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Code, performance and ideology : the dialogue of reception as dramatic praxis in Voltaire's tragedies Leith, Hope Mary 1993

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CODE, PERFORMANCE AND IDEOLOGY: THE DIALOGUE OF RECEPTIONAS DRAMATIC PRAXIS IN VOLTAIRE'S TRAGEDIESByHOPE MARY LEITHB. A.(Hons), Simon Fraser University, 1987M. A., University of British Columbia, 1988A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of French)We accept this thesis as conformingTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1993© Hope Mary Leith, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of^ci&The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 2A PI.NA^Ill 3DE-6 (2/88)AbstractCODE, PERFORMANCE AND IDEOLOGY: THE DIALOGUE OF RECEPTIONAS DRAMATIC PRAXIS IN VOLTAIRE'S TRAGEDIESThis dissertation undertakes to examine the dramaticprixis and the ideological systems which shape Voltaire'stragic oeuvre. This study takes the position that thesetexts are multi-voiced, open-ended and performance-directed.The analytical approach taken draws from semiotic, marxistand feminist critical techniques. Thirteen plays werechosen for analysis: Artêmire (1720), HOrode et Mariamne (1724, 1725, 1763), Eriphile (1732), ZalKe (1732), Adelaide du Guesolin (1734, 1751, 1765), Zulime (1740, 1762), Mahomet(1741), Semiramis (1748), Oreste (1750), Rome sauvde (1752),Olympie (1760), Le Triumvirat (1764) and Les Guebres (1769).Chapter I undertakes the analysis of the textual codes,largely concentrating on the language which resulted from orwhich perisisted despite external reaction to the text, inorder to reconstruct the rules by which language operated inthe tragic form. Tragedy's requirement of "noble" languageand action restrict it to those who had the classicaleducation necessary to understand and manipulate its rules,thereby establishing a gender and class privilege within thetext.Chapter II begins with the premise that performance isnot external or incidental but integral to the texts underexamination. It details the impact which performance andperformers had on the text and on public response to thatiiitext. It also brings to light Voltaire's profoundambivalence towards this influence on "his" texts. Thedesire to control performance led Voltaire to become a"director" of his plays in the modern sense, as he sought toimpose his ideas of decor, costume, staging and declamation.Chapter III defines ideology as the system or systemsof belief which underlie and inform the texts. The analysisis organized around three broad areas of socialorganization: government, religion and the family. Specialattention is paid to the status and treatment of womnewithin these areas. The chapter examines whether thesystems revealed are static or dynamic over time, personalto Voltaire or drawn from a wider social group, radical orconservative in content.The Appendix to this study furnishes a chronologicaltable of textual transformations for each play studied,giving the source, location, date, extent, speaker, contentand function of changes.ivTable of ContentsAbstractAcknowledgmentsIntroduction^ 1Chapter I - Transformations in Linguistic Code:^30the Pursuit of Noble Language in ItsRelationship to Class, Gender andLiterary GenreA. Noble Language in the Tragic FormB. Linguistic Shifts in the TragediesChapter II - Textual Transformation and the Dialogue ofPerformance: The Struggle for Acclaim andControlA. The Tension between Performance Success andLiterary MeritB. Authorial Control of the Performance TextC.^The Impact of Performance on TextChapter III - Ideology in the Tragic World: Systems 142of Belief and Codes of Behaviour in thePolitical, Religious and Familial DomainsA. Government and the Social HierarchyB. Religion in Its Institutional and IndividualManifestationsC.^The Family within the Social HierarchyConclusion 224Bibliography^ 234Appendix 244ACKNOWLEDGMENTSTo Larry Bongie and Olga Cragg, who have encouraged andguided me in the field of eighteenth-century studies fromthe beginning and who have watched over this project fromthe time it was "without form and void." To those UBCprofessors whose contributions were invaluable: BruceCarpenter, Floyd St. Clair, Richard Hodgson, who as membersof my committee over the years bravely waded through draftafter draft; To Valerie Raoul, who introduced me to feministcriticism; To Frank Hamlin, who made linguistics afascinating exploration of language in society; and to thosein eighteenth-century studies who have through conferencesand correspondence given me much-needed encouragement andcriticism: Robert Niklaus, Michael Cartwright, EricAnnandale, David Jory. To the family and friends who havekept me going during nearly five years. And most of all tomy partner and our four-footed "family," for their perpetualsupport and encouragement.1CODE, IDEOLOGY AND THE DIALOGUE OF RECEPTIONIN VOLTAIRE'S TRAGEDIES:TEXTUAL TRANSFORMATION AS DRAMATIC PRAXISAu reste, mon cher ami, je suis bien loin de croire lapiece finie; je ne l'ai fait jouer et je ne vous l'aienvoyee que pour savoir si je la finirais.(Voltaire to Cideville, 19 juillet 1741, D 2515)The quotation above brings together what I will argueare the two key elements in Voltaire's writing for theatre:performance and collaboration. In order to study these in afresh way, I have surveyed the linguistic and semioticstudies of French theatre, and some of theatre in general,to develop a method of analysis which encompasses: first,text and the transformations of text; second, the circuit ofcommunication among spectator, actor and author inperformance; and third, the underlying relationship betweensocial ideology and literary expression.Among the linguistic and semiotic analyses of theatre,those of Anne Ubersfeld and Keir Elam apply to the study oftheatre the communication theories of Jakobsen and speechact theory a la Searle [1]. Deirdre Burton, as well asReboul and Moeschler, take a purely linguistic approach [2].Larthomas is one of the first and the most wide-rangingcritics in this domain [3]. Unfortunately, most of theseanalyses are applied to classical [4], romantic [5] ormodern [6] theatre.2We can no longer now "read" Voltaire's plays as18th-century spectators did, since we lack not onlyopportunity to see them performed but also direct,experiential knowledge of the numerous superimposed codes(visual, linguistic, gestural) by which meaning wasexpressed and understood on the eighteenth-century Frenchstage. Hence, our reading will necessarily be incomplete,unjust in a sense; all we can do is admit it. Otherwise wefind ourselves as critics in an awkward position: whenNiklaus concludes that Voltaire did not know how tocommunicate emotion in his plays [7], he does not expoundthe relationship between his view, however valid forpresent-day readers, and the wealth of contemporary sources(both in correspondence and in more formal literarycriticism) which describe the spectators' profound andspontaneous emotional responses. Lion's study gives dozensof examples of these reactions, including those of Diderot,Rousseau and Pine du Deffand [8]. The circuit ofcommunication worked exceptionally well for Voltaire's playsin their original socio-historical context. It is this pastsuccess, and its evanescence, which we will examine.Corneille, Racine, d'Aubignac, Boileau [9], thetheoreticians and masters of seventeenth-century theatre,are the basis not just for Voltaire's own theatricalwriting, but for eighteenth-century theatre and theatrecriticism as a whole. Eighteenth-century theatre was to a3great extent defined, measured, revised or redirected inreference to those seventeenth-century models, whether oneexamines the theories of Voltaire, Diderot or Beaumarchais[10]. Because of these established norms and models, changehad to come slowly if the audience was to accept it(Niklaus, 1963, p. 1229). Too enthusiastic a rejection ofclassical rules led to performance failure, such as was thecase for Landois' 1742 one-act bourgeois tragedy in prose,Silvie, and for Voltaire's own plays Hdrode et Mariamne (1724) and Eriphile . Voltaire's ability to balanceinnovation against tradition has been cited as one reasonfor his immediate success. Indeed, we do well to rememberthat he was the pre-eminent playwright of the Comediefrancaise in the eighteenth century [11]. But thisadeptness was also considered the reason for his laterdecline; to some critics Voltaire was too closely attuned tothe expectations and tastes of his particular audience toretain his appeal over time [12].Voltaire's theatre has traditionally been condemned forits emphasis on performance success, its openness torevision, and its ideological content. In this regard manycritics (such as Ridgway, Vrooman, and Cartwright) followthe judgment of the magisterial nineteenth-century critic,Lion.To Lion, Voltaire's theatre is consistently inferior tothat of Racine and Corneille [13]. He deplored Voltaire's4willingness to revise, based on friends', actors' oraudiences' reactions, to judge by performance rather than byliterary ideals [14], to write for immediate success ratherthan eternal literary merit [15]. But to the modern critic,it is the distinctive trait of all theatre as such to bewritten for performance and, if not, it is not a play textbut rather a poem or narrative written in dialogue form. AsUbersfeld states:Le trait fondamental du discours theátral est de ne paspouvoir se comprendre autrement que comme une seried'ordres donnes en vue d'une production sceniqued'être adressó a des destinataires -mddiateurs, charges de le repercuter a undestinataire-public. [16]Duvignaud argues that theatre cannot be detached from thecircumstances of its production, and that a playwright is a"complice des gens de theatre," requiring "des attachesvivantes avec le monde effervescent oil s'elaborent lespiëces." [17] Voltaire meets these requirementsthoroughly.The concept of theatre as literary text rather than asperformance [18] has been seen as detrimental to theanalysis of theatre because it insists that meaning existsindependent of / prior to performance, and therebyeliminates the role of the spectator in the production ofmeaning [19].5The critical view which considers propaganda and art asdistinct and ideally unrelated domains has been rejected bymany modern theatre critics. Anne Ubersfeld, for example,posits that all theatre expresses an ideology, and is in arelationship of agreement or opposition to the dominantideology of the society that produced the theatre [20].This integration of socio-political import with thetheatrical text forms an essential premise in my analysis ofVoltaire's tragedies.While Voltaire's theatre does not have the unity andharmonious development of Racine's [21], Lion finds in it"une reelle unite" [22], and considers that it expressesVoltaire's own beliefs and philosophy [23], a conclusionwhich is echoed by Ridgway [24] and Vrooman [25] among manyothers. To these critics, Voltaire is always the singlesubject, the locutpur of his theatrical text. Thisassumption I intend to challenge, using the concept of"double enonciation" taken from Ubersfield's work, therefusal of subjectivity by the theatrical text:Les conditions d'enonciation ne renvoient pas a unesituation psychologique du personnage^equivoquepropre au theatre: le discours au theatre est discoursde qui? ... Le travail du discours theatral consisteechapper au probleme de la subjectivite individuelle.[2616Two recent book-length overview studies on Voltaire'stheatre, one by Willens and the other by Vrooman [27],continue what Ubersfeld would call the biographical fallacy[28], in that they use the theatrical texts as a primarysource of information about Voltaire's own beliefs orpersonality [29]. Vrooman, in 1970, finds a consistency andcoherence in Voltaire's major tragedies from Oedipe toNerope [30], a single line of thought expressing Voltairehimself, which seems quite remarkable when one considers thenumber of revisions and editors we know lie behind theseprinted texts, the number of potential voices fromd'Argental to Lekain we may find in them. Nonetheless thisunitary view continues to be argued [31]. Both Cartwrightand Conlon [32] recognize the importance of actors, ofperformance as such to the successful completion of thecircuit of communication between the play's author and itsintended audience. But the ideas expressed within it, andeven the text itself (considered as a concrete object, awritten or printed document) remain exclusively Voltaire's.To these critics, performance remains something that happensto a text rather than a transformation of the text fromwithin.Within this study, the relationship between dramatictext and theatrical realization will be maintained asessential. The distinction often drawn by critics betweenthe performed plays and those that were unperformed or even7unperformable, a distinction attributed to Voltaire himself[33], has as its consequence a different type of analysisfor each, and, furthermore is not logically sustainable inlight of the evidence in the Correspondance. Voltaire putas much effort into trying to have the Guébres performed asinto la, Mort de Cdsar; les Lois de Minos  went as far asrehearsals at the Comddie frangaise, as Lion admits [35].The approach undertaken here requires us to restore thepower of performance (actual or virtual) to affect text, ofthe role of the audience in the construction of meaningwithin the theatre proper and indeed in constructing thetext as document [36]. By reading theatre purely asliterary text, we can miss what is specifically theatrical:for example, the ability to convey meaning by ostention, aswhen in 54mirapis Ninias' re-appearance with blood-stainedarms indicates that he has killed SOmiramis [37]. Otherspecifically theatrical codes for conveying meaning areintonation and proximity, both of which affect meaningthrough bow the line is enonciated. [38] No reading canfully restore meaning as conveyed by performance, but itshould, at the least, recognize that meaning is not singleor static, that a number of codes are being usedsimultaneously [39]. As Elam brings out,It is the performance, or at least a possible or'model' performance, that constrains the dramatictext in its very articulation....The written text...is8determined by its very need for stagecontextualization, and indicates throughout itsallegiance to the physical conditions of performance.[40]Although Larthomas's work is of considerable interest,his approach differs greatly from the one undertaken here inthat he is concerned with those aspects of theatrical"grammar" and "syntax" which appear unchanging, which .continue to communicate, at least within the English andFrench traditions. My concern is with those aspects whichhave changed, which no longer convey meaning and whichrequire conscious decoding.Critics frequently make passing references to audienceexpectations and reactions to plays, insofar as these serveto confirm literary judgments, or to give temporaryundeserved merit; this study, because of its interest inhow and what the texts communicated with their intendedaudiences, will concentrate on critics contemporary withVoltaire, such as E, C. Frdron, Charles Cone and PierreClement. One of the few systematic studies of theatreaudiences in France, by Maurice Descotes [41], deliberatelyomits Voltaire, along with Marivaux and Beaumarchais, fromits corpus. I wish in some small measure to fill this gap,construire les attitudes qui correspondent aux piecesmises en question par le succes ou l'echec, definir lesintentions cachees qui permettent de mesurer la qualith9de l'attente ou des attentes propres a des secteurs del'histoire." [42]Without this insistence on the socio-historicalspecificity of theatre as a genre, texts being written for acertain audience, building, or even actor, one is forced tofall back on a theory of "universal truth":Comment va se constituer le nouveau rapport entre undiscours textuel creó en relation avec un publicdótermine, et un public qui a change et dont ni lespreoccupations ni la culture, ni l'ideologie ne sontles memes? La tendance la plus simple est de nier leproblëme et de tenir que le rapport entre le discoursdu scripteur et la voix du spectateur se fait sur leterrain d'une nature humaine universelle, de passionseternelles. [43]But the pursuit of a "universal truth" opens the way forthe critic to "privildgier non le texte, mais une lectureparticuliere du texte, historique, codee, iddologiquementdêterminee, et que le fftichisme textuel permettraitd'dterniser." [44] André Helbo goes further, and speaks ofa "terrorisme du texte." [45] Theatre is not a singletextual voice, but a chorus: "le signe thdatral est unenotion complexe qui met en jeu non seulement unecoexistence, mais une superposition de signes." [46] Onlythe ideal spectator, in the Platonic sense of "ideal", caninterpret all operant codes fully and simultaneously. The10incompleteness of the performance text appears necessary,the unavoidable result of choices made both by theperformers and by the spectators [47]. A purely "literary"reading risks choosing to omit even more. For example itmay not take into account