresario

(p.179) 6 Le Malade Imaginaire: the raisonneur as brother and impresario

Michael Hawcroft (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with Béralde in Le Malade Imaginaire, brother of the ridiculous hypochondriac Argan. Critics are divided over the extremely skeptical stance that Béralde adopts towards doctors and medicine. Is it the skepticism of the wise man, the view of Molière himself and of Montaigne? Or is he absurdly self-satisfied in his comically negative attitudes that he relentlessly airs? This chapter argues that careful attention to his role in the plot reveals that his words can be interpreted in rhetorical terms. He is using arguments that might best ensure a happy outcome and most effectively make the audience laugh at Argan.

Keywords:   Béralde, Argan, doctors, medicine, skepticism, Montaigne, plot, rhetorical

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