La Farce de la Cornette
La Farce de la Cornette is an absolutely delightful play on words. A wife tricks her husband into believing that when his nephews come to talk about her infidelity, they are really talking about his bonnet. The play here is that the french "elle" can refer to both the wife and to the bonnet. Rather than operating on the simple humor of physical comedy, this play relies on dramatic irony, or the fact that the audience knows more than the characters. We are in on the joke and can therefore laugh about it with the wife and her valet. Like La Farce de Calbain, this play puts the woman in a position of power where she can use her wit to get what she wants. While in the period this may have contributed to the stereotype of the wife as a trickster, in a modern performance we can see it as an empowering step for women who had few other options than to trick their spouses.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University