codes other than the linguistic,like gesture, intonation and proximity, and sometimes noteven those changes made at the linguistic level in responseto public reaction. Particularly when reading texts widelyseparated from our cultural context by time and history, itis well to remember that language which seems artificial andcliché to us may well have been not only accepted but evenexpressive to audiences in its time.The importance of performance, of establishing thecircuit of communication in theatre between text andspectator through the performers, is difficult toover-emphasize. Elam's argument about the impact ofperformance considerations on text seems particularly apt toVoltaire's theatrical praxis as explored in this study [48].The spectator or reader as virtual spectator is not just apassive receiver but rather the initiator of and participantin the communication. Elam argues that performance cannottake place until the audience arrives. Voltaire'soverriding concern, as seen in his correspondence, was thathis plays be seen and heard, that they provoke a publicreaction to which he would respond. Mere publication of theplay text was but a tangential goal and, often, a quiet11concession that attempts to have the work performed hadfailed [49]. The critical view in which theatre isessentially dialogue, rather than the somewhat monologic,theatre-as-poem position, will find abundant support in thetheatrical praxis of Voltaire.Since theatrical discourse has a "double subject", itoffers a special situation for interpretation:Les sentiments et les emotions que le personnage estcense dprouver ne sont en fait eprouves parpersonne....I1 n'y a pas de signifiance de parole horsdes conditions de lienonciation....Seule la situationde parole precise le sens du discours. [50]The "situation de parole" includes the conditions ofenunciation, the relationships of power between thecharacters which determine not only the content of speechbut even the ability to speak [51]. The dominant ideology,the "formation socio-historique donnee," acts not onlydirectly through speech but also indirectly on speech bycontrolling access and content [52].From Voltaire's total corpus of 27 tragedies, I haveselected 13 for closer study [53]. This selection can bejustified by a number of considerations including: first,the works selected encompass Voltaire's tragic works frombeginning to end of his oeuvre; second, they represent thefull range of potential public receptions in that the foursub-categories into which I have grouped the plays selected12are successes, failures reworked successfully, failuresreworked unsuccessfully, and plays never performed; third,the plays chosen present a large number of textual variantsand revisions, and finally the length of time over which aplay is revised [54]. In making these selections, I wasparticularly concerned to cover as much of Voltaire's careeras possible, and to include the range of public response,from the unperformed Guebres to the enduring success ofZaire, a play which survived in the repertoire through thenineteenth century.Successes:Zaire (1732)44h9met (1741)Oreste (1750)Rome sauvde (1752)0Iympie (1764)Failures reworked successfully:Artdmire (1720) into lidrOde et Marianne (1724, 1725,1763)griphyle (1732) into Semiramis (1748)Adelaide du Guesclin (1734, 1751, 1765)Failures reworked unsuccessfully:Zulime (1740, 1762)Le Triumvirat (1764)13Plays never performed:Les Guebres (1769)"Success" and "failure" are relative terms both duringVoltaire's career (he had very few first-night closings),and at the present day for a theatre which seems completelyunperformable within twentieth- century codes of drama. Theterms were initially and provisionally defined in terms ofpublic performance during Voltaire's lifetime. But ZUlime for example, while initially a failure at the Comédiefrangaise, was popular in private performance and enjoyed arevival in the early 1760s. Les Guebres, while notperformed, was considered performable and even technicallycompetent by Diderot when reviewing its publication [55].Voltaire's tendency to rewrite in response to criticism iswell documented for all his plays, as Lion's meticulousresearch details (56].Although any selection from among Voltaire's tragediesis to some extent arbitrary, this particular group of playsprovides the greatest possibility of reconstructing theprocess of textual transformation which lies behind theapparently unitary and static texts confronting thetwentieth-century reader. Passing reference to other playsin the oeuvre will be made where relevant, particularly inthe chapter on ideological systems. While some reference ismade to manuscripts, it is not within the scope of thisthesis to undertake detailed analysis of, for instance, all14textual variants within all manuscript versions extant, assuch a task would approach that of a critical edition foreach play under examination [57].The approach adopted here is distinguished from othersespecially by its emphasis on text as process rather than asproduct, that is to say on the creative dialogue between theplay text and its receiver, and by its treatment ofideological considerations as inherent to all dramaticcommunication.The goal of this research is a reconstruction of thetheatrical praxis which produced these texts - in suchquantity, over so many years, with such success. Itstrives, in a necessarily limited sense, to "read"Voltaire's play texts as they were read and performed in hisown time, to reveal the ideologies they express orchallenge, to understand more completely the codes - visual,linguistic, gestural - by which they communicated. Further,it seeks to bring out not only the codes but also the3.pcuteurs in Voltaire's texts, the chorus of voices we arehearing when we read. These texts would not be what theyare without Cideville, Thieriot, d'Argental, Lekain, MllesQuinault and Clairon; without the critics and the censorsand the fickle audience of the Comedie francaise, anaudience bound by expectations of tradition even as theywere bored by it; nor without the physical and practicalconstraints of the stage itself. The reconstruction of the15theatrical praxis which produced these texts requires us torethink the texts as performance rather than as literature,as multi-voiced and open-ended. The traditional concept ofauthor/ity is questioned; Voltaire's struggles to assertcontrol over performance as well as over printing aresimultaneous with his continual revisions, hisresponsiveness to advice. Voltaire's own praxis seems basedon the interaction and collaboration between audience asspectator/reader/listener on one hand and author on theother, rather than composition in isolation, the author soleprogenitor of his text.^It is this successful theatricalpraxis, and the society in which it succeeded, that becomethe object of this study.My approach is distinct from what one may call thetraditional by its insistence: first, on the number ofother "voices" effecting transformations in the text ; and,second, on the relationship between linguistic, literary andperformance codes on one hand and ideology on the other.For example, Sanderson's work, although extremely detailed,is primarily concerned with form, and does not address theissue of ideology expressed by the text and affected by therevisions [58]. Likewise Abrate's thesis Play an4Playscript, while adding the consideration of performanceand audience to a discussion of form and structure, remainslargely limited to dramatic technique and, while examininghow the text seeks to provoke certain audience responses,16does not examine the impact of audience reaction on the textitself [59]. Many critics have addressed the issue of theplay text as didactic or philosophical pamphlet. However,this line of criticism tends to downplay the texts aseffective theatre, and to presume the coherence andconsistency of the philosophy expressed [60]. It is anessential premise of this approach that no literature and nomethod of literary criticism are ideologically neutral. Thecodes in which they are written and by which they areunderstood are social constructs inseparable from the beliefsystem of the groups which use them.In this way the analysis of textual variants, and inparticular their sources, provide the basis for new insightsinto the ideological content and didactic function of thesetexts. Only those reactions from readers, actors, audienceand critics which provoked a concrete change in the text andthus which now permit some reconstruction of the performanceare studied. This productive dialogue forms an essentialelement in Voltaire's dramatic praxis.This study intends to progress from textual evidence toperformance interaction to ideological conclusions. InChapter I, "Transformations in Linguistic Code: the Pursuitof Noble Language in Its Relationship to Class, Gender andLiterary Genre," our concern with the dialogue of textualtransformation obliges us to limit this study to thoselinguistic changes which resulted from or which17persisted in the fact of external criticism and whichtherefore allow us to draw conclusions about the linguisticcodes operating between the text and its receivers. Thischapter demonstrates that the language of Voltaire's tragictexts represents not so much an idiolect, a way of usinglanguage specific to the author, as a kind of sociallydefined dialect, a way of using language to indicate notonly one's literary skill but also one's education and one'ssocial status.The basic assumption of this part of the analysis isthat the plays represent not a monologue but a dialogueamong several "speakers". We can find reflected in the textthe linguistic tastes and judgments of that circle ofVoltaire's friends who read and critiqued his work, of theactors who performed them, of the censors who edited andapproved them, and even of the journalists who reviewedthem. The rules of "noble" language, of tragedy as adramatic genre, were defined by French society, not to bealtered easily by any individual writer. Voltaire'sstruggle to be creative and at the same time acceptablewithin this structure, the identity of those "speakers"whose voices we find preserved in the changes to the printedtexts which remain, and those whose voices Voltaire soughtto control and eliminate, are issues which this chapteraddresses. Further, the normative effect of noble languageon the tragic form, and the source, timing and importance of18changes at the level of language, are examined.The basic premise of Chapter II, "TextualTransformation and the Dialogue of Performance: theStruggle for Acclaim and Control" is that performance is notexternal or incidental to the texts under examination, butinseparable from them. Theatre, perhaps even more stronglythan text intended to be read, is a situation of dialogueand interaction among senders and receivers: the author,the actors, and the audience. The meaning constructed fromthe performed text, and the reception afforded it byaudiences, can vary greatly from those attributed to it byits readers, particularly those reading without consciousreference to a potential stage realization. However, thequestion of reception is one which does not seem to havereceived the same degree of critical scrutiny as has beendevoted to theatrical form and function within Voltaire'soeuvre [61].In this chapter, the ways in which performance andperformers, both virtual and actual, have significant impacton the texts of Voltaire's tragedies is considered.Voltaire's efforts to control not only dramatic text butalso performance text are indicated in the previous chapterby his opposition to editing by the actors, that is, totheir changing the text by reducing it. But this continuinginvolvement in performance text has broad implications notonly for the plays as they now appear but for19eighteenth-century theatre generally. One may argue thatVoltaire's involvement with the stage - as an avid amateuractor and metteur en scene, his "training" of certainperformers, as well as his writing contributed to changingaudience expectations and standards of tragedies. He notonly responded to audience reaction, but strove to guide italong specific lines.^This second chapter examines thedynamic tension between performance success and literarymerit, the struggle for control over the text during andafter performance, and the concrete impact of performance ontext.Chapter III, "Ideology in the Tragic Structure:Systems of belief and Codes of Behaviour in the Political,Religious and Familial Domains," defines ideology as thatsystem or systems of beliefs which determine the properstructure of a society and which provide the norms by whichcitizens of that society are to behave. While some criticshave concluded that certain of Voltaire's tragedies havelittle or no ideological content [62], this study takes asone of its fundamental premises that all theatre has someideological function in that it exists in a relationship ofreinforcement or reform to the society which produced it bythe type of society it idealizes or critiques.Analysis of the ideological content cannot, however, beconfined to the explicit statements which, as we willdiscuss, are frequently undercut and even denied by the20context in which they are spoken. The "situation de parole"which is inseparable from the "enoncd" itself includes theconditions of enunciation, the relationships of powerbetween the characters which determine both the content ofspeech and the very ability to speak, and also the actionswhich arise from that speech. The dominant ideology, the"formation socio-historique donnde," is conveyed not onlydirectly through speech but also indirectly by constraintson speech and speakers [63].Chapter III treats the ideological system of each playas well as the relationships between them, examining whatkinds of societies and individual behaviours are presentedand the degree of approval or condemnation afforded them.This discussion is organized around three general areas ofsocial structure: government, including monarchies,republics, and the role of the masses; religion, includingthe priesthood as a class, the status of state religion, andthe portrayal of individual priests and believers; andfamily, including gender roles, the division of authorityand duty, and the control of sexuality. Particularly inthis last domain we will concentrate on the role of women inthe tragic world.Transformations at the level of linguistic andperformance codes form the basis for the third chapterinsofar as ideology is expressed not only through explicitcontent but also and often more revealingly through context:21not only who says what, but also to whom, when, with whatresult. Ideological bias is also expressed through controlover speech: how often, how much, and to whom a characteris permitted to speak. Passivity, for example becomes athree-level term: silence, absence, and inactivity. Thiscomplex definition permits a clearer revelation ofunderlying beliefs and attitudes: e.g., women may be seenas largely absent, as silent presences, or as verbose butessentially ineffective adjuncts.The transformations are discussed in terms of thosewhich appear to reflect an attempt to express the samebelief more convincingly and those which reflect a change ofbelief. We will look for the emergence of consistentdefinitions and even of coherent belief systems from thetexts considered as a group. Further, we will considerwhose beliefs are being expressed. Often, the beliefs canbe seen as those of Voltaire's circle or even of the societyin which he moved rather than exclusively those of Voltairein isolation. Hence, the belief systems may be, in commonwith the texts which express and operate within them,arguably the product of dialogue and consensus, a product ofthe society in which they appeared.In the Appendix, this study provides for each playstudied a chronology of textual transformations, so that onemay trace the development of the text over time, the varioussources of the transformations, the characters and plot22aspect involved, and in general terms the content of thetransformation. As well, the number of variant lines knownfor a particular text compared to the total number of linesin that text is given, so that the extent of transformationcan be quantified.23Note [1] Anne Ubersfeld, lire le thëatre (Paris: Editionssociales, 1978) and Keir Elam, The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama (London and New York: Methuen, 1980).[2] Deidre Burton, Dialogue and _Discourse; a sociol,inguiptic approach 10 moderp drama dialogue and naturally occurring conver,sation  (London: Routledge & KeganPaul, 1980); Anne Reboul and Jacques Moeschler, Discoursthdatral et analyse conversationnelle (Cahiers delinguistique francaise #6, 1985). There is also similarwork on Voltaire's contes: Carol Sherman, ReadingVoltaire's contes: a sepiotics of Oilopophical narration (North Carolina UP, 1985).[3] Pierre Larthomas, Le L'angage examatique (Paris:Armand Colin, 1972).[4] Reboul and Moeschler look at Moliére; Larthomas, atRacine and Corneille. There is material on Marivaux andBeaumarchais in Larthomas. But his work seeks to definewhat is "universally" theatrical, not what is specific to acertain period. Thomas J. Carr Jr., in "Dramatic structureand philosophy" (SVEC CXLCIII (1975): 7 - 48), discusses theideological implications of certain typical plot structures,but does not consider language except to deplore Voltaire'sadherence to alexandrines.