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Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV$
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Hugh Gaston Hall

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151579.001.0001

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The Historical Tragicomedies

The Historical Tragicomedies

Chapter:
(p.162) 8 The Historical Tragicomedies
Source:
Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV
Author(s):

Hugh Gaston Hall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151579.003.0009

Prompted perhaps by Pierre Corneille's success with Le Cid, Jean Desmarets abandoned comedy for tragicomedy. Desmarets was elected on June 16 with Chapelain and the Abbé de Bourzeis, by the Académie-Française to the committee of three entrusted with general appreciation of Le Cid. Not surprisingly, in view of the success of Le Cid, Desmarets turned to tragicomedy and to an episode in the career of another virtuous conqueror of Spain, Scipio Africanus. Scipion, the first of Desmarets's two historical tragicomedies dedicated to Cardinal Richelieu, shares with Ariane and Le Cid a conquering hero of noble origins and royal aspirations. Scipion also shares with Le Cid the specific themes of self-mastery and of marriage for reasons of State. Desmarets's second tragicomedy, Roxane, was first performed on an unknown date in 1639.

Keywords:   Pierre Corneille, Le Cid, Jean Desmarets, tragicomedy, Scipion, Roxane, Scipio Africanus

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