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Neophilologus

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 13–21 | Cite as

Comic Intimacy? The Case of Molière’s Lovers’ Quarrels

  • James F. Gaines
Article
  • 135 Downloads

Abstract

Molière’s treatment of lovers’ quarrels in Dépit amoureux and subsequent plays reveals a deepening concern in early modern literature for forms of interpersonal dynamics involved in new social concepts of intimacy. A contrast with lovers’ scenes in Plautus, Shakespeare and medieval farce serves to show Molière’s innovations in both form and content of such scenes. Dramatic analysis of Molière’s scenes shows a process involving the four successive movements of suspicion, mutual distancing, denial and inability to detach, followed by reconciliation. The contemporary research of psychologist Keith Sanford and his associates offers significant parallels to the development of quarrel scenes in later works by the dramatist. Molière’s elaboration of these scenes has a lasting impact on his emulators from the eighteenth century onward.

Keywords

Courtship Power-seeking Responsibility Vulnerability 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Mary WashingtonFredericksburgUSA

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