Molière’s theater is itself, by definition, a lieu de culture. The performance of one of his plays transforms the space in which it occurs into a lieu de culture by virtue of the presence of two crucial features. First, the performance belongs to a cultural domain, in this case specifically the theater. By ‘culture’ I mean simply that which is tied to the arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Second there must be an audience present for that performance. The same basic situation obviously holds true for any playwright whose plays are performed. What makes Molière interesting is the degree to which he incorporates these self-same elements within many of his plays. He stages numerous embedded performances — whether of music, dance, or various kinds of role-playing — and often these cultural interventions have appreciative and/or aware audiences within the play itself. In this study, I propose to examine these embedded performances in order to better understand how both performance and culture function within Molière’s theater, as well as the comic ends to which they are used.
William Brooks, Christine Probes, Rainer Zaiser
Ekstein, N. (2012). The Theatrical lieu de culture within Molière’s Plays. In W. Brooks, C. Probes, R. Zaiser (Eds.), Lieux de culture dans la France du XVIIe siècle (pp. 233-246). Bern, [Switzerland]: Peter Lang.
Lieux de culture dans la France du XVIIe siècle