[5] For example, Anne Ubersfeld on Hugo: Le Roi et le bouffon (Paris, Corti, 1974).24[6] Ionesco and Pinter in Burton (1980); Ionesco inReboul and Moeschler (1985); and a number of modern works inLarthomas (1972).[7] Robert Niklaus, "La Propagande philosophique autheatre au siècle des lumieres," SVBC XXVI (1963), p. 1229.[8] Les Tragedies et les theories Aramatiques de Voltaire (Geneve: Slatkine, 1970; reproduction of the Paris1895 edition), pp. 154, 255, 352, etc.[9] Nicolas Boileau - Despreaux, Art pOtique chantIII in Oeuvres(Paris: Gamier freres, 1952); PierreCorneille, les deux Discours in TWtre complet (Paris:Gallimard, 1957); Jean Baptiste Racine, prefaces toBerenice, Iphegenie, and Phedre in Oeuvres completes (Paris:Gallimard, 1950 and 1952); d'Aubignac, La Pratique dutheatre, ed. P. Martino (Paris: Carbonel, 1927); JacquesScherer, La Dramaturgie classique (Paris: Nizet, n.d.[1950]). The above sources give at least a summary basisfor conclusions on the rules of classical dramaturgy.[10] The sources for Voltaire's theory are scattered:prefaces, Qommentaires on Corneille and Racine, articles inhis Dictionna,ire philosophique, etc. See also DenisDiderot, BrItret,iens sur  le Fils naturel and De la podsj.e dramatiquein Oeuvres (Paris: Editions de la Pleiade, 1951)and Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Essai sur legenre dramatique serieuxin Oeuvres, ed. Pierre Larthomaswith Jacqueline Larthomas (Paris: Gallimard, 1988).^See25Niklaus, op. cit., p. 1229 on the continuing impact ofseventeenth-century norms on audience expectations.[11] John Lough, Paris Theatre Audiences in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Oxford UP, 1957) andHenri Lagrave, Le Theatre et le public a Paris de 1715 a 1750 (Paris: Klinsieck, 1972). Statistics on the number ofperformances, tickets sold and revivals serve as a usefulbalance to critics like Cone and Freron, whose judgmentsare often tainted by philosophical partis pris. Thecatalogues of the Bibliothéque Nationale, of the BritishLibrary, and the National Union Catalog help to trace theprinted editions and translations.[12] Jack Rochford Vrooman, Voltaire's theatre: the cycle from "Oedipe" to "Mdrope" in SVEC LXXV (1970): p. 190.[13] Lion, p. 267.[14] nig, pp. 34 and 419-21.[15] 'bid, pp. 267, 299, 409.[16] Ubersfeld, p. 258.[17] Jean Duvignaud, La Sociologie du theatre (Paris:PUF, 1965), p. 36.[18] Lion, pp. 34 and 421.[19] See Ubersfeld, p. 121 and Elam, p. 208.[20] Ubersfeld, pp. 265-67.[21] Lion, my translation of p. 422.[22] Ibid, p. 42.[23] Ibid. pp. 18, 429, 474.26[24] Ridgway, p. 235.[25] Vrooman, p. 175.[26] Ubersfeld, pp. 249, 265.[27] Lillian Willens, Voltaire's comic theatre; composition, conflict and critics SVEC  CXXXVI (1975);Vrooman.[28] Ubersfeld, p. 250.[29] See, for example, their conclusions: in Vrooman,p. 207; Willens, p. 182.[30] Vrooman, p. 175.[31] Alain Niderst, "Tragique Voltaire," in Le Sièclede Voltaire; Hommage aRene Pommeaq, eds Christiane Mervaudand Sylvain Menant (Oxford: Taylor Foundation, 1987) II:701 - 706.[32) Cartwright, in his introduction to Adelaide duGuesclin; Pierre Conlon, Voltaire's literary career froM1728 to 1750 SVEC XIV (1961): ie at pp. 108-150.[33] Lion, pp. 351, 370.[34] Voltaire, Correspondance , ed. Theodore Besterman(Oxford, 1968). See for example the correspondencesurrounding Les Guébres, January to July 1769.[35] Lion, pp. 354-56.[36] Elam, p. 34; Duvignaud, p. 7.[37] Elam, p. 29.[38] Umberto Eco, "Parametres de la semiologiethdatrale" in Semiologie de la representation (Paris: PUF,271975), pp. 39-40.[39] Regis Durand, "Problemes de l'analyse structuraleet semiotigue de la forme thedtralen in Sdmiologie de la representation, p. 113.[40] Elam, pp. 208-09.[41] Le public du _theatre et son histoire (Paris:PUF, 1963).[42] Duvignaud, p. 39.[43] Ubersfeld, p. 267.[44] Ibid, p. 17.[45] André Helbo, avant-propos to Semiologie de 14 representation, p. 9.[46] Ubersfeld, p. 31.[47] Ubersfeld, loc. cit.; Elam, p. 49.[48] Elam, pp. 208-09.[49] The notes to the Moland edition of Voltaire'sworks (Paris: Gamier fréres, 1878), e.g. those forOlympie, le Triumvirat and les Guëbres in tome VI, establishthis prioritization of performance over publication.[50] Ubersfeld, pp. 139-40.[51] Ibid, p. 283.^A well-known modern example ofthis correlation between speech and power is the relationbetween Pozzo and Lucky in Beckett's Waiting for Godot.Within eighteenth-century drama, Voltaire's Nanine providesillustration of this point in that the heroine is virtuallysilent through the final scenes of the play, while the count28and her father decide her fate.[52] Ubersfeld, pp. 287, 296-97.[53] In chronological order: Artdmire, }erode et Mariamne, Eriphile, Zaire, Adelaide du Gqesclin, Zulime,Mahomet, Semiramis, Rome sauyee, Oreste, Olympie, isTriumvirat, les Guebres. In contrast to the plays chosen,Alz.re offers only 40 lines of substantive textual variantsand some variation between contemporary editions in theinclusion of stage directions and author's notes in a textof 1426 lines, leaving aside such changes as singular/pluralof the type on/nous, replacement by synonyms or functionalequivalents (prepositions and determiners), and syntaxreordering. Merope provides slightly more than 100 lines ofvariants (of which 80 exist only in reference to onemanuscript) and thirteen lines quoted from Briphile in a1402 line text, according to the most recent criticaleditions: Alzire, ed. T. E. D. Braun (1989) and Merope,eds. Jack R. Vrooman and Janet Godden (1991) in the VoltaireFoundation edition of the Complete Works published by theOxford University Press. Neither of these plays showsevidence of substantial revision over time, and thus do notoffer the material for analysis to be found in plays such asAdelaide or Herode et Mariamne or Zulime, which havehundreds of lines of variants and substantial reworkings ofplot and character over periods of thirty years or more.[54] I am working largely from the Moland edition of29Voltaire's works, as of the plays selected only MichaelCartwright's Adelaide du Guesclin (1985) and Eva Jacobs'Zaire (1988) have appeared to date in the new VoltaireFoundation edition. These two editions will of course beconsulted. Extensive reference is made, further, to theOxford edition of the Correspondance edited by Theodore H.Besterman (1968).[55] Haydn Mason, "Diderot critic of Voltaire'stheatre," in Le Siecle e Voltaj.re: NOmmage A Rene yomeau,eds. Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant (Oxford:Voltaire Foundation, 1987) II: 636.[56] Lion, gp. cit., passim.[571 Anne Sanderson's lengthy articles, "Voltaire andthe problem of dramatic structure: the evolution of theform of Eriphyle" and "In the playwright's workshop:Voltaire's corrections to Irene" in SVEC CCXXVIII (1984):97-170 illustrate this point.[58] Ibid.[59] Jayne Halsne Abrate, Play and Playscript; Dramatic Structure ip Six Voltairean TKagedies, Ph. D.thesis, Purdue, 1983.[60] I.e. the works already cited by Ridgway, Vroomanand Niderst.[61] Patrice Pavia, Languages of the Stage - Essays inthe Semioloqy of Theatre (New York: Performing ArtsJournal, 1982), p. 70.30Chapter I - Transformations in Linguistic Code:the Pursuit of Noble Language inIts Relationship to Class, Gender and Literary GenreTheatrical text offers special problems to a linguisticanalysis in that theatre is a heterogenous genre, neitherwholly written nor wholly oral, combining text with visualrepresentation, sound effects and even music. SuzanneLanger's distinction between discursive and presentationalforms was designed to assist in the semiotic analysis of artas opposed to literature [1]. Theatre, however, which isboth discursive or linear in that information is conveyed bymeans of text, and presentational in so far as the essentialunit of meaning is the performance as a totality, requiresanalysis conducted on both registers. Langer's division of"meaning-situations" into general types or modes: language,ritual, myth and music [2), while no doubt valid and useful,serves to emphasize the complexity of the theatricalsituation. Theatre can combine simultaneously elements orfunctions of all four modes by the use of costumes, sets,sound effects and music, by its role as a social ritualindicating the intellectual or financial status of thespectator, and by its power to express that society's mythsabout divinity, morality, and rationality. Althoughanalysis here will be largely limited to text by ourdistance from performance, the remaining elements of31performance and social ritual will be brought forward, andthe gaps left in the printed text by their non-realizationindicated. Analyzing the message communicated by a playtext must involve this consideration of performance ratherthan treating the text as exclusively literary.The theoretical basis for the linguistic analysisproposed might best be categorized as drawing fromstructuralist, semiotic and marxist approaches. Referencewill be made in particular to the theatrical studies of AnneUbersfeld, Keir Elam and Jean Duvignaud, of which the firsttwo draw from speech-act theory. Their work on thesociological and ideological implications of theatre isintroduced here, but will also inform the third chapterdealing with ideology in the theatrical text. This analysisin grounded in the premise that language is fundamentally asocial phenomenon, inseparable from the community thatdefines it and uses it, and necessarily bound up in theideology of that community. In this regard it can be calleda marxist approach. Volosinov expresses the view as follow:The actual reality of language-speech is not theabstract system of linguistic forms, not the isolatedmonologic utterance, and not the psychophysiologicalact of its implementation, but the social event ofverbal interaction implemented in an utterance orutterances....Verbal communication can never be32understood and explained outside of this connectionwith a concrete situation. [3]The nature of the situation and of the audiencedetermines the forms of utterance and the behaviours whichaccompany and inform it (ibid, p. 63). Theatre offers anextreme situation of social interchange, with dialogueoccurring between author and performer as well as with thespectator within the framework of supposedly real dialoguebetween characters. Volosinov deliberately extends hisdefinition of verbal interaction to include printed texts;all forms of verbal communication are bound to the societyin which they were produced. As I have argued in theintroduction (pages 8 - 10), it is the context, thesituation of communication, which has changed for today'sreaders of the texts under study. Plainly put, we no longer"speak" the codes through which these texts originallycommunicated.Our concern with the dialogue of textual transformationobliges us to limit ourselves in this section to thoselinguistic changes which resulted from or which persisted inthe face of external criticism, and which therefore allow usto draw conclusions on the linguistic codes operatingbetween the text and its receivers. As indicated in theintroduction (p. 17), I will demonstrate that the languageof Voltaire's tragic texts represents not so much anidiolect, specific to Voltaire, as a kind of socially33defined dialect, using language to indicate not only one'sliterary skill but also one's education and one's socialstatus. It is my hypothesis that the plays represent not amonologue but a dialogue among several "speakers". We canfind reflected in the text the linguistic tastes andjudgments of that circle of Voltaire' friends who read andcritiqued his work, of the actors who performed them, of thecensors who edited and approved them, and even of thejournalists who reviewed them. The rules of "noble"language, of tragedy as a dramatic genre, were defined byFrench society; they were not easily altered by anyindividual writer. Voltaire's struggle to be creativewithout alienating his audience, the identity of those"speakers" whose voices we find preserved in the changes tothe printed texts which remain, and those whose voicesVoltaire sought to control and eliminate, are issues whichthis chapter will address.In eighteenth-century France, tragedy was the "noblest"form of theatre, indeed inferior only to the epic in thefull literary hierarchy. Its authors were required to writein an elevated style, largely defined by the seventeenth-century theorists Boileau and d'Aubignac and for whichRacine had become the model. The purification and theexaltation of language in tragedy were part of a broadereffort to raise French to the status of Latin and Greek, andto endow it with the prestige of a truly "literary"34language. Influential in this process was the Grammaire de Port-Royal, as well as the various prounouncements of theAcaddmie francaise, which published its first dictionary in1694.If language is inseparable from the society which usesit, then one can expect to find reflected in language thepower structures of that society. Access to language, andcontrol over it become ideological issues. Existing classhierarchies and gender inequities will inevitably beexpressed in the literature of that society, and can bedemonstrated by analysis of that literature. Feministcritics (like Daly, Spender, and Penelope) have assessed theseventeenth-century pursuit of a "pure " or "noble" languagein various countries not merely as a nationalistic desirefor equal status with the classical languages, but also aspart of the consolidation of patriarchal authority. Thisdual motivation seems particularly plausible in France whereit coincided with a larger political shift to absolutistmonarchy under Louis XIV. [4]The task of bringing the French language under control,of giving it the status previously reserved for classicallanguages meant bringing it under male control - that of thegrammarians and the academicians:The construction of grammars and grammaticalspeculations in the west have been male-onlyenterprises from the beginning, studies dominated by35philosophers concerned with rhetoric, on the one hand,and ethics on the other....Both countries [France andItaly] had already established academies charged withkeeping their languages pure and the learned men ofEngland weren't going to sit by while rival nationspurged their languages of foreign influence and decidedrules of correctness that would forever protect theirlinguistic identities from the corruption of thedialects of the poor and the lower classes. [5]Penelope further makes clear that the explicit purpose ofthe Acadómie francaise was to "cleanse French" of plebeianor foreign or "prêcieux" elements.Women had been key players not only in the "precieux"movement, with women writers like Mlle de Scudery, but alsoin the classicizing reaction under Malherbe. However, onlymen sat in the academies, wrote the dictionaries andgrammars, taught or studied in the colleges. The role ofsocially prominent women in defining "le bon usage", whileconsiderable, was arguably subordinate, particularly in viewof even their limited access to education. Roseann Runtedoes claim that in this period "literary and artistic fameand fortune depended on the judgment of women." [6] But sheconcludes, "Although women attempted to break out of thefamily circle, they did not succeed in being cast in newroles." (p. 151) The task allotted to them seems to havebeen to influence and encourage through the salons, that is,36a social and oral sphere of activity in which they couldregulate the propriety of what men could say or write.Actresses, on the other hand, may offer an exception to thisobservation; the stage may give women lacking in socialstatus and classical education an opportunity to influenceand interpret at least the nobler forms of literature.It is in fact typical of patriarchal societies,according to such critics as Daly and Penelope, that womenare made responsible for correctness of language while theyremain excluded from mastery of it:It is well known that women excel in the study ofprescriptive grammars....Granting this, however,Jesperson [in Language: Its Natures Development and Origin (1921 Otto) p. 249] didn't hesitate to turnmen's inferiority into a plus for them! ...Men haveused our alleged linguistic conservatism against us --in other words, our ability to use the rules oflanguages they've developed -- at least sinceCicero....If women speak Standard English, we'reunimaginative and stupid.(Penelope, pp. xix-xx)Seventeenth and eighteenth-century women were in factconscious of their role as guardians of good taste and goodgrammar [7]. Nonetheless, literature and education remainedmale domains throughout the seventeenth and eighteethcenturies in France. The now familiar division between37nature and culture, intuition and reason along the linefemale/male is made even by female writers:Nous allons aussi surement a la verite par la force etla chaleur des sentimens, que par l'etude et lajustesse des raisonnemens et nous arrivons toujourspar eux, plus vite au but dont il s'agit, quo par lesconnaissances.