In its portrayal of foredoomed love, the play revives classical fatalism; in its analysis of motivation, it foreshadows modern psychology. As great a success as Corneille's Le Cid had been three decades earlier, Andromaque occasioned a great rivalry between the two dramatists that was intensified by Racine's treatment of the Corneillean theme of political strife in Britannicus and came to a climax with Berenice Appearing at virtually the same time as a tragedy on the identical subject by Corneille, the latter play established Racine's preeminence.
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E ncouraged by his triumph, Racine experimented with a contemporary setting in Bajazet and with an almost exclusively inner, psychological action in Mithridate He now reconciled his differences with the Jansenists at Port-Royal and, devoting himself to his new duties as royal historiographer -- a position to which he had been called by Louis XIV personally -- he abandoned secular drama. His last two plays, Esther and Athalie were on biblical themes, written for performance by students at a school for the sacred and secular education of young women.
C orneille's characters are moral giants endowed with indomitable will. Racine's are intensely human.
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Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 (Gabriel Fauré)
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Books Biography. Four French Plays Jean Racine This new Penguin volume includes the 'greatest hits' of French classical theatre, in vivid and acclaimed English translations. Buy from.
Iphigenia, Phaedra, Athaliah Jean Racine.
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