Like Le Trocheur de maris, Les femmes qui font refondre leurs maris takes a dip into the surrealist genre. Two women, sick of their old and impotent husbands, take them to a bellmaker to be melted down and recast as younger men. While this works, the kind old men come out as young brutes on the other end who beat their wives into submission. To a modern audience, this play comes off as a tragedy, as do so many of the farces built on the backs of women's suffering. But the interest here in the manipulation of the body and the possibility of interfering with the natural process is a fascinating question that brings to mind stories such as Frankenstein or the Fly. While it is often thought that those stories were inspired by leaps in the scientific world, it is interesting to remember that medieval persons were also interested in the ability to alter the body by human means and the power humans used (or misused) a propos to their own mortality.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University