(Mme de Lambert, ibid, p. 97)It is striking confirmation of this sexual division oflanguage that, indeed, one praised this higher form oflanguage, the French of epic poetry and tragedy, bycategorizing it as masculine: the Mercure, in approvingVoltaire's imitation of Greek style in Ertphile, chooses tosay "la diction en est male." (March 1732, p. 562) Thecritic Freron likewise uses this gendered approbation inspeaking of Voltaire's Tancrede, which he describes aspainted by "un pinceau si brillant, Si male, si harmonieux."[8]Eighteenth-century French tragedy, as a genre demandingconsiderable classical education and verbal skill from itswriters, thus seems likely to prove "masculine" not only inthe language it uses but also in the beliefs it expresses.While the questions of underlying ideology properly belongin a later chapter, we wish to indicate from the beginningour intention to discuss issues surrounding the access oflower-class persons and particularly of women (or female38characters) to language on stage and in society, and in thischapter the degree to which women had impact on theVoltairean text, both as a written document and inperformance. There were no French women making a living ora reputation as playwrights (or indeed taken seriously aswriters of any kind) during the eighteenth century, asShowalter's article indicates [9]. Those women writers wedo know of were mainly either noblewomen writing forthemselves or a small circle such as Mme du Deffand and Mmede Lambert, or popular novel writers such as Mme deGraffigny and Mme Riccoboni. Of plays written by women inthe period, only Mme de Graffigny's Cênie (1750), a drame bourgeois, comes to mind as acheiving anything like successin performance [10]. Graffigny's second play, La Fille d'Ariptide, was a disaster; Mme du Boccage's Les Amazones and Mme Denis' La Coquette punie were little more thancuriosities. This situation is in strong contrast with thatin Britain, where Aphra Behn and Susannah Centlivre lived bytheir playwriting before Voltaire produced his first play.Showalter concludes that the "institutional privilege of thetheatre disenfranchised women in fact if not in principle,and in denying them the possibility of writing for thestage [which was the most lucrative field for writers of theperiod] effectively disbarred them from writing for aliving." (p. 97) However, French women could hardly befaulted for this marginalization, as they had little if any39access to the kind of education, the grounding in Latin andin classical theory, required to write "correctly" in thehigher genres like tragedy. Authors and critics, likegrammarians and academicians, were men.Theatrical performance, as opposed to composition,takes a written text and places it in an oral context.Therefore, it may offer women as actresses greateropportunities to control or at least affect text.Voltaire's career as a dramatist was marked throughout byhis collaborations with the leading actresses of his time:Lecouvreur, Quinault, Gaussin, Dumesnil, Clairon. He soughttheir advice, gave them credit for a play's popular succes,wrote and rewrote roles to suit them, coached them on actingand criticized not only their declamation but also theircostumes, gesture, and decor. While one can argue thatprinted text remains male-dominated, and certainly Voltairedid everything in his power to retain personal control overprinted texts, performance text may prove to have been anarena in which women could contribute to and even manipulatethe "verbal communication". Audience reaction, however, atleast that of the parterre, which was most direct andactive, largely remained controlled by men. The leaders ofthe ca•ales, the parterre itself, the aristocrats on stage,those in the best position for immediate and interventionaryreaction to performance (hisses, laughter, quips,interruptions) were all men.40This chapter will look into the sources of the advice andcriticism on correctness of language that Voltaire sought,followed, disputed or ignored, and to determine whether anyimplications of class or gender bias emerge.Linguistic accuracy was unquestionably a priority fortragedy in the French classical mode. Boileau's ideal is alevel of expression so refined that it is capable ofdiscussing any subject without offending social biensdances:D'un pinceau dèlicat l'artifice agrdableDu plus affreux objet fait un objet aimable. [11]Sophocles is credited with raising Greek tragedy to its"hauteur divine" because he:Accrut encor la pompe, augmenta l'harmonie,Interessa le choeur dans toute liactionDes vers trop raboteux polit l'expression. (Ibid)So high a standard was established in theseventeenth-century that Racine himself was criticized for"low" or "common" speech. Berdnice in particular wasattacked for its inclusion of phrases like: "Eh quo!!seigneur, vous nlètes point part!!" and "Remettez-vous,madame, et rentrez en vous-méme." [12] Although Voltaire isgenerally described as an imitator of Racine, it is perhapsworth noting that the memorable rèpliques of Voltaire'stheatre are of this deliberately simple type, with "Zaire, vous pleurez" being the best known example.In the eighteenth century, even those critics who41extolled Crebillon's playwriting over that of Voltaire hadto admit that the language of Crebillon's plays did not meetthe classical standard. Desnoiresterres described it as"rocailleux, incorrect, barbare" [13]. Grimm, in theCorrespondance “tteraire, while reviewing Crebillon'sCataline, exclaimed "Quel barbare frangais us parlent, tousces Romains, et surtout le prince de l'dloquence latine!"[14) The journalist and critic Pierre Clement, no devoteeof Voltaire's work, attacked Crebillon's Ca“line onlinguistic grounds:La versification est tres-defectueuse, pleine de termespopulaires, de phrases barbares, de constructionslouches, de duretes, de tours et de nombresprosaiques. [15]Clement had similar criticisms for another of Crebillon'splays, gerces (I: 159).Voltaire was of course eager to set himself above hisrival in matters of linguistic purity. The ideal of noblelanguage pursued in the Voltairean tragic text is ademanding one. Noble language must be harmonious to theears, but absolutely correct in grammar, elevated invocabulary and clear in meaning. Too much reasoning andeloquence leave the audience cold; the overly ornate ispompous. But the overly simple is equally inappropriate.Within a restricted and largely abstract vocabulary (we willnote how Voltaire was criticized for using terms such as42"ciment," "crie" and "voluptueux"), the tragic playwrightmust produce "ces sentences admirables, placdes avec artdans les dialogues intóressants." [16] The rules aboutrhyme were equally rigid, and attempts to innovate were alsosubject to severe criticism. Mahomet, generally viewed asone of Voltaire's best plays, was dismissed by the abbó LeBlanc in the following terms: "Pour la Versification elleest fort indgale & les Rimes en sont ndgligêes A sonordinaire." [17] Voltaire's use of vers croj.sés in Tancredeprovoked considerable debate among critics (ed. Moland, V:494).Voltaire, while seeking to develop an individual style,did not protest against these limits on language, as Diderotdid; on the contrary, he revered and defended them. He wasvery sensitive, and very vulnerable, to charges that in hispursuit of the ideal of noble language he imitated theFrench classics. His early plays in particular are full ofparaphrases and even quotations from Racine, less oftenCorneille and Quinault [18]. But we should also recognizethat Voltaire, in the course of a long career developed areputation for verbal brilliance: "une diction si pure etsi enchanteresse." (Corrpspondange litteraipe, V: 256).Even when the critic disliked the play, he admitted theexcellence of the poetry. The Abbe' Le Blanc, for example,conceded in describing Brutus: "Malgre les Beaux Verspourra bien tomber des mains de la plupart des lecteurs,"43(p. 142) and likewise Eriptiile: "C'est avec de beaux vers,de beaux morceaux la plus mauvaise Tragedie que J'aie encorevile." (ibid., p. 152) Furthermore, it was a frequentcriticism of the later plays that they did not meet thestandard Voltaire had set in his own earlier work:[Semiramis] peche egalement par la conduite et par laversification qui est des plus faibles, pour ne pasdire mauvaise. On ne reconnait pas là Voltaire.(Correspondance litteraire, I: 267)En general, la versification s'est trouvee eteinte;l'on n'y [dans Olympie] a pas reconnu ce colons quicaracterise tous les ouvrages de M de Voltaire. [19]Transformations in the play texts at the level of purelanguage (not incidental to a change in plot, as whenAdelaide is deleted from les Freres ennemis or the highpriest from Eriobile) allow us to reconstruct in Voltaire'stragic text this balancing act between innovation,individuality and the traditional norms. We are better ableto recognize that he often reached his own goal of thememorable phrase. In beginning at the linguistic level wecan, moreover, build up stronger evidence for more profoundchanges - shifts in characterization and plot, in implied orexplicit ideology - and take some steps towardsreconstructing the lost performance texts of these plays,giving them back some of the dynamic life they had in theeighteenth century.44Language-based criticism was not only frequent inassessments of Voltaire's own work, but also in hisjudgments of his classical predecessors and of hiscontemporaries. The ideal of noble language was not anexternal standard to which Voltaire adhered against hisbetter judgment in order to succeed, but was a matter ofstrongly held personal belief. As he wrote to d'Argental(25 September 1764, D 12100), tragedy must be distinguishedfrom other literature in particular by its quality oflanguage, which must be "pur et vif". His criticism ofother playwrights affords many examples of criticismdirected solely at the quality of expression, the lapsesfrom classical standards in the plays, such as in the"Dissertation sur les DrinciDales tram:Idles anciennes etmodernes":Par luelle etrange corruption se pourrait-il faireau'on souffrit Darmi nous ce nombre Drodiaieux de versdans lesffuels la syntaxe. la Dropriete des mots. lajustesse de fiaures. le rhythme sont eternellementvioles? (ed. Moland. V: 192)Ce rien n'est Das francais. et sert a rendre la phraseplus barbare....Si c'etait votre aveu aui me fit estprosaiaue, plat et dur, mdme dans la prose la plussimple.^(D. 193)Both comments refer to Crdbillon's Electre. He returns tothis type of criticism in the Commentaires sur Corneille45[201:on Horace : Ne vont pas sans tristesse. Voltaireruled that it was an "expression familiere dont il ne fautjamais se servir dans le style noble." (p. 284) We findfurther examples in his critique of Polyeucte:Vous ne savez as ce que c'est une femme est du stylebourgeois de la comedie. (p. 291)Dont il est poss. Expression impropre, vicieuse; onne peut dire etre poAsede des yeux.S'il ne vous traite idi d'entiere confidence. Colan'est pas francais; c'est un barbarisme de phrase.These criticisms of Crebillon andCorneille could be dismissed as mere self-serving, examplesof Voltaire publicly diminishina his rivals to elevatehimself. But we find the same type of critique in hisprivate correspondence: "Dieu me aarde de voler vainsfantames d'Etat fin Rodosune ii. ii!.. .Plus le us ceCorneille. plus )e le trouve le pére du galimatias, aussibien que le !Dere du theatre." (to d'Araental, 25 Sept 1751.D 4579) Furthermore. he applied similar criteria toFrederick of Prussia's poetic diction. where he would haveno motive to be over-critical:EnchaIner dans les fers est un oldonasme; enchainerseul suffit. On ne dit point faire l'or; on dit fairede l'or....Vous dites la haine embrasee! Ce mot estimpropre. (17 March 1749. D 3893146Even those critics, such as Freron and Coll& most unlikelyto flatter Voltaire seem to hold to the same ideal of tragiclanguage, to apply the same rules, attacking him when hefalls below it but acknowledging his frequent success inmeeting that high standard:C'est une elegance de podsie egale, pour ainsi dire, al'eloauence de prose de l'Orateur Romain....Les autrespersonnages parient aussi le lanaaae aui leur estnropre.^(Armee litteraire (17561 II: 142)La versification en est brillante. rarement neallaCe.pleine sur tout de cette harmonle. de cette musiauetranscendante. P. Clement on Semiramis. I: 1G21:This same critic savaaelv attacXed another of Voltaire'straaeales:Les vers sont negliges. ii v en a de mauvais de touteespece; de chevili4s. de iouches. de Polteux. de durs &insupportables a l'oreille de iaches. de ois aueprosaYques & aui ne sont pas 'Ilene trancois.(on Nanine. I: 192)The Abb6 Nadal was first disappointed Mr the tailure otown 74ariamne in 1724 and then revolted Pv a r'hyme entinasmoneen which disappeared from the text of Voltaire'ssuccessful 1725 fferode et Marianne prior to printing(Desnoiresterres. I: 317). Voltaire made no secret of hispredilection tor pushina tne limits of acceptable languaae.a characteristic noted in an earlier citation from tne Abbe47Le Blanc (p. 10):Vous nous perdez tous trois; le vous en averti qui rimea dementi, il rime trés-bien; il est permis d'Oterl's aux verbes in ir.(to the Count d'Argental, 25 Sept 1751, D 4579)This propensity was so well-known that critics began todescribe certain types of errors in other writers' works ascharacteristic of his style: "Aire et tonnerre. mauvaiserime Voltairienne." (P. Clement. II: 30)Certain kinds of textual shift, however. appear tooffer little matter for our analysis. There seem to be noideoloaical overtones, no clue to performance, no responseto external reaction, in a chanae from "sait connaitre"(1733) to "salt respecter" (1736) and back to "saltconnaitre" (1775) in act II. scene iii of Zaire or from"voix tombante" (1733. 1736) to "voix tremblante" (1775) inact V. scene vi of the same play r201. Similar examplescould be given for almost any Voltairean nlay in this study.as in les Guebres. where we find shifts such as "nousservons" to "J'obeis" (I. iii; VI: 510) and "Ii etait bon.sensible, ardent, mais genereux" in the place of "Emoorte.mais sensible; ardent. mais genereux" (IV. i; VI: 545) whereperhaps a loss of rhetorical finesse in the replacement ofthe Parallel structure may be observed. The printed editionsof Olympie are in many instances thick with purelytypoaraohical alternations: ses for les. la for ma.48frdmiriez for fremirez (where it is not clear a tense shiftwas intended). One cannot even be assured who isresponsible for these, whether it was the author, editor orcompositor. Anne Sanderson's studies of Irene and Eriphile focus largely on the manuscript variants, from entirespeeches to shifts in choice of adjective or in singular forplural [22]. She finds that the more mechanical revisionswere often incidental to a specific change in plot orcharacter (p. 169), as in the plays currently under studythe removal of the high priest from Eriphile or theelimination of Varus from Herode et Mariamne. Sandersonfinds in her manuscript analysis evidence for her conclusionthat Voltaire was not as effortless a versemaker nor ascareless a playwright as he has frequently been classed (pp.165-66). Her meticulous work on Irene and Eriphile gives usa basis for judging what the frequent references inVoltaire's correspondence to having "refait" or "refondu"certain scenes or acts might entail in textualtransformations as opposed to the equally frequentreferences to "polishing" a play text. But it is thosechanges in characterization, plot and even ideological slantwhich precipitated both drastic and slight changes in text,and which can be reconstructed from those changes, whichinterest us.It is thus possible to argue shifts in performance orideology from very small linguistic changes, so opening up49opportunities for a good deal of additional analysis. Forexample in Zulime: (III, iv) Benassar to Ramire "Arrete"(in 1761) becomes "Demeure" (in 1775), implying that in thefirst case Ramire is meant to move offstage before Benassarbegins to speak, and in the second that he is not to move.When in act V scene i Zulime shifts from calling Benassar"mon 'Dere" (1761) to "seigneur" (1775), there is anincreased emphasis on Zulime's submission to her father'sauthority rather than on the emotional tie, and therefore anidentifiable ideological component in the change. Many ofthe printed variants to Zaire lend themselves to this kindof analysis, as Eva Jacobs' new edition makes clear [23].For example, the 1736 edition contains stage directions(i.e. in II, iii and V, x) that are missing from both theedition of 1733 and the edition encadree of 1775, suggestingan effort to give readers a sense of the performance, ratherthan the text of a plya they have just seen (in the case ofthe 1733 editions) or a text meant to be read. In the sameway the 1774 edition of Olympie follows in many instancesthe edits made for performance, being distinguished by thenumber of verses omitted as well as changed by referenceboth to the 1769 editions and the Kehl edition (in II, iv;III, i; IV, iii, vii, viii; V, v, vi, vii). The 1775edition of Zaire shows traces of increasing nationalism; forexample, the Crusaders are referred to as "franc:4W insteadof "francs" or "chretiens" (in I, iv an T1, i). pis50tendency to emphasize past glory as support for presentpatriotism was much more pronounced in the 1765transformation of Adelaide du Guesclin. In Olympie, thechange from "J'attends, puisqu'il le faut..." to "Faitesvenir ici ces deux rivaux cruels" (V, iii; VI: 158)illustrates how the role was shifted from the "fille dequinze ans" of Voltaire's original conception to a heroinemore suited to Mlle Clairon's histrionic talents, providingsome concrete evidence of the influence of stage realizationon the text.Voltaire himself seems to have believed that smalllinguistic shifts could have considerable implications forplot or characterization. In order to make Seide'sparricide in Mahomet more plausible, and in response tocriticism from his "anges" on this topic, Voltaire suggestedthe following [the underlined words are not in the finalprinted text, the passages in square brackets are]:Pour ce grand attentat je reponds de Seide;C'est le seul instrument d'un pareil homicide.Otage de Zopire, ii peut seul aujourd'huiL'approcher a toute heure, et te venger de lui.