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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2009
The Misanthrope is a comic masterpiece and applies as aptly to modern society as it did to France of the day. The story is of Alceste, who rails against the superficialties of the court, annoying others with his brutal straighforwardness. He alienates those who want praise for their amateur poems, who lobby in the courts for their cases, or who as friends balk from his acrid pronouncements. Meanwhile, he cannot see his own foibles: in love with the impossibly insincere Celimene, a flirt who consorts with the most affected foppish band of suitors, he spurns the virtuous Eliante, his most suitable mate. Eventually, Celimene decides she does love Alceste above all others. But needing to maintain his distance from others, he decides to flee the civilized world and live in the desert. So, as superficial and insincere is the society in which he lives, the joke is on Alcese, ever married to his contrary ways and his wholehearted rejection of the polite world of the French court. Nobody wins, his romantic victory is Phyrric, and Alceste as man of honor and truth becomes as laughably comic as the precious, affected world he criticizes. A great translation in verse and a poignant criticism of criticism itself. From a psychologist's points of view, penetrating, acute, and wise, from a great satirists. Damon LaBarbera, PhD
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
Somewhat tedious but was insightful in its time. It is a period play and should be assessed in that context.
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