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The Misanthrope and Other Plays [Kindle Edition]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Written during the highly successful final years of his life, the plays contained in this edition represent the pinnacle of Moliere's artistry and the most profound demonstration of his vision of humanity: "The Misanthrope," "The Doctor in Spite of Himself," a hilarious example of Molière's long-standing skepticism of the medical profession, "The Miser," "The Shopkeeper Turned Gentleman," "The Impostures of Scapin," "The Learned Women," and "The Imaginary Invalid," the play that Molière appeared in only hours before his death. These works combine all the traditional elements of comedy—wit, slapstick, spectacle and satire, with a certain deep understanding of character that Molière was notorious for. His highly popular work, "The Misanthrope," satirizes the hypocrisies of aristocratic French society, and paints an accurate picture of the upper-class world in which Molière, looked down upon as a playwright, was ultimately denied membership to.

Editorial Reviews


'The translator as star - that's Ranjit Bolt' Financial Times

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: French

Product Details

  • File Size: 849 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1420934988
  • Publisher: Neeland Media LLC (June 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TU1O3U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Misanthrope is the ultimate in theatrical comedy April 25, 1999
Moliere's "The Misanthrope" is the most humorous play written in any language. It centers around the character Alceste, who has a firm beleif in being brutally honest all the time. The habit of others to speak harshly behind other's backs and hypocritically praise them to their faces drives him to the brink of insanity. It irks him so much that his only wish would be to become a hermit in the mountains. If it weren't for his love of the beautiful Celimene. However, to make things more complicated, she happens to be the queen of duplicitous thought. Alceste hates himself for loving a woman who behaves in the manner that irritates him the most, but cannot bring himself to confront what troubles him. That, paired with the remarkably written exchanges between Alceste, his friend Philinte, the pompous Oronte, and the many social courtiers and French aristocracy make this the ideal story to bring you to tears with laughter. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of theater, humor, and excellent writing. It truly deserves all 5 stars.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent version of the "Shakespeare of France" April 13, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Donald M. Frame's translations of fourteen Moliere comedies (seven in this volume and another seven in *Tartuffe and Other Plays*) are delightful. Not that Moliere's plays have lacked for translators; some versions have made the comedies leaden and dull, while others have added their own luster to the text in a way that distorts Moliere's intentions. Frame is more faithful to the original text than some earlier translators, while his verse does an admirable job of conveying the comic "thrust" that Moliere must have envisioned.
Any translation of this playwright must be compared against the sparkling verse renditions of Richard Wilbur. I personally find Frame to more than hold his own here, and in fact in *The Misanthrope* to do better in giving us the sense of the author stylishly, but without the translator "stealing the spotlight" as much as happens in Wilbur's brilliant version. Frame's version is excellent throughout and augmented by informative introductions and notes
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical May 30, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You might not think a play in verse written in the 17th century would be accessible and entertaining today, but this one's hilarious. Somehow the formal rhyming couplets make everything funnier. Get the Donald Frame translation - I've seen some others that weren't nearly as good.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moliere seems closer to us than Shakespeare. January 25, 2001
Although Moliere is only half a century younger than Shakespeare, he is less hard work - there is no elaborate rhetoric or difficult, metaphysical poetry. dialogue is plain and functional. This, of course, brings him nearer to us, and we are far more likely to meet a Tartuffe, say, in everyday life than a Lear or Hamlet.
However, I don't think he's supposed to be this plain. Wood's translation is a nimble, enjoyable read, but in the two translations, from French to English, from metre to prose, something has been lost; maybe not poetry, but certainly language. What we are left with are breezily amusing farces - this is more than enough for me, but makes me wonder why Bloom had him in his canon.
'Tartuffe' is the most famous play in this collection. Subject to censorship and interdiction in its time, Wood introduces the play with a preface and two petitions to the King from Moliere. Although they are revealing about Moliere's absolute dependency on the monarch, and the need to flatter culminating in the play's preposterous deus ex machina, they necessarily caricature the play's complexity.
Tartuffe the religious hypocrite who tries to bring down the social order, who reveals the aristocracy's own hypocrisy (look at the amount of two-facedness needed to expose him), forces them down to his level, makes blatant the fundamental desires high society would prefer not to acknowledge - sex, food, wealth etc. The true horror of Tartuffe's marriage with Marianne is not that he is a repulsive bigot, but because he is trying to wrest power and means from the nobility (a job already started by the Figaro-like maid). I bet it wasn't really the Tartuffes who hated this play.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No comedy without truth and no truth without comedy January 19, 2005
Moliere said that ' there is no comedy without truth, and no truth without comedy'. And his plays are a scathing and humorous depiction of a simplified, and stylized human nature. Whether it is religious hypocrisy in ' Tartuffe' , miserliness in 'The Miser' or misanthropy in ' The Misantrhope' Moliere often focuses on one quality in order to satirize and society and mankind in general. In the Misanthrope the main character Alceste tells the truth to everyone ( except himself) and in so doing alienates everyone. This is against the advice of his best friend Philinte. At the same time he is in love with the frivolous Celimene who he attempts to change by constantly criticizing. He begs that she retire with him away from the corruption of society but she prefers society to him. The play ends with Philinte and his fiancee trying to persuade Alceste to remain.

Moliere writes in a clear, simple direct language and the surface sense of his work is readily understood. His view of human nature is harsh and critical , but redeemed by a comic laughter suggesting we are wiser if we do not take ourselves all that seriously.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Christine C. Tibbitts
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
i wanted the misanthrope and got the misanthrope. Bare minimum. Text of play only.
Published 3 months ago by Henry Prosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived as described
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for money
Modest pricing, a jargon-free and informative preface, and excellent translations: highly recommendable for all purposes from just-for-fun reading to college-level survey courses.
Published 13 months ago by B. Czennia
5.0 out of 5 stars The Misanthrope
The person I got the book for was indeed into Moliere.
I can only pass on his thoughts. I did not read this book.
Published 15 months ago by Esther Dodson
5.0 out of 5 stars Moliere's best play
My favorite text series of all time is Larousse's Petits Classiques. They are what got me into reading French theater because the texts are aesthetically pleasing, well organized,... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Oddish
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful verses
It's lovely. The beauty of Alexandrine verses! Beautiful Especially it you have been able to see the text come alive through great actors. Read more
Published 20 months ago by AdrianaV
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm tired Baby...
Let me come home now. Please? I'm done thinking about work right now. I need you. But not like this. I want you the right way. Which is left?
Published 20 months ago by M.F. Borgonia
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product for a low low price
As a French student I fnd it very helpful that I am able to download many French texts for free or for a lvery low pric through Amazon Kindle. Read more
Published 22 months ago by LaShawn Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Comedy
[This review is for the Dover Thrift Edition, based on the 1876 Henri Van Laun translation.]

Whenever one comes across comedy from a century or more ago, the "comedy"... Read more
Published on February 9, 2013 by Troubadour
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