[L'aborder en secret]Tes autres favoris, pour remplir ta vengeance,[zeles avec prudence]Pour s'exposer a tout ont trop d'experience;La jeunesse imprudent a plus d'illusions51[est le temps de ces]Seide est enivre de superstitions,[Et Seide, enivre de] edition de 1742[tout en proie aux] edition encadreeJeune, ardent. devord du zele qui l'inspire.[C'est un lion docile a la voix qui le guide](Act II, scene vi; to Formont, 10 August 1741, D 2525)Voltaire put similar emphasis on slight variation inadvising La Noue on Semiramis (27 July 1748, D 3727) andcontinued the fine-tuning of Oreste for years:Pour rendre cet instinct plus vraisembable et plusattendrissant ii n'y a qu'un vers & changer. Electredit:vient qu'il s'attendrit? Je l'entends qui soupire.Voici ce qu'il faut mettre a la place:Oreste0 malheureuse Electre!ElectreIi me nomme, 11 soupire.(To the Count d'Argental, October 1758, D 7988)No alteration was too small to insist on, although theprecise improvement Voltaire hoped to achieve is not alwaysevident. In a list of changes sent to Cideville and Formontfor a proposed edition of Eriphile (8 May 1732, D 486) wefind "cette loin becoming "cet ordre," "De cet Etattremblant" changing to "De l'Etat qui chanc6le" (I, i),52"Detestable aux mortels" shifting to "Deteste des mortsmeme" (end of act IV). Thirty years later, in LeTriumvirat, (Julie to Fulvie, II, iv) Voltaire insists that"Je me meurs" replace "Je succombe" merely to avoid arepetition of the verb (to the Count and Countessd'Argental, 22 June 1764, D 11943). Emphasis on pureliterary style does not appear to separate the text from itsdramatic function; Le Triumvirat was at the time of thecorrection about to open at the Come-die francaise.Throughout the development of the texts, theirlinguistic correctness remained a major issue, and Voltairecontinued to depend on the judgment of his friends toestablish or confirm it: "Votre critique du vers, ont ecritdans le sang, est tres-juste" he wrote to the Countd'Argental in September 1751 (D 4579). "Voidi come jecorrige en cet endroit:Achevez son naufrage; allez, braves amis,Les destins du senat en vos mains sont remis etc."(Rome sauvee, II, vi) [24]Voltaire even complained to these friends if he consideredtheir criticism to have been cursory, as he did toVauvenargues with regard to Semiramis (May 1746, D 3398).Indeed Voltaire argued that this dialogue between the authorand his cenacle was essential: "Dans la plupart de nosauteurs on trouve rarement six vers de suite qui n'aient depareils defauts...parce qu'ils ont la presomption de ne53consulter personne, ou l'indocilite de ne profiter d'aucunavis." [25] Voltaire attributes his own dramaturgicalpractice to Racine's example, a favourite justification forany contentious theatrical praxis on his part:[Racine] joignait a un travail infini une grandeconnaissance de la tragedie grecque, une etudecontinuelle de ses beautes et de celles de leur langueet de la n6tre; 11 consultait de plus les juges lesplus severes, les plus eclaires, et qui lui etaientsincerement attaches; il les ecoutait avec docilite.(ibid, p. 195)Voltaire himself had a surprisingly faithful circle of suchwell-education and sympathetic judges for his work.Evidence of such consultation abounds. With regard to Rome sauvee, which seems to have caused him particulardifficulty, he sent a hemistich, "tyran par la parole," tothe Abbe d'Olivet his old teacher for approval of the trope.The master's approval was returned to the "pupil," now wellinto his dramatic career on the same paper (October 1749, D4041 and 4042). Even later in Voltaire's career, during thecomposition of Le Triumvirat, the correspondence tells thesame story:Independamment des vers raboteux dont la tragedie descoupe-jarrets fourmille, il y en a aussi d'assezincorrects qui ont echappe a la rapidite du mauvaisstyle, comme par exemple au troisieme acte a la54premiere scene, ii y a << Ces fers qui ont approche dugrand Pompee,>> et autres sottises pareilles.(to the Count and Countess d'Argental, 27 July 1763, D11320)Voltaire then entered into a prolonged debate with thed'Argentals over one line, and indeed over one word in thisplay: "A deux voluptueux a livre l'univers." (Fulvie onAntoine and Octave; I, i; emphasis mine) To the d'ArgentalsVoltaire argued historical justification for the term (7September 1763, D 11401) and promoted the value ofinnovation in tragic diction: "Il est beau de hasarder surle theatre des terms heureux qu'on n'y a jamais employes.Au nom de Dieu, ne touchez jamais a ce vers." (18 September1763, D 11422) But the line was eliminated from the text inrespect to their judgment, as was another: "L'ardeur de mevenger ne m'en fait point accroire," for which Voltairepleaded (27 September 1763, D 11429) and for which now theintended location is uncertain [26].In Mahomet, he did however successfully defend certainpassages from alteration. Voltaire had considerable regardfor Cideville's judgment; in one letter (19 July 1741, D2515) Voltaire not only expressed agreement with certaincriticisms, he claimed to have incorporated them withoutquestion. It is those lines of the play for which he arguesagainst the opinions of Cideville which help to illuminate55the critera by which Voltaire judged tragic language:Celui qui a fait un examen Si approfondi et si juste deMahomet est seul capable de faire la piece....I1 y abien d'autres details dont je vous remercie; mais, aulieu de les discuter, je vais les corriger. Je ne saisce que vous voulez dire d'un a l'invincible Omar;y aEt l'invincible Omar, et ton amant peut-etreCe peut-étre me parait un correctif necessaire pour unjeune home qui se fait de fête avec Mahomet et Omar.Je ne trouve point le mot de ciment de l'amitie (II, v)bas, et j'avoue que j'aime fort haine inveteree; crie encore & son përe (I, i) me parait aussi, je vousl'avoue, bien superieur a invoque enor son nére. L'unpeint et donne une idee precise. L'autre est vague.La metaphore des flambeaux de la haine consumes des mains du Temps (I, i) me parait encore tres-exacteL'insecte insensible (I, iv) n'est pas l'insectequi ne sent pas, mais qui n'est pas senti. L'indigne partage me parait aussi mauvais qu'a vous.Cideville appears to have given Voltaire the same kindof criticism directed against Voltaire that he himselfapplied to Crebillon and Corneille: the level of vocabularymust be uniformly noble, the figures of speech logical andprecise, the dialogue apt to the character and the situation56in the judgment of a classically educated man.As no change was too small to insist on, in the sameway no term was too incidental to be defended. The noun"rivale," applied by Herode's sister Salome to Marianne (II,ii; II: 183), shocked the Count and Countess d'Argental,perhaps by an implication of incestuous affection or asuggestion of the other Herod who married his brother'swife. But Voltaire replied:C'est precisement cette rivalite dont il s'agit. C'estde quoi Salome est piqude; et une femme a qui on jouece tour dit volontiers a son adverse partie ce qu'ellea sur le coeur. (23 December 1762, D 10885)The potential violation of bienseances was sufficientlyjustified, at least in Voltaire's opinion, by psychologicalplausibility, as was Seide's "peut-étre" in the previousexchange with Cideville.Voltaire had a notorious tendency to revise on thebasis of rehearsals, which he supervised whenever possible(from the Comedie frangaise to Frederick's court), and toinsist on even slight changes. The well-known anecdote ofthe partridge pie full of corrections to Zaire is merelyrepresentative (ed. Jacobs, p. 328). These changes, bytheir sheer number and the resistance made by the actors tothem, seem to have been primarily at the level of language,requiring re-learning of lines rather than re-thinking ofcharacterization. The Correspondance, in the57following examples, can show us what kind of retouches weredone. In the case of Zu1)..me, Voltaire took the lesscolourful but perhaps more reliable route of sending themthrough Mlle Quinault, one of his staunchest allies at theComddie frangaise until her retirement. He even specifiesthat she, with d'Argental and Pont de Veyle, should have"une autoritd absolue" to criticize the play (29 October1739, D 2102). Act V in particular was subject toconsiderable revision. The final lines of Zulime to Ramire:Dans ces derniers moments apprends A me connaitreVois quelle dtait Zulime, et rougis d'être un traitrebecameJe t'aimais innocent, je t'aimai parricide;Je t'aime encor, barbare, et je te laisse Atide.This change was made while the play was in rehearsal (letterto Mlle Quinault, 26 March 1739, D1957); Voltaire consideredthe new couplet "plus passionnd, plus vrai, et moms commun"(ibid) We might also deem it more sentimental, showingZulime's suicide not as an act of courage and reproach forhaving loved someone unworthy of her, but as an act of utterself-abnegation. Neither of these couplets appears in theprinted text, which was not established until after Zulime'srevival in 1762. In another letter to Mlle Quinault duringthis same period of rehearsal, changes were made to Atide'sspeech in the same scene which ends: "Ah! donnez-moi lamort par haine ou par pitid!" Voltaire added:58N'armez point cette main si chere et si sacrdeContre un coeur qui, sans moi, vous aurait adoree;C'est votre amant, helas! S'il a pu vous trahir,S'il m'aime, si je meurs, le peut-on mieux punir?and then a new exchange between Ramire:Au nom de mes fortaits, soyez inexorable.Frappe.and Zulime:Je vais percer le coeur le plus coupable. [27]These alterations imply that the original 1740 denouemententailed Atide and Ramire offering to die at Zulime's handfor their crimes against her, before Zulime stabbed herselfas the most guilty party. In the final play text Zulimeasks her father to punish them, but is overcome by Atide'sattempted suicide: "C'est a moi de mourir, puisque c'esttoi qu'on aime." (V, iii; IV: 65)The aim of these 1739-40 corrections was thus topolish, to make the climactic scene more emotionallyplausible and touching, an effort which would continue untilthe text was set after the 1762 revival. Voltaire's primarygoal was thus not innovation but the firmly classicaldesire, following Racine, to "ddchirer le coeur" of thespectator. As Pomeau observed: "Voltaire cherchel'emotion thdatrale. Dans ses tragedies tout est sacrifid ala production de la scene dmouvante." [28]This extensive process of "pre-screening" and revising59the text before its debut was not infallible. One ofVoltaire's few first-night disasters was Addleade du Guesclin in 1734, in which VendOme's replique "Es-tucontent, Coucy?" provoked the two predictable responses:"Couci-couci!" and a roar of laughter from the parterre[29]. This four was so devasting and so notorious that theplay was revived under different character names (to avoidthe pun) seventeen years later, and not revived in itsoriginal setting until 1765. The Comódie frangaise pit wasknown for such witticisms, as when during the debut ofMarmontel's Cléopatre, the realistically hissing snake wasgreeted by "Je suis de l'avis de l'aspic." [30]Voltaire's protectiveness for his texts would lead usto expect protests against linguistic changes made inperformance which were not submitted to him for approval; hemight welcome collaboration but not independence, responsebut not license. He showed particular hostility towardsactors editing for performance. A suggestion from La Noueregarding Oreste was summarily dismissed in Voltaire'sreply: "Ii me semble que ce terme d'adroite n'est pas asseznoble, et sent la comedie." (27 July 1748, D 3727)Voltaire was equally distressed by Mlle Clairon's libertieswith her role in Tancrede:Lekain m'a mande qu'il avait en vain combattu MlleClairon quand elle...m'etriquait le second acte auquella derniere scene est absolument necessaire, quand elle60ecourtait ses fureurs.(to the Count and Countess d'Argental, October 1760,D 9360)Voltaire had coached Mlle Clairon in some detail at the timeof the play's debut (January 1750; D 4095, 4098, 4099,4104). Indeed, these earlier letters assumed her compliancewith the "father's" wishes:Le role d'Electre est certainement votre triomphe; maisje suis pare, et dans le plaisir extreme que jeressens des compliments que tout un public enchantefait a ma fille, je lui ferai encore quelques petitesobservations pardonnables l'amitie paternelle.(12 January 1750, D 4095)He then goes on to coach her in fine points of declamation,for example:Dans votre imprecation contre le tyran:L'innocent doit périr, le crime est trop heureux,vous n'appuyez pas assez....L'impetueuse Electre nedolt avoir, en cet endroit, qu'un désespoir furieux,précipité, et éclatant. Au dernier hemistiche pesezsur crk. (ibid)Voltaire evidently believed that he should be able to shapeeven the details of the performance, in order that theaudience see and hear exactly the character he had written.This later letter demonstrates that he expected her tocontinue under his paternal authority.61He was further incensed by the cutting of "J'en suisindigne" from Zulime's role in Mlle Clairon's revival,seeing in it the loss of what was in his opinion thecharacter's great line, equivalent to Orosmane's "Zaire,vous pleurez" or Mahomet's "Ii est donc des remords" (to theCount and Countess d'Argental, 26 January 1762, D 10282).With regard to the earlier printed edition of the same play,he fulminated againstJ'abjure un lache amour qui me tient sous sa loi.for^ vous ravit ma foi.(V, iii; to the Count and Countess d'Argental, 15August 1761, D 9945)He went so far as to blame Freron in order to indicate thestrength of his dislike for the expression.It is clear from the correspondence that the Zulime andthe  aire performed in 1762 with Mlle Clairon were not as wenow read them. Voltaire felt that the actors were cripplingZaire, but does not give details (to the Count and Countessd'Argental, 28 September 1762, D 10734). The end of Zulime seems to have been particularly subject to editing by theactors of the Come:lie frangaise, without affecting the plotor the characterization substantially (see letters to thed'Argental 28 September 1762 D 10734, 6 February 1763, D10985, and 13 February 1763 D 10999). Voltaire objectedstrongly to these edits:Je vous demande en grace, quand vous ferez jouer Zulime62Mlle Durancy, de la lui faire jouer comme je l'aifaite, et non pas come Mlle Clairon l'a joude....Lamaniere dont les comódiens de Paris jouent cette sceneest de Brioche. (D 10999)In particular, Zulime's final lines, as established by MlleClairon in 1762, distressed Voltaire. The Mercure (janvier1762, II: 202) gave the text of Zulime's last speech:A la fin j'ai rempli mon devoir.(A son 'Dere)0 vous, seul des mortels regrettd par Zulime,Souvenez-vous de moi, mais oubliez mon crime.(A Atide)Je meurs sans vous hair.(A Ramire)Ramire, sois heureuxAux depens de ma vie, aux depens de mes feux.It was this closing line which drew Voltaire's attention,and, as we have seen previously, Voltaire's protest wasbased on linguistic considerations:Comment ces malheureux ignorent-ils assez leur languepour ne pas savoir que cette repetition, aux depens,c'est une suspension, que la phrase n'est pasfinie, et que cette terminaison, aux depens de mes feux, est de la derniere platitude?(to the count and countess d'Argental, 19 December1766, D 13746)63Indeed, the printed text for this passage, whileincorporating elements of this performed text, variesconsiderably. The offending line is retained but moved backinto a previous speech where, apparently, its lack ofconclusion would be less noticeable (IV: 64). Zulime'sdying lines were now :A la fin j'ai rempli mon devoir.Je l'aurais dü plus tft...Pardonnez A Zulime...Souvenez-vous de moi, mais oubliez mon crime.