Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The School for Husbands

School for Husbands was Moliere's first full length play. The plot deals with two men who have opposite views of women. One believes that women should be strictly controlled and refrain from excess social activity or flashy dress. The other believes that women should do whatever they want. They each have girls to which they are engaged and want to point out that there way is right. The "controller" thinks that his girl his the perfect angel. However, she is just humoring him in an attempt to get with her true love. We get some hilarious double meanings where she launches into a soliloquy with both her betrothed and lover present. Everyone (except the fiance) knows exactly who she is talking about. Eventually, she tricks him into "forcing" her to marry her lover. Freedom wins over forced obedience.

The language in the Richard Wilbur translation is masterful, and helps to convey the humor and double meanings of the play. The humor also beings up the debate of appropriate freedoms. Too much freedom without concequences can lead to a persons downful. However, preventing people from making choices can often lead to people making a rebelling and going even further away from what is desired.

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