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Aspects of the life and works of Dancourt

Cleary, C. A. (1973) Aspects of the life and works of Dancourt. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The opening chapters of the thesis illustrate, with the help of authentic documents, details of Dancourt's biography both from the point of view of his domestic life and his career at the Comédie Française. Then follows a study of his prologues from which we gain an insight into his dramatic theories and aspects of life in the contemporary theatre. Chapter IV offers a review of Dancourt's complete works, and traces his evolution in choice of subject-matter and manner of presentation. His plays are studied in relation to a wide variety of dramatic works his predecessors and contemporaries. Chapter V concerns that part of Dancourt's work which is devoted to topics of contemporary interest. These include his satire of certain individuals, his exploitation of contemporary events and his satire of rival forms of entertainment. All these points are treated with reference to the relevant historical, social and literary background. The next two chapters centre around the 'social' content of Dancourt's plays which dramatize the manners of fashionable Parisian society, both aristocratic and bourgeois. These plays are explained with reference to the realities from which they sprang, as well as to works by writers of other forms of literature. Chapter VIII illustrates the importance of rustic themes in Dancourt's plays. Unlike in the previous chapter, the emphasis is placed on the dramatic qualities of these comedies and on their character portrayal rather than on what light they throw on the social scene. Finally, Chapter IX offers an estimate of Dancourt's success as a playwright at the Comédie Française and at Court both during his lifetime and posthumously. A comparison is made between his success and the criticism offered by contemporary and eighteenth-century commentators whose opinions are studied in the light of prevailing trends of literary criticism.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:33

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