(V, iii; IV: 65; suspension points are in the text)There was a similar grammatical criticism of theperformed AdelaXde of 1765. Voltaire insisted (to Lekain,29 November 1765, D 13010) that two verses be changed in theprinted edition:Gardez d'être rdduit au hasard dangereuxQue les chefs de l'Etat ne trahissent leurs voeux.This couplet offended him by its semantic incoherence,apparently the result of "coupures" by the actors. He sentthe correction - an expansion from one sentence to two usingthe same elements - directly to the widow Duchéne, theprinter (30 November 1765, D 13015):Tous les chefs de l'Etat, lassós de ces ravages,Cherchent un port tranquille aprés tant de nauf rages.Ne vous exposez point au hasard dangereuxDe vous voir ou trahir ou prOvenir par eux.Olympie seems to have suffered likewise at the hands of64the Comddie francaise, a text freed from Voltaire's directsupervision by his residence in Switzerland in a way theearly plays were not. The Moland edition indicates 77 linescut in performance, with nearly all these cuts followed inthe 1774 Paris edition which also escaped Voltaire'ssupervision. Of these lines, 44 are taken from the roles ofAntigone and Cassandre (the two rivals for Olympie), and 27from Cassandre alone. The edits lack political motivation;it was not to please the censors that Cassandre's outburstsof remorse were curtailed in I, ii and III, i. A moreforceful conception of the character and a fear of wearyingthe audience with discourse not advancing the action appearmuch more likely motivations.It is thus clear from the examples given that Voltairecontinued to seek the seventeenth century's pure andelevated language in his tragedies. He seems to have reliedon his friends' and his old teachers' judgment in matters oflinguistic correctness, appearing to lack confidence in hisown in isolation on the correctness of a word, phrase, orfigure of speech. He was, however, capable of ignoring ordisputing their judgment, and seems to have had scantrespect for the opinion of actors in this regard, and indeedfor their performance skills generally.Innovation was extremely difficult in all aspects ofeighteenth-century dramaturgy, not least in the linguistic.Apostolides views this resistance to change as evidence of65the social value and function of theatre, emphasizingtheatre as a form of ceremonial:En ce sens, nous ne devons pas interpreter les réglesd'unite du poeme dramatique come tine contraintearbitraire imposee aux auteurs par quelques pedants,mais bien plutft come un ensemble de recettes, connueset admises de taus, qui visent a renforcer l'aspect<<acte>> du ceremonial....La representation thóátrales'impose avec tant de force que, meme si le publicsalt que tout est simulacre, ii supportedifficilement la mise en scene de certaines imagesinterdites a sa conscience. [31]The storm of criticism which surrounded Marivaux' expansionof comedic vocabulary is well-known, and his language wasfrequently dismissed as an artificial jargon [32].Voltaire's own limited innovations were greeted by the sameresistance. Rehearsal, in which Voltaire could hear thetext, in which an actor could protest difficulties indiction or breathing, offered Voltaire an ideal opportunityto polish the language, and incidentally annoy the actorswith a plethora of alterations to memorize. Not least toVoltaire himself was the tragic text a fundamentallyopen-ended one, constantly subject to revision and externaljudgment.In examining whom Voltaire consulted in this domain oflinguistic correctness and effectiveness, we note that he66sought and frequently followed the advice of a small andrelatively constant circle of friends, his cdnacle. Asnoble language was a key element in tragedy's literaryprestige, Voltaire consulted those whose tastes andeducation reflected his own background in the classics. Theonly woman evident in this circle, particularly after theloss of Mme du Chatelet, was the Countess d'Argental.Voltaire speaks of her contribution in a very revealing way:"C'est a vous que j'en Buis redevable, c'est A votre goat,l'interêt que vous avec pris a l'ouvrage, a vos rdflexions,aussi solides que fines." (18 October 1760, D 9327) "Legoat" falls into the feminine jurisdiction of sentiment, inopposition to male reason: "Le Goat est d'une grandeêtendue; il fait appercevoir d'une maniére vive et prompte,sans qu'il ne coate rien a la Raison, tout ce qu'il y avoir dans chaque chose." [33] As a woman, Mme d'Argental'sopinions spring as much from instinct as from intellect.Thus gender can be seen as a limiting factor for influenceon Voltaire's play texts. Unfortunately, there is littledocumentation of Mme du Chatelet's role if any in thedevelopment of Voltaire's tragic texts, beyond thededication of Alzire to her, and her known participation inthe private performance of some of his plays, such as thenow fragmentary Thdrêse (ed. Moland, IV: 259).^Those whohave studied the intellectual relationship between Voltaireand Mme du Chatelet, such as Wade and Vaillot, tend to67conclude that her influence drew Voltaire away from theatreand towards science and philosophy. As Wade concluded,"Only in the drama does the influence of Cirey seemnegligible." [34] Her absence from the tragic text seems byher choice.As far as the contribution of actors can be discerned,Voltaire does not seem to have sought or incorporated theiradvice on language, and indeed opposed any shift in theirsphere of influence beyond strict performance, that is tosay, their use of declamation and gesture. Even in thisdomain, Voltaire expended great effort on coachingperformance, and thus on retaining control or at leastsupervision of "his" text. He seems to have stronglyresisted incorporating the edits made for performance intothe printed texts he supervised. While actors and actressescould affect the immediate form and content of the tragictext by their interpretations and editing, and so manipulatethe audience response, the enduring printed text largelyconceals when it does not eliminate these contributions (asin the case of Olympie). Social class, and the consequentlack of access to a classical education, appears to bar theperformers from immortalization in print within such a noblegenre. At best, Voltaire might give them the credit of adedication, as in that of Zulime to Mlle Clairon in which hesays "Cette tragedie vous appartient, mademoiselle; vousl'avez fait supporter au thdátre." (IV: 6) But we must68keep in mind that the text which follows is not wholly theone the actress made successful on stage, and indeed is onein which her alterations have been "corrected".Voltaire's own concern with details of style andgrammar justifies ours. These transformations at the levelof language will make it possible for us to argue moreconvincingly considerable shifts in characterconceptualization or in ideology, insofar as these changesoccur at more than one level in the text. For example, anincreased emphasis on nationalism may not be seen in anincreased number of lines on the subject, but more subtly inthe reiterated shift to "frangais" in describing theCrusader knights of Zaire. We have seen that linguisticpurity was not the sole motive for linguistic change.Voltaire explicitly indicated that he sought to increase theemotional impact, the psychological plausibility and / orthe literary distinction of a line when small changes weremade: "plus passionne, plus vrai et moms commun." (26March 1739, D 1957) Linguistic changes may prove to beincidental to larger revisions to plot or character, asSanderson's detailed studies of Eriphile and Irene indicate.But they can also imply a change in casting as in Romesauvee, a shift in ideological focus as in Adelaide, or areassertion of authorial posssession of the text as inZulime and Olympie. This perpetual alternation between thedesire to collaborate and the desire to control, between69dialogue and monologue, in the Voltairean text constitutesone of its most fascinating elements, and one which we cansee reflected at all levels. The ambivalence towardsoutside criticism, which is both sought anddisregarded, is coloured by Voltaire's opinion of theparticular source. Literary critics, performers and evenaudiences could be dismissed far more easily than his circleof friends and advisors, that almost exclusively male groupmany of whom Voltaire had known from their days together atthe College des Jesuites de Louis-le-Grand.^It is theirvoices, Cideville and Formont and the Count d'Argental,which we can hear under that of Voltaire, the importance oftheir advice and encouragement to the development of theworks as they now stand which we recognize. The exclusionof women from higher education, the ambivalent position ofperformers in eighteenth-century France (who were bothexcommunicates and comèdiens du roi) and the social stigmaattached to actresses (whose greed and licentiousness werepresumed) serve as the context for their lack ofparticipation in tragedy as a literary form. Withoutconcluding that the play texts are directlyautobiographical, we can state that they were writtenconsistently from a place of gender and (relative) classprivilege, expressing the world view of educated men who hadaccess to literary recognition as well as popular acclaimthrough tragedy as a "noble" medium.70NOTES[1] Suzanne K. Langer, "Discursive and PresentationalForms," in Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology  ed. RobertE. Innis (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1985).[2] Langer, p. 106.[3] V. N. Volosinov, "Verbal Interaction" inSemiotics: An Introductory Anthology, ed. Robert E. Innis,p. 61.[4] Maitó Albistur and Daniel Armogathe, Histoire dufdminisme frapgais du moyen age a nos jours (Paris:Editions des femmes, 1977), p. 134.[5] Julia Penelope, Speaking Freely: Unlearning theLies of the Fathers' Tongues (in the Athene series, NewYork: Pergamon Press, 1990) p. 17.^Mary Daly,Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism  (Boston:Beacon Press, 1978) ie at pp. 164-65 provides numerousexamples of how patriarchal societies use women to enforcethe social rules restricting women. Margaret Atwoodillustrates this principle powerfully in The Handmaid's Taleby means of the Aunts, who teach the imprisoned handmaids toaccept their roles as sexual surrogates (Toronto: McLellandStewart, 1985). This characteristeric of male-dominatedsystems suggests that the function of female characters inVoltaire's tragedies is likely to be a prescriptive one,illustrative of what female behaviour in that society71should be. This suggestion will be examined in the chapteron ideology in text.[6] Roseann Runte, "Women as Muses," in French Women and the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Samia I. Spencer(Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984), p. 144[7] Mme de Lambert, "Reflexions nouvelles sur lesfemmes" in Ecritures fdminines, ed. Elyane Dezon-Jones(Paris: Editions Magnard, 1983) P. 96.[8] Annde littdraire, ed. E. C. Freron (1761) VII:14.[9] English Showalter Jr., "Writing Off the Stage:Women Authors and Eighteenth-Century Theater," Yale FrenchStudies 75 (1988): pp. 95-96.^His review of the status ofwomen playwrights in the period concludes: "The regularitywith which women abandoned the theater after one play pointsto a powerful deterrent at work." (p. 96) This articlechallenges the more positive presentation in Barbara J.Mittman's article "Women and the Theatre Arts" in FrenchWomen and the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Samia I. Spencer(Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984), pp. 155 - 169.[10] Showalter Jr points out that "from 1717 to 1749 nonew plays by women were produced," and indicates that Mme deGraffigny's Cdnie (1750) and the failed Fine d'Aristide(1758) "were the last full-length plays at the ComedieFrangaise by a woman until the Revolution." (p. 96)[11]Art poetique, chant III.72[12] Voltaire provides a long list of Racine's"faults" as part of his defense of simplicity in the prefaceto Les Scythes, Oeuvres completes, ed. Moland (Paris:Gamier freres, 1877), VI, p. 273. Unless otherwiseindicated, all references to Voltaire's works will be tothis edition and will appear in the body of the text withvolume and page number. References to his Correspondencewill be to the 1968 Oxford edition edited by TheodoreBesterman, and will give the date, the Besterman number, andthe recipient as needed for clarity.[13] Gustave Desnoiresterres, Voltaire et la societe au XVIIIe siècle 2e ed. (Paris: Didier, 1871), III: 201.[14]Correspondance l'tteraire ed. Maurice Tourneux(Paris: Gamier freres, 1877) II: 464.[15] lime ClinErt, I OKI aptE's litittaires PrOdam Slathe, WV; mint cf tre 1Th al dinedition), I: 131.[16] all from Voltaire's letter to the marquisAlbergati Capacelli, 23 December 1760, D 9492.[17] Hóléne Monod-Cassidy, Un Voyageur-philosophe au Ville siècle: l'abbe Jean-Bernard Le Blanc (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1941), p. 378.[18] Henri Lion, Les Tragedies et les theories dramatigues de Voltaire (Geneva: Slatkine, 1970;reproduction of the 1895 Paris edition). See inparticular his discussions of the early tragedies:Oedipe, Artemire, Mariamne.73[19] Louis Petit de Bachaumont, Memoires secrets Dour servir a l'histoire de la republique des lettres enFrance depuis MDCCLXII jusqu'a nos jours (London: JohnAdamson, 1777), II: 35.[20]Oeuvres completes, ed. Theodore Besterman(Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1968), volume 54.[21] Eva Jacobs, ed., Zaire in Les Oeuvres completes de Voltaire volume 8 (Oxford UP: The VoltaireFoundation, 1988), pp. 457, 513.[22] Anne Sanderson, "Voltaire and the problem ofdramatic structure: the evolution of the form ofEriphyle," and "In the playwright's workshop: Voltaire'scorrections to Irene," in SVEC CCXXVIII (1984): pp. 97 -170 Sanderson's approach operates from a differenttheoretical framework than mine, and does not for exampleconsider the ideological implications of text shifts.[23] in The Complete Works of Voltaire  (Oxford:Voltaire Foundation, 1988), volume 8.[24] This correction represents an intermediatestage in the text. The edition encadree does not includeeither version.[25] "Dissertation sur les principes tragediesanciennes et modernes," ed. Moland, V: 194.[26] Voltaire's editor Moland speculates that theline would have appeared in I, i, spoken by Fulvie (VI:291).74[27] to Mlle Quinault, 17 February 1740, D 2164,prior to the play's debut; all changes are with regard tothe final scene of act V.[28] René Pomeau, La Religion de Voltaire (Paris:Nizet, 1956), p. 257.[29] Similar reactions, but to violations ofbehavioural norms, occurred at the first performance ofMariamne (where she drank poison on stage): "La reineboit!" and in an earlier scene of Adelaide when Nemoursappeared with his arm in a sling.[30] J. B. Clement and Joseph de la Porte, Anecdotes dramatiques (Genéve: Slatkine, 1971; reprint of the 1775Paris edition), pp. 209-10.[31] Jean-Marie Apostolides, Le Prince sacrifid: Thdatro et politique au temps de Louis XIV  (Paris:Minuit, 1985), p. 47.[32] See Freddric Deloffre, Marivaux et le marivaudage, une prdciosite nouyelle, 2 ed. (Paris:Armand Colin, 1967).[33] Mme de Lambert, p. 97.