Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wilbur, Richard. Molière: The School for Husbands and Sganarelle, or the Imaginary Cuckold. FL: Orlando, Hartcourt Brace & Co. 1993. pp 5-6.

  Gorgibus, in the fourth speech of the play, makes mentions of a number of books that were very well known in Molière’s century. Clélie (1654-60) was a wildly popular sentimental novel by Madeleine de Scudéry. The Quatrains of the magistrate Guy du Faur de Pibrac (d. 1584) and the Tablettes de la vie et de la mort of the historian Pierre Matthieu (d. 1621) were edifying texts deemed essential to the education of the young. The Guide des pêcheurs was an ascetic devotional book by a Spanish Dominican, Luis of Granada (d. 1588). I have made a few trivial changes in the text, for ease of speaking or of understanding. For example, Célie’s maid says in Scene 2, “God rest my poor Martin,” but I thought that “God rest my dear dead Jacques” would be easier for an American actress to say. And in the same character’s last speech (22), I have submitted “a little pill / Of common sense” for the original’s “peu d’ellébore” because folk medicine no longer speaks, as it did in the Middle Ages, of hellebore as a cure for madness.

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