LA JALOUSIE DU BARBOUILLÉ
La Jalousie de Barbouille is one of Moliere's early pieces that conforms closely to the Commedia dell'Arte improvisational farces of Italy. The characters are easily identifiable Commedia stock characters: the Doctor is Dottore, Barbouille is Pantalone, Angelique and Valere are the innamorati, etc. The reliance on stock characters makes sense when one thinks about the structure of a French theatre troupe of the period, where typecasting was an essential part of the performance. What Moliere does here is a mixture of Italian influence in the structure of the play - the characters, the lazzi, etc. - while drawing on the history of French farces for the situational comedy. The plot concerns a young wife, Angelique, and her attempts to fool her husband Barbouille while she runs off with her lover or to balls. The themes of infidelity, cuckholding, and marital disputes were extremely popular in the French farces of a century earlier, Moliere has simply taken those farces and developed their plot and length into a longer form play. While this play is nowhere near the length of its contemporary tragedies, it is much longer and more developed than its farce predecessors. This play can be read as an experiment for Moliere, trying out both Italian and French styles while he seeks to develop his own comedic voice.
11/16/2022 06:19:43 am
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University