Corneille and Racine: Problems of Tragic Form

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CUP Archive, Oct 18, 1973 - Drama - 327 pages
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Corneille and Racine may seem like marble monuments of an unchanging typical classicism. Mr Pocock is concerned to show that each of these great dramatists was a living writer, struggling to create developing forms and that the rules of neo-classical decorum were a strait-jacket to them. We can see in their writings a hesitation between poetic drama which creates its own forms from within and naturalistic drama which opts for truth to common life and a medium. In an interesting and comprehensive examination of the two authors, Mr Pocock shows the range of Coneille's achievement, and explains that a good seal which had been dismissed as decadence or incompetence was the result of his casting about for new forms. A section on Racine shows him opting for a deepening mode of drama which rejects naturalism and is implicitly subversive of neo-classical rules.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
CORNEILLE AND THE CRITICS
15
LE CID
28
CINNA
40
POLYEUCTE
64
CORNEILLES VERSE
78
RODOGUNE
99
SERTORIUS
118
RACINETHE BEGINNINGS
166
APPROACHES TO TRAGEDY
178
BERENICE
197
THE DRAMATIC ART OF RACINE
216
PHEDRE
237
ATHALIE
279
CONCLUSION
302
Notes
310

SURENA
141
CORNEILLESOME CONCLUSIONS
155
RACINECAREER AND BACKGROUND
159

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