[34] Ira 0. Wade, Voltaire and Mme du Chatelet (NewYork: Octagon, 1967), p. 193. See also René Vaillot,Avec Mme du Chatelet, Voltaire en son temps 2, ed. RenéPomeau (Oxford UP, 1988).75Chapter II - Textual Transformation and the Dialogue ofPerformance: the Struggle for Acclaim and ControlPerformance is not external or incidental to the textsunder examination, but inseparable from them. Theatre,perhaps even more strongly than text meant to be read, is asituation of dialogue and interaction among senders andreceivers: the author, the actors and the audience. Themeaning constructed from the performed text, and thereception afforded to it by audiences, can vary greatly fromthose attributed by its readers, particularly those readingwithout conscious reference to a potential stagerealization. However, the question of reception is onewhich does not seen to have received the same degree ofcritical scrutiny as has been devoted to theatrical form andfunction [1].We will see how performance and performers, bothvirtual and actual, have had considerable impact on thetexts of Voltaire's tragedies. Voltaire's efforts tocontrol not only dramatic text but also performance textwere indicated in the previous chapter by his opposition toediting by the actors, to their changing the text byreducing it. But this continuing involvement in performancetext has broad implications not only for the plays as theynow appear but for eighteenth-century theatre generally.One can certainly argue that Voltaire's practical interest76in staging - as an avid amateur actor and metteur en scene,his "training" of certain performers, as well as his writingcontributed to changing audience expectations and standardsfor judging of tragedies. He did not only respond toaudience reaction, he strove to guide it along specificlines.Xeir Elam has provided a useful framework for theanalysis of performance dynamics, emphasizing rather thandownplaying the role of the spectator: Theatre is asituation of communication initiated by the spectator, whosemere arrival and presence sets up the process. [2] PatricePavis concurs: "From this point on, the mise en scene is nolonger (or at least no longer entirely) an indication of theintentionality of the director, but a structuring by thespectator of materials presented." [3] Elam further remindsus that theatrical communication is multilayered; thedialogue between actor and spectator is overlaid by thatbetween character and character. Various systems ofcommunication: verbal, gestural, visual and aural operatetogether. Everything that happens on stage is potentiallymeaningful, not just what is spoken or pantomimed [4]. Ourpresent distance from the sociocultural context of theseeighteenth-century plays of course increases our difficultyin understanding them:The performance text is dependent for its encoding anddecoding both on a flexible number of systems and on a77set of codes more or less common to the sources,performers and audience. [5]The theatre as a building had its own impact on text aswell as performance: the number of spectators, theircloseness to each other and to the stage, the size and shapeof the stage [6]. We have already noted the interactiverole played by the French parterre - all male, standingclosely packed at the edge of the stage - in performances atthe Comedie frangaise (page 38). The eighteenth century sawthe development of increasingly elaborate decor and effects(strongly influenced by opera), of the curtain used betweenacts and at the close, and in France of the clear stage in1759, a reform which had a considerable impact on theatre asspectacle by permitting crowd scenes, ghosts, funeral pyres,trapdoor entrances and exits. Voltaire, especially, wasquick to exploit the opportunities for spectacle in laterplays like Tancrbde and Olympie, having long deplored theconstraints imposed by on-stage seating [7].Furthermore, we cannot neglect the extent to which thepresence of a certain actor in and of itself may haveconsiderable significance to the construction of meaning bythe audience. In Voltaire's theatre, popular success wasfrequently attributed to or seemed genuinely due to thepresence and talents of particular performers: Mlle Gaussinin Zaire, Mlle Dumesnil in Merope, Mlle Clairon in78Sdmiramis, Zulime, and Olympie and Lekain in Adelaide andMahomet. This "meaning" constructed by the audience mustalso include the associations the audience might bring tothe text because of its beliefs or expectations of theauthor, clearly an important factor in the popular successor failure of Voltaire's plays. A certain intellectualparti pris - for or against the philosophes - generallyappeared to underlie a championing of Crdbillon's geniusover Voltaire's, for example by Frdron, Colle, or Marivaux.The cabales pro- and anti-Voltaire were frequently givencredit for determining the general public's reaction to aVoltaire play, whether to prevent its debut, cut short itsrun, or unduly prolong its run.Plays that succeed in the context of performed theatreare in many cases not those given literary acclaim at thetime of performance or in later critical judgments.Audiences, as opposed to critics who work primarily fromprinted text, can have different criteria and constructmeaning from performance text in different ways.Eighteenth-century critics, including Voltaire, were awareof this dichotomy, and frequently expressed a certaincontempt for mere "popular" success.With regard to the direct impact of performance ontext, Elam argues that it must be presumed for any dramatictext:Literary critics have usually implicitly or explicitly79assumed the priority of the written play over theperformance....But it is equally legitimate to claimthat it is the performance, or at least a possible or'model' performance that constrains the dramatic textin its very articulation.. ..The written text.. .isdetermined by its very need for stagecontextualization, and indicates throughout itsallegiance to the physical conditions ofperformance.^[8]An eighteenth-century French critic put it more briefly:"Tout drame est essentiellement fait pour 'etre mis, ou dumoms imagine au Théâtre." [9]I. The Tension between Performance Success and LiteraryMeritVoltaire, while never ceasing to strive for theatricalpopularity, was well aware that an initial favourablereception did not necessarily imply critical accolades:Je suis bien loin de m'enorgueillir du succes passagerde quelques representations. Qui ne connait l'illusiondu th6atre? Qui ne sait qu'une situation interessante,mais triviale, une nouveaute brillante et hasard6e, laseule voix d'une actrice, suffisent pour tromperquelque temps le public? Quelle distance immenseentre un ouvrage souffert au theatre et un bon ouvrage!(D 517, Voltaire writing in the Mercure on the debut80of Zaire, August 1732)Public reception of Voltaire's tragedies varied widelyover the years and the results were often not what Voltaireor his friends would have predicted, or what thetwentieth-century reader might expect. For example,Artemire, despite Adrienne LeCouvreur's encouragement of thewriter and her personal performance in the play, failedmiserably. As the Mercure predicted, the author hesitatedto preserve in print the evidence of a public disgrace:Come le Public bien inform6 scait [sic] d'avancequelle a etd l'avanture de l'une...Si cependantl'Auteur d'Artemire s'avise de faire imprimer sa piece,peut etre nous aviserons-nous d'en donner un extrait.[10]We note that Le Mercure did not hesitate to be spitefultowards a novice playwright. Voltaire reportedly jumped upin his loge during the opening performance and lectured thecatcalling parterre on its bad judgment; the play wasrevived for a second performance only at the insistence ofthe Regent's mother. Nonetheless, it initially attainedeight performances, scarcely a complete disaster [11].However, it was never subsequently revived, and only thetext of Artemire's role survives.Mariamne, another vehicle for LeCouvreur, had excellentadvance publicity in 1724:Attendue du Public avec tant d'impatience...[on a ose]81exiger le double du prix ordinaire....On Préta beaucoupd'attention pendant les trois premiers Actes, et dansune partie du quatrieme^[Puis sont survenus] cestumultes Si ordinaires...le cinquibme Acte [in whichMariamne drank poison and died on stage] fut le plusmaltraite ...[On a crie] la Reine bolt! (le Mercure,March 1724, pp. 529-30)The Mercure had had to base its extract on one performance,in which the fifth act could not be heard over theparterre's hoots.As if the jest "la Reine bolt!" were not enough,another followed:Ii est d'usage qulaprés une Tragedie, on donne unepetite Comedie. On joua, ce jour-la le Deuil.AussitOt quelqu'un s"ecria: C'est le deuil de laPlace nouvelle. Ce mot plaisant decida la chute de laPlace. [12]Voltaire's attempt at innovation in the poisoning scene hadbeen firmly rejected. But the play was not unsalvageable:"L'année suivante, l'auteur rechangea le denouement, & elleeut alors beaucoup de succbs." (J-B Clement, p. 522)Voltaire learned from the audience's initial rejection, ashe would throughout his career, and the audience rewardedhim:Les aplaudissements qu'on a donnes a vostre Mariamneont retenti jusqu'icy....La reussite de vostre pi6ce a82ete complette....Ceux qui les ont ecrites parlentavec eloge et de la verite des caracteres et del'elegance de la diction. us paroissent frappesentr'autres endroits et du portrait ressemblant desfemmes et des fureurs touchantes d'Herode.(Cideville to Voltaire, 13 APril 1725, D 229)While public reation was rarely consistent orpredictable for any author, few playwrights were asprovocative as Voltaire. Response might not be favourable,but it was usually strong. Zaire, now considered one of hisbest tragedies, was at the time of its debut "beaucoupcritiquee" and "encore plus applaudie" (Le Mercure August1732, p. 1828). Voltaire had the rare privilege ofcritiquing it himself (pp. 1829ff). Despite his alreadyimpious reputation, audiences and censors came to considerthe play so pious that it, rather than the traditional"Christian" tragedy Polyeucte, was the final play performedwhen the theatre closed for Lent in 1734.Adelaide, likewise, was "aussi extraordinairementapplaudie que sevbrement critiquee par une trbs nombreuseassemblee...mieux entendu, plus goate et plus applaudi & laseconde representation...apr6s quelques changements faitspar l'Auteur sur les observations du Public." (Le Mercure,January 1734, pp. 239-40) Despite what Le Mercure reported,it did not, however, approach Zaire's enthusiastic receptionuntil Lekain's 1765 revival. Indeed, Le Blanc saw little83difference between the two performances, despite the reputedextent of the alterations:L'Addlaide de Voltaire fut cruellement sifflee a la ireRepresentation. Ii l'a corrigee depuis maiselle...sera toujours une Piece avec de grandes beautes,sans caracteres, sans moeurs....I1 a fallu refaire lestrois derniers actes. Ses Amis lui disoient aussi derechanger les deux Premiers. [13]Zulime, too, was badly received until Mlle Claironrevived it in 1762. All this provides evidence for Elam'scontention that the actor can be of more importance than theplay text in attracting a favourable audience reception forthe performance. One can also see in this phenomenon someexplanation of why most of these tragedies disappeared fromthe repertoire in the early nineteenth century, with theloss of those actors who had made them successful andchanges not only to public tastes but also to actingtechnique.Critics of the period not only disagreed on the meritof a particular play but also on the nature of the publicreaction it received. Rome sauvde, according to PierreClement,se joue avec succes; car c'est le Parterre qui fait lessucces....I1 n'y a peut etre pas de Piece de Mr. deVoltaire plus radieuse que celle-ci...[avec] toutl'dclat de son coloris....Le role de Cicdron a dtd84universellement applaudi; celui de Catilina lui estentierement sacrifie; celui d'Aurelie, femme deCatilina, a de grandes beautes; le plus brillant detous est celui de Cesar. (II: 239-40)But Freron reported of the same performances that "Voltairelui-meme convient que sa tragedie paroit plutOt faite pouretre lue par les sgavans que pour etre vue par le Parterre.On ne peut qu'approuver ce jugement." [14]Oreste , after initial difficulties and revisions,became as popular as the Crebillon Electre it presumed tocorrect. Mlle Clairon, as Electre, made of it a personaltriumph in 1761. Voltaire saw in this success evidence ofthe capriciousness of audience reaction:Je ne sais plus comment la nation est faite; ellesouffre une Electre de quarante ans qui ne fait pointl'amour et qui remplit son caractere; elle ne sifflepas une piece ou il n'y a point de partie carree:s'est donc fait dans les esprits un prodigieuxchangement! (17 July 1761 D 9902)Oreste also offers an illustration of how the byzantineintrigues within the Comedie frangaise, while largelyseparate from the literary cabals and from what one mightcall public opinion, were nonetheless significant as far asthe choice of plays, casting and revivals of plays wereconcerned. The number of performances, while useful as acounterbalance to critical opinion, is not an infallible85indicator of audience preferences, insofar as it could beincreased or decreased by actors' preferences, based on thelength or quality of their own roles. Voltaire's Oreste wasunexpectedly dropped from the Comedie frangaise repertoireafter its 1762 triumph; the explanation offered was thatBrizard had a better role in Crebillon's Electre and as afull member had the power to "empècher qu'une bonne tragediede M de Voltaire ne füt sur le repertoire." [15] WhenOreste was revived for the debut of Mlle Desperrieres, inthe late 1770's, the play "n'avait ete joue qu'une foisdepuis quatorze ans, au debut de mile Durancy." (La Harpe,X: 389)The reception afforded Mahomet offers a similar historyof peaks and valleys. It was driven off the stage in 1742by accusations of impiety (rather than by popularindifference or critical attack), but was enthusiasticallyreceived when revived only ten years later, without havingbecome either more pious or less provocative:Son cher Proph6te a ete donc rejoue a la fin, et trouvehorriblement beau. (P. Clement, II: 159)Beaucoup de gens tres eclaires pretendent que c'estcelle de ses pi6ces oü ii y a plus de beautes dedetail, et des iddes plus sublimes. (Le Mercure November 1751 p. 142)Its goal, "rendre adieux le fanatisme," was apparently notseen as a threat to established religion (ibid) Even Le86Blanc condemned the play on literary rather than ideologicalgrounds: "Le Pretendu miracle qui fait le denoament de laPiece ne m'a paru que pueril.... [Elle n'est] pas la plusmauvaise Tragedie que je connoisse mais la plusextravagante." (p. 378) In this revival, Lekain appearedas Seide, one of his first roles at the Comedie francaise,and "impressiona vivement la salle entiere par la force deson jeu" (Desnoiresterres, IV: 191), perhaps the firstindication of his later ability to make his role the play'sfocus.Semiramis, like Artemire and Mariamne long before, waseagerly anticipated by the public; the theatre was bookedweeks in advance. But the public proved to be mostinterested not in text strictly speaking, but in theincreased visual spectacle, the ghost and the mechanicallyproduced thunder (le Mercure, September 1748, p. 224) Theghost, an unmitigated disaster in Eriphile where it couldhardly make its way forward through the spectators on stage,remained a contentious innovation for the critics:Ii a voulu donner du spectacle, il a rassamble tous lesprodiges, tout le merveilleux qu'il a pu; mais, malgretout cet appareil, le spectateur froid a juge sansretour la piece et l'a raise au rang des plus mediocrestragedies.... Elle ne sera jamais qu'un conte derevenants. [12]87Aux premieres representations de cette Piece, on badinabeaucoup sur l'Ombre de Minus.... [Azema says]Quoi! tous les morts en cet affreux sejour,Pour nous persecuter reviennent-ils au jour?(act V)On ne s'appercut pas a la premiere representation, duridicule que ces deux vers repandoient sur la Piece;mais a la seconde, ii en resulta un éclat de rire enchoeur dans le Parterre. L'Auteur n'a eu garde deles laisser a la troisieme.(J-B Clement, pp. 162-63)But on the whole the audience disregarded the critics andwelcomed the innovation: "Semiramis est Si peu tombeequ'elle aura quinze ou vingt representations si l'Auteur nela retire." (P. Clement, I: 103)Voltaire did not embrace all innovation. He expressedmisgivings about the taste "tant soit peu anglais" of Lekainappearing with bare bloodstained arms in a later revival, ashe would oppose Mlle Clairon's desire for a scaffold inTancrbde (1760), but Lekain had read correctly the shift inaudience tastes towards brutally vivid spectacle (9 August1756, D 6965).This increased audience desire for visual spectacleculminated, as far as Voltaire's theatre is concerned, inOlympie, with its act V funeral pyre on which Olympie throwsherself. Its Comedie francaise debut occurred on 17 March881764, and it was still playing when le Mercure published anotice in April, mentioning "la beaute et la splendeur deson spectacle" (p. 195). Thanks to a lengthy analysis inthe May 1764 issue, an act by act summary, we learnprecisely when the temple doors were opened and closedduring the performance - more innovation in staging thattook advantage of the clear stage (pp. 170-91). Its successlay, according to the Mercure's analysis, where that of alltrue theatre does, in the number of spectators attending (p.192). Voltaire himself argued the necessity of visualimpact: "Tachez de parler a la fois aux yeux, aux orellies,et a l'Ame; on critiquera mais ce sera en pleurant." (D11811) D' Alembert himself, we learn, did not think much ofthe play, but he reported that the performance was all thatVoltaire could ask:Son grand succes...des changements heureux. Le role deStatira et celui de l'hierophante sont beaux, celui deCassandre a des moments de chaleur...celui d'Androgideet d'Olympie m'ont paru faibles; mais Mlle Clairon yest admirable au dernier acte. (6 April 1764, D 11814)The growing role of spectacle, and the rise of certainactors as stars capable of carrying a production, would seemto reduce the importance of the text per se, the text as apiece of poetry written in conventionalized "noble"language. But only audiences appeared to put less emphasison the prestige of text; writers and critics, who were often89the same people, remained loyal to the traditional elevationof literary above visual elements. When popular reactiondid not correspond to critical judgment, the public simplyhad to be wrong.Voltaire and his critics were acutely aware of thepersistent gap between literary merit as they judged it andthe reception afforded by the general public. The processby which the Comódie frangaise selected their repertoireappeared to operate by a third set of standards. Thecritics, as we see in Voltaire's article on Zaire in LeMercure, have a general tendency to give more weight totheir own "literary" judgments as more objective and morelasting. Critical accolades, however, were not sufficientto keep a play on stage. One of the most strikingillustrations of this point in Voltaire's theatre isprovided by Eriphilg. Le Mercure praises it at length:Pleine d'harmonie, et d'elOgance dans les Vers et depensees nobles et dlevdes, la diction en est male ...les images, les reflexions, les maximes neuves ethardies^extrémement applaudie par de nombreusesassemblaes....Eriphile est de la composition del'illustre M de Voltaire, connu dans l'Europe comele seul Poete Epique de nos jours.