Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/183776
Title:
MOLIERE AND MEDICINE: DISSECTING THE KALEIDOSCOPE (FRANCE).
Author:
LEMP, RICHARD WARREN.
Issue Date:
1986
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The subject of medicine in the works of Moliere has been traditionally treated as a matter of satire. While it is important to consider this view and while biographical approaches relating Moliere's personal illness to the content of his medical comedy are illuminating, this study proposes that a plurality of views offers a more complete picture. Such analysis discovers that Moliere's medical comedy is much more than satire, that it contains elements of black humor and even approaches the theater of cruelty in its treatment of sickness and death. The metaphor in this approach is in the perception of a composite image of this part of Moliere's theater, much like the pattern that a kaleidoscope discloses. As we may sort out the various elements that compose the kaleidoscopic impression--light and shadow, color, form, change of image through manipulation of the instrument--there is a similarity in the division of elements in Moliere's medical theater. Light and shadow correspond to the opposition of fact and fantasy in seventeenth-century French medicine and constitute the historical view of his work; color corresponds to the notion of Galenic humor theory and suggests that the comedy of character may be analyzed according to humoral temperaments; form corresponds to the language Moliere used in his medical plays; the change of image occurs in Moliere with the passage of time--his medical comedy being farcical at the beginning of his career and much darker towards the end of his life. The purpose of this approach is to identify these separate elements in order to better understand their function as an organic whole. For this reason, the notion of organic unity is also treated. In an effort to relate Moliere's theater to the present day, this study compares Moliere's work with Artaud's notion of the nature and function of theater, with the two meanings of semiology--sign theory and symptomatology, and using an archetypal approach, concludes with the suggestion that sexuality, death, and medicine form a hidden mythology in these plays.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Molière, 1622-1673.; Dramatists, French -- 17th century -- Biography.; French drama -- 17th century -- History and criticism.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
French and Italian; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Demorest. Jean-Jacques

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleMOLIERE AND MEDICINE: DISSECTING THE KALEIDOSCOPE (FRANCE).en_US
dc.creatorLEMP, RICHARD WARREN.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLEMP, RICHARD WARREN.en_US
dc.date.issued1986en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe subject of medicine in the works of Moliere has been traditionally treated as a matter of satire. While it is important to consider this view and while biographical approaches relating Moliere's personal illness to the content of his medical comedy are illuminating, this study proposes that a plurality of views offers a more complete picture. Such analysis discovers that Moliere's medical comedy is much more than satire, that it contains elements of black humor and even approaches the theater of cruelty in its treatment of sickness and death. The metaphor in this approach is in the perception of a composite image of this part of Moliere's theater, much like the pattern that a kaleidoscope discloses. As we may sort out the various elements that compose the kaleidoscopic impression--light and shadow, color, form, change of image through manipulation of the instrument--there is a similarity in the division of elements in Moliere's medical theater. Light and shadow correspond to the opposition of fact and fantasy in seventeenth-century French medicine and constitute the historical view of his work; color corresponds to the notion of Galenic humor theory and suggests that the comedy of character may be analyzed according to humoral temperaments; form corresponds to the language Moliere used in his medical plays; the change of image occurs in Moliere with the passage of time--his medical comedy being farcical at the beginning of his career and much darker towards the end of his life. The purpose of this approach is to identify these separate elements in order to better understand their function as an organic whole. For this reason, the notion of organic unity is also treated. In an effort to relate Moliere's theater to the present day, this study compares Moliere's work with Artaud's notion of the nature and function of theater, with the two meanings of semiology--sign theory and symptomatology, and using an archetypal approach, concludes with the suggestion that sexuality, death, and medicine form a hidden mythology in these plays.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectMolière, 1622-1673.en_US
dc.subjectDramatists, French -- 17th century -- Biography.en_US
dc.subjectFrench drama -- 17th century -- History and criticism.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFrench and Italianen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDemorest. Jean-Jacquesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKohn, Ingeborgen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLeibacher, Liseen_US
dc.identifier.proquest8613824en_US
dc.identifier.oclc697299921en_US
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