la mort des enfants d'hérode
After reading Antigone by Jean Rotrou, this play struck me as far inferior as a family tragedy. Whereas the conflict in Antigone was clear and emotional, and all of the relationships seemed well defined and differentiated, this play was focused around one tyrant who despite his hubris does not experience a tragic fall. Instead, it reminds me of the types of plays written by Christopher Marlowe, such as Tamburlaine or The Jew of Malta, where the action is serious and often horrifying, but those committing those horrible deeds are not punished. In La Mort des enfants d'Hérode all of the good and righteous characters are killed, whereas the evil characters succeed and survive. This leaves the reader or audience member wondering, what is the goal of this piece? A warning against tyranny? Against rebellion? It is unclear as to what point or even question the play is trying to ask.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University