Rationality as a bridge between the sacred and the profane: Rotrou's Le véritable Saint-Genest and Racine's Esther Cover Image

Racionalita coby most mezi posvátným a profánním: Rotrouův Genesius a Racinova Esther
Rationality as a bridge between the sacred and the profane: Rotrou's Le véritable Saint-Genest and Racine's Esther

Author(s): Záviš Šuman
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Filozofická fakulta, Vydavatelství
Keywords: Jean Racine; Jean de Rotrou; Abbé d’Aubignac; French Classicism; Religious Tragedy; French literature;

Summary/Abstract: The article focuses on some of the obstacles which the French early-modern dramatists had to face when choosing a sacred subject-matter. Certain of d’Aubignac’s remarks on the period’s theatrical practice allow us to detect the main arguments of conservative churchmen opposed to the theatre. But alongside such opposition, d’Aubignac also raises “practical” questions, especially when it comes to avoiding specific misleading paths such as the ambiguity of rigorously defined theological concepts (e.g. “grâce”) or the dramatic means of theatrical illusion based largely on the ubiquitous claims of verisimilitude. We aim to show in what specific manner Rotrou and Racine integrated those requirements when treating religious subjects. Despite the fact that both dramatists may have relied upon the irrefutable authority of sacred sources (especially Racine, who draws his subject from the Old Testament), we observe that neither of them disrespects the period’s theatrical rules, or their rational context.

  • Issue Year: XXVIII/2018
  • Issue No: 58
  • Page Range: 74-84
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Czech