Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The School For Wives

This was the best performed play on the Moliere collection. The acting was lively and even the American accents fit the roles perfectly.

In the play, an older man returns from a long absence. He had been supporting a young lady that he had been sheltering in a nunnery. She took her out and brought her to one of his houses and was occupying it under a new name. She is naively innocent. However, through a chance encounter with a young man, she fell in love. The young man confesses this love to the older man (not knowing that he is also the overbearing governor of the lady.)

The old man plots to have the girl marry him. The young man was also in pursuit of her. However, he gives it up after learning that he has been promised to somebody else. The old man sees this as the opportunity he desired. However, it turns out that the lady to which he is promised is the same one he had fallen in love with. Everybody ends up happy - except for the old man.

Confusing, eh? Luckily, it is the characters that are important here.

This play has all the trademarked Moliere doubled-talk and double meanings. The older man is the buffoon here. Everybody is chasing their emotions. However, he is trying to manufacture the perfect girl for himself (with disastrous results.) His attempts to manipulate others end up resulting in himself being the one manipulated. He seems totally clueless as to what everyone else is saying and feeling. The girl is played with a perfect innocence. She has learned with the help of the older man what it is to be "good" and attempts to follow it - even if it ends up being different than what he intended.

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