Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Flight is a simple dramatic action, one that lends itself to any number of different  plots.  its  implied  movement  can  be  represented  on  stage  or  merely recounted. So common is it that the words fuite and fuir appear in every one of Corneille’s 32 plays, from as infrequently as twice to as many as 32 times.1 The two terms belong to a broad semantic network including retraite, éviter, dérober, échapper, partir, quitter, abandoner, but differ in their suggestion of  abrupt,  precipitous  movement  as  well  as  the  element  of  fear  implied. furetière begins his definition of fuir with “Tascher d’éviter un péril en s’en éloignant  à  force  de jambes.” The  next  sentence,  however, immediately ties the term to issues of morality: “les braves aiment mieux périr que fuir d’une bataille.” Thus a common, if at times startling, action has inherent ethical ramifications. indeed, so central is morality to flight that a careful examination of the words’ occurrences throughout Corneille’s œuvre allows the construction of  a  Cornelian  ethics  of  flight,  one  whose  rules  are  applied  consistently throughout  his  plays.  i  propose to  develop  such  a Cornelian  ethics  of  flight and to examine a  sole,  glaring exception: horace, a  figure whose ambiguity has given rise to both diverse and contradictory interpretations.2

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1353/rmc.2016.0050

Publisher

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication Information

Romance Notes

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