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Molière’s Tartuffe and French National Identity: Reconfiguring the King, the People and the Church

  • Matthijs Engelberts
Chapter

Abstract

Molière’s seventeenth-century play Tartuffe, the oldest play in this volume, did not originate in an age of popular political nationalism, nor does it mainly address topics concerning the presumed characteristics of a French nation. However, the focus of the play, that proved to be very controversial from the start, is a political and religious question—the hold of religion and the church over other spheres of society—that would take centre stage during the following centuries in the conflict and debates on the French ‘nation’. Engelberts’ quantitative analysis shows, moreover, that Tartuffe can also be called the national play of France since it is by far the most performed play in the national theatre La Comédie-Française.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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