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Moot Plays of Corneille

Author(s): Lacy Lockert

Some plays of Corneille that were formerly considered masterpieces are no longer admired; others that were little liked are now much acclaimed by critics. Amid such changes—and such divergences—of evaluation, the student of drama who is lacking in knowledge of French, but who has a critical sense perhaps equal or even superior to that of many people who are better linguists, may wish that he could judge for himself. This he can do with reasonable assurance by means of translations, just as is commonly done with the dramas of Ibsen. Except as regards poetry, a play can be appraised in a good translation almost as well as in its own language.

In an earlier book, The Chief Plays of Corneille, Dr. Lockert translated the six most famous (but not necessarily the best) tragedies of that dramatist. The present volume makes available to English readers all his other plays, comedies aside, for which high claims have been or could be made. Some recent critics have pronounced some of them superior to everything else of Corneille but the Cid and Polyeucte.

A brief introduction is prefixed to each play, giving examples of the diverse opinions held by representative critics in the last eighty-five years.
 


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