Amphitryon

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Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1995 - Drama - 108 pages
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THE STORY: Jupiter, king of the Gods, has again become enamored with a mortal woman, Alcmena, wife of the military general, Amphitryon. During the general's absence in the field, Jupiter assumes Amphitryon's form, and is gladly welcomed home and in
 

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User Review  - jasonlf - LibraryThing

Richard Wilbur’s Molière translations are all pure pleasure to read, and Amphitryon is no exception. It is set in Ancient Greece (although the characters all have Roman names) and provides a comic ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
4
Section 2
15
Section 3
24
Section 4
45
Section 5
112
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About the author (1995)

The French dramatist Moliere was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin on January 15, 1622, in Paris. The son of a wealthy tapestry merchant, he had a penchant for the theater from childhood. In 1636, he was sent off to school at the Jesuit College of Claremont and in 1643, he embarked upon a 13-year career touring in provincial theater as a troupe member of Illustre Theatre, a group established by the family Bejarts. He married a daughter of the troupe, Armande Bejart, in 1662 and changed his name to Moliere. The French King Louis XIV, becoming entranced with the troupe after seeing a performance of The Would-Be Gentleman, lent his support and charged Moliere with the production of comedy ballets in which he often used real-life human qualities as backdrops rather than settings from church or state. Soon, Moliere secured a position at the Palais-Royal and committed himself to the comic theater as a dramatist, actor, producer, and director. Moliere is considered to be one of the preeminent French dramatists and writers of comedies; his work continues to delight audiences today. With L'Ecole des Femmes (The School for Wives) Moliere broke with the farce tradition, and the play, about the role played by women in society and their preparation for it, is regarded by many as the first great seriocomic work of French literature. In Tartuffe (1664), Moliere invented one of his famous comic types, that of a religious hypocrite, a character so realistic that the king forbade public performance of the play for five years. Moliere gave psychological depth to his characters, engaging them in facial antics and slapstick comedy, but with an underlying pathos. Jean Baptiste Moliere died in 1673.

Richard Purdy Wilbur was born in New York City on March 1, 1921. He received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in 1942. During Word War II, he was a combat soldier in Europe. He received a master's degree from Harvard University in 1947. He taught at Harvard University, Wesleyan University, Smith College, and Amherst College. His first collection, The Beautiful Changes, was published in 1947. His other collections of poetry included The Mind-Reader and Anterooms. In 1957, he received the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for Things of This World. He received a second Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for New and Collected Poems. He became the second poet laureate of the United States in 1987-88 and received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2006. He also wrote and illustrated several children's books and wrote lyrics for opera and musical theater productions including Leonard Bernstein's Candide. He was a translator of poems and other works from the French, Spanish, and Russian, including the plays of Molière and Jean Racine. He was the co-recipient of the Bollingen Translation Prize in 1963. He died on October 14, 2017 at the age of 96.

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