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The Miser and Other Plays: A New Selection (Penguin Classics) Paperback – September 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Moliere was the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673). His plays achieved great success, especially his masterpiece, The Misanthrope, and elicited enormous controversy with their religious irreverence.

John Wood was born in 1900 and went to Manchester University. After some years in teaching and adult education he spent his working life in educational administration. Concern with the relevance of the arts in education, combined with personal predilection, led to involvement with the theatre and with the work of Molière in particular, as producer and translator. He also translated The Misanthrope and Other Plays and The Miser and Other Plays for Penguin Classics.

David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England. He won a Scott-Moncrieff prize for his edition of Albert Cohen's Belle du Seigneur.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 2nd edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140447288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140447286
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ralph White on July 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Moliere is always a treat, and his plays always seem to conceal their age. This selection is no exception. The John Wood/David Coward translations, however, do not have the lively contemporary fluidity of those of Richard Wilbur, whose elegant flair for Moliere's conversational prose is unmatched. But by all means, try both translations and decide for yourself.

Don Juan
This play is a fun read, and it is a gem when performed well. The contemporary American reader lives in a land of waning religiosity, yet one in which theocracy is ironically gaining influence in national politics. It is in this context that we have to smile, if not laugh, when Don Juan says,

"It's no longer shameful to be a dissembler; hypocrisy is now a fashionable vice and all the fashionable vices pass for virtues. The part of the God-fearing man is the best possible role to play nowadays, and in our present society the hypocrite's profession has extraordinary advantages. It's an art whose dishonesty always goes unchallenged...The hypocrite, by means of pious pretenses, attaches himself to the devout, and anyone who then assails him is set upon by a great phalanx of the godly...The true believers are easily hoodwinked by the false...I can't tell you how many men I know who, by means of a feigned devotion, have glossed over the sins of their youth, wrapped themselves in the cloak of religion, and in that holy disguise are now free to be the worst of scoundrels!"

Amazon's rules prohibit me from disclosing the ending, though it has been known for some 331 years, but I will tell you that it leaves Don Juan's valet, Sganarelle, wondering how he'll ever get his back pay.

The Hypocondriac
The plot of The Hypocondriac, also translated The Imaginary Invalid, is riotously funny.
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By A Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
moliere is one of the great comic genuises of our time. The miser, which is perhaps the most well known and definately my personal favorite play in this book, is a great example of his quick wit and irony. this translation, while for clarity completely perfect, seems to stray a little from other and more beautiful translations of this play i have read. However, what a treat for the actor and the reader alike. Second only to the misanthrope (and maybe Tartuffe) this, one of Moliere's classics, is a must read. Note also, for the actor, that there are some wonderful scenes that require great timing in this play and would be wonderful as a duo audition piece.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only needed to read one story for a class for which I am thankful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dated translations. But fine introductions to the plays.
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By karen on February 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I only read one story from here but I liked it
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