(March 1732, p. 562)The review calls Eriphile a "Tragádie dans un goutentibrement nouveau (p. 563).. .le goilt Grec" (p. 564),90quoting in full Eriphile's confession: "cet age fatal etsans experience..." (pp. 564-65) and Alcmdon's speech onbirth: "ce qui m'accable et qui me desespere" (pp. 570-01).Yet the play was not revived or printed during Voltaire'slifetime.Indeed, journal criticism seems to have hadcomparatively little effect on popular reception.Independent of the critical debates over plot structure andplausibility, Zaire's popular success was assured by thequality of performance. In Voltaire's opinion, there wasnever a play so well done as Zaire at its fourth night (D515) In fact, Voltaire fretted that its success wasattributed to Mlle Gaussin's beauty, to the acting and thespectacular costumes, rather than to his own writing (D526). It was an accusation which would be levelled atothers of his plays as well.As the years passed, Voltaire seems indeed to havedeveloped a contempt for audiences that could be dazzled bymere spectacle rather than educated reason. In this heapproached a belief that mediocrity would fare better withthis public, as for example his Trimvirat:Je crois que Si Mlle Dumesnil jouait bien Fulvie, etMlle Clairon pathetiquement Julie, la piece pourraitfaire assez. (16 December 1762, D 10843)Je m'etais follement imagine que la chaleur de larepresentation sauverait mes fautes....Si la piece91telle qu'elle est aujourd'hui, dtait bien jouee aFontainebleau, elle pourrait reprendre faveur.(20 August 1764, D 12056).The long and tumultous career of Zulime demonstrated, toVoltaire's satisfaction at least, the disassociation ofperformance success from literary merit:Je commence a esperer beaucoup de succes de cet ouvrageaux representations, parce que c'est une piece danslaquelle les acteurs peuvent deployer tous lesmouvements des passions et une tragedie dolt etredes passions parlantes. (12 March 1740, D 2180)[Elle] peut reussir parce qu'on y pane continuellementd'une chose qui plait assez genóralement; mais ii n'y ani invention ni caracteres ni situationsextraordinaires; on y aime a la rage, Clairon joueet c'est tout. (on the 1762 revival, D 10253)The 1762 revival was in fact a considerable popular success,largely attributed to Mlle Clairon in the title role [17].The successful revival of Adelaide in 1765 againconfirmed Voltaire's contempt for public opinion as areliable indicator of a play's worth:Vous vous etes donc mis, monseigneur, a ressusciter lesmorts? Vous avez deterre je ne sais quelle Adelaidemorte en sa naissance, et que j'avais empaillee pour ladeguiser en Duc de Foix. Vous lui avez donne la plus92belle vie du monde. (to Richelieu D 12886)Quand vous miapprites, monsieur, quion jouait a Parisune Adelaide du Guesclin avec quelque succés, j'etaistrbs loin d'imaginer que ce filt la mienne....I1 yavait plus de trente ans que j'avais hasarde devantce public une Adelaide du Guesclin....Elle fut siffleedes le premier acte, les siff lets redoublbrent ausecond. (September/October 1765, D 12909)Voltaire referred to Nemours' sling and the cannon shot asprovoking whistles, with the shout of Couci-couci the finalblow [18]. He described le Duc de Foix as Adelaide "devenueplus mauvaise, [elle] reussit assez." (ibid). This lastAdelaide was, in Voltaire's eyes, not even an improvement onthe original:us liont representee telle quills l'avaient donnde en1734.. .et elle a &be acceuillie avec beaucoupdiapplaudissements; les endroits qui avaient ete leplus siffles, ont ete ceux qui ont excite le plusde battements de mains....Tour a tour sifflees et bienregues, les opinions ont ainsi flottó dans les affairesserieuses, comme dans les beaux arts et dans lessciences. (ibid)But we find a different account in the memoirs of Bachaumontwho, as a spectator of the revival, recognized the extent ofchanges made, although he believed Voltaire had beenresponsible:93Depuis le succes du Siege du Calais...M de Voltaire ajuge a propos de rapprocher de nouveau l'dpoque de saTragedie, pour la rendre plus interessante & de larestituer sous les premiers noms....Le succes a etecomplet: le coup de canon a fait le plus grand effet.La marche rendue plus rapide, l'interet plus pressant,un grand nombre de beaux vers ajoutes, des noms plusillustres & chers...joint aux beautes dont l'ouvrageetoit déjà rempli, a transporte les spectateurs.(II:^256)Not consulted by Lekain before the revival, Voltairerefused, however, all responsibility for the performancetext:Je ne connais plus du tout cette Adelaide dont vous medites tant de bien: ii y a trente ans que je l'aioubliee. Ii plOt alors au public de la condamner;plait au public d'aujourd'hui de l'applaudir, et il meplait a moi de rire de ces inconstances. (D 12918)The knotty question of whether or not the 1765 Adelaide wasactually identical to the original is greatly simplified bythe new critical edition prepared by Michael Cartwright(Oxford, 1985). Cartwright argues in his introduction tothe texts that the 1765 version represents a compilation ofthe previous ones. A comparison, using Cartwright's tablesof concordance, shows that the 1765 printed edition differedconsiderably from that of 1734, with at least 400 lines94changed or omitted. The plot and characterization remain,however, largely unchanged: two brothers pursue the samewoman, the one who finds the other in his power resolves tokill him, a tragic denouement is averted by a faithfulfriend. Voltaire's assertion is, thus, justifiable butincomplete, and it suggests the beginning of his efforts tobring the play text back under his control, minimizing, forexample, Lekain's contribution.It is of course in the very nature of theatre thataudience reception is variable and transitory, even as thedramatic text itself is not static, but renewed by eachfresh performance. Voltaire's not always successful effortsto change audience standards - in favour of "Greek" modelsand visual pageantry - may indicate that his resentment ofpublic opinion, like that expressed by his critics, mightstem from the audience's resistance to their didacticinfluence rather than from the inherent inconstancy ofpublic opinion. From the time of Artemire, Voltaire soughtto "educate" public tastes by his plays; he was willing toalter according to audience reaction, but not to accept theaudience's judgment as decisive, for example in hisreworking of Mariamne into Herode et Mariamne, and ofAdelaide du Guesclin into Le Duc de Foix.The history of Voltaire's plays in performance istherefore one of tremendous struggle to influence and evencontrol public opinion for or against the play, and of the95great wars of the cabals and the critics. Voltaire's editorMoland, for example, recounts the battle over Oreste, inwhich the playwright complained to the play's patroness theDuchess du Maine that her absence from the debut had beenone reason for the public's lukewarm reception. Hepersuaded her to attend the second performance, and attendedhimself with his "partisans" in the parterre (see theintroduction to the play, Moland V: 74 - 75). According toLa Harpe, Voltaire's career was a continual series of suchtriumphs and defeats in a perpetual conflict with his chiefrival Cróbillon and his literary enemies: Brutus fails andZaire succeeds, Adelaide is avenged by Alzire, the failureof Zulime and the banning of Mahomet are balanced by thetriumph of Mdrope (La Harpe, IV: 388 - 89). Afterinitially encountering resistance from critics andaudiences, Voltaire's versions of Cróbillon's themes endedup largely replacing the originals in the repertoire:Sdmiramis...pleine de beautd supdrieures et vraimenttragiques fut sifflee a la premiere representationOreste fut encore plus mal recu....Le Catilina et la Semiramis de Crdbillon sont dans l'eterneloubli; la Semiramis de Voltaire est en possession dutheatre; son Oreste y est applaudi, et sa Rome sauvde est sue par coeur de tous les amateurs de la bellepoósie. (La Harpe, XI: 83)96Voltaire, perceiving himself as having to struggleagainst the cabals as well as the censors, resorted tosemi-transparent pseudonyms and elaborate games ofconcealment and denial around the authorship of some plays.This practice began as early as 1736, with L'Enfant prodique, and was typical of his later plays like Le,Triumvirat and Les Guebres:Le jeune auteur des Guebres West venu trouver; il abeaucoup ajoute a son ouvrage....Mais tous ses soins ettoute sa sagesse ne desarmeront probablement pas lesprétres de Pluton. On etait pres de jouer cette piecea Lyon; la seule crainte de l'archeveque...a rendu lesempressements des comediens inutiles.(to the count d'Argental, 30 August 1769, D 15855)Those who disagreed with Voltaire's ideas or disliked hisplays had a firm belief in the existence and vigour of thecabal which strove to keep his plays before the public.Cone believed that Voltaire's partisans had bought thesuccess of Oreste by paying a claque (I: 120, 125) and "ontremue ciel et terre pour qu'on reprit [Mahomet]; ils sontplus fanatiques de Voltaire que Seide ne l'est de Mahomet."(I: 352) Writing from this cynical perspective, Frerondeplored Voltaire's pretense of anonymity. Le Triumvirat,for example, might have been better received as coming fromthe great Voltaire rather than from some unknown youth. Hepointed out, with barbed politeness, the number and97enthusiasm of Voltaire's admirers in Paris: "On est Siprevenu en faveur de tout ce qui sort de sa fertile plume."(Armee litteraire (1767) VII: 94) He advised that Voltaireshould always admit authorship, so that his work would bejudged by his reputation rather than its own merit (ibid.).Bachaumont made much the same comment on the appearance ofLes Scythes: "Elle est déjà affichee sous le nom deVoltaire, ce qui lui 6te toute ressource de la nier, etsembleroit devoir lui en garantir le succés." [19] Eventhe Correspondance littóraire, usually favourable toVoltaire, concludes with regard to Le Triumvirat:M de Voltaire eut tort de garder ainsi l'incognito.Si les heros n'ont pas besoin d'aieux...il n'en est pasainsi de certains enfants faibles qui ont besoin de lagloire de leurs pbres pour etre toldres. (VII: 210)The tension between these opposing forces seems to have beenroughly balanced, however. The records of the Comediefrancaise indicate that Voltaire's work was profitable andfrequently revived; he was, in fact, the Comedie's mostsuccessful living playwright during the eighteenth century[20].II. Authorial Control of the Performance TextVoltaire's struggle for authorial control over the text- in its language, its reception and its printing - hasalready come under discussion in this study (pages 59-64).98Another aspect of the struggle - control over theperformance text - can now be added. Voltaire was notcontent to have a voice in casting and to attend rehearsals,as was the right of any playwright at the Comedie francaise.Voltaire's resentment of actors' edits and the lengths towhich he would go to ensure the acceptance of his ownrevisions are indicative of the extent to which he involvedhimself with the performance of his texts. In a very realsense Voltaire became an influential eighteenth-centurymetteur en scene - staging his plays in his own or hisfriends' homes, acting himself, choosing costumes and decor,coaching professional actors. In this regard, although itis not a comparison Voltaire sought, he resembled Molierethe actor-director-playwright rather than his chosen modelRacine, who had a distinctly more limited notion of theplaywright's role.There is not doubt that Voltaire's interventioniststyle of playwriting had considerable impact on eighteenth-century French stage production, increasing the emphasis onhistorically plausible costume and visually striking decor.The theatre was moving away from Racine's almost abstractsimplicity. Voltaire's taste for spectacle was sometimeseven seen as a lapse from classical taste:A la fin du mois [apparaitra] la Semiramis de M deVoltaire, avec tout son spectacle....I1 y aura de laMagie et surtout du tonnerre, car M de Voltaire l'aime99beaucoup; il en a mis jusques dans la Merope pouraugmenter la terreur et la pitie.(P. Clement, II: 93)But on the whole, eighteenth-century critics viewedspectacle as one of his major contributions to tragictheatre:Des effets plus profonds, plus puissants, plus variesa tirer de la terreur et de la pitid; des moeursnouvelles a etaler sur la scene, en soumettant toutesles nations au domaine de la tragedie; un plus grandappareil de representation...les grands verites dela morale. (La Harpe, IV: 337 - 38)Voltaire's efforts to control performance text included alifelong enthusiasm for staging plays himself. Several ofhis earlier plays were done at the home of Mme deFontaine-Martel, among them Eriphile (Desnoiresterres, I:440). Voltaire was pleased to have "attendri" and "faitverser des larmes," but he feared that act V as it stoodcould ruin the plays, due to the great difficulty inproducing a plausible ghost (to Cideville, 3 February 1732,D 459). In a performance of Zaire, again at the home of Mmede Fontaine-Martel, Voltaire played Lusignan, one of hisfavourite amateur roles (to Cideville, 27 January 1733, D564).The Lille performances of Mahomet by La Noue's troupein 1741 offered a special situation, in which Voltaire is100able to influence a provincial troupe and use theirperformance, rather than that of a private one under hisdirect control, in order to polish his work for Paris (see d2415, 2483, and 2495). It was an experience that hadimplications for his ongoing working relationship with theComedie, when La Noue later joined the Paris company.Voltaire's home in the Rue Traversi6re became almost aprivate school for theatre arts (see Desnoiresterres, III:372ff). The young Lekain appeared there, under Voltaire'ssupervision, before he was accepted by the Comediefrancaise, in a performance ofMahomet in 1750. Thefollowing year at the Comedie he played Seide to La Noue'sMahomet, later advancing to the lead role. The house in theRue Traversiere also saw performances by Mme Denis and Mmede Fontaine, who played the lead female roles in a privateproduction of Zulime (Desnoiresterres, III: 405). Theseperformances were also used to attract favourable publicityfor upcoming Come-die francaise debuts. The Nouvelleslitteraires reported that in Mahomet "le principal acteur,nomme Le Kain, a montre un talent distingue," and that thenew version of Zulime was now "ni froide, ni faiblementecrite" (I: 436). Rome sauvee was also put on at the RueTraversiere, and both it and Zulime were played at Sceaux in1750 before the Duchess du Maine. Mme Denis continued toplay Zulime, just as Voltaire liked to play Lusignan,Mohadir and Ciceron even after the couple were established101at les Delices.Voltaire was no less active a director during his stayin Prussia: Jules Cesar, Rome auvee done with himself asCiceron, the special adaptation of Adelaide as Les Fréres ennemis (with no female role), and even Zaire with Voltaireas Lusignan of course (see Desnoiresterres III: 453ff andthe correspondence of 1751). Voltaire sent revisions toRome sauvee based on the Berlin performances to the Comediefrangise for the revival in 1752.The patriarch's life in Switzerland continued to begraced with private performances of old favourites and newworks in progress; continuing revisions resulted. Thevisits of his pupils presented special theatrical occasions.When Lekain visited les Delices in April 1755, Zaire wasperformed for the Tronchin family, with Voltaire asLusignan. Voltaire marked another Lekain visit, more thanfifteen years later in 1772, by arranging performances inGeneva of the actor's major roles: Arzace in Semiramis,VendOme in Adelaide, Mahomet. In attending these, Voltairesaw Semiramis done on a clear stage for the first time(Desnoiresterres, VII: 430), as he had not been to Parisafter the stage was emptied of spectators by Lauragais'reforms in 1759.Zulime was a frequent choice for Voltaire's own stage,where he worked out his extensive revisions. The name ofthe play's main character was particularly subject to102change: Zulime became Fanime, and then briefly Menime. Thegoal was always to send the play back to Paris and to see itsucceed there:Nous l'avons joude a Lausanne [Zulime]....Tout ce queje souhaite, c'est qu'elle soit aussi bien joude AParis, me n'ai jamais vu verser tant de lames.(to Thibouville, 20 March 1757, D 7208)Si vous voulez vous amuser, conduisez cette Fanimeavec le fidele d'Argental....Si la piace est bienjoude, elle pourra amuser votre Paris.(to Mme de Fontaine, June 1757, D 7290)Nous la jouames hier, et avec un nouveau succes. Jejouais Mohadir; nous dtions tous habilles come lesmaitres de l'univers.(to the Count d'Argental, 26 February 1758, d 7652)Cette Fanime vous fait fonder en lames, du moms MmeDenis fait cet effet.(to the Countess d'Argental, 13 October 1760, D 9306)These performances were not simply entertainment en famille.Voltaire staged a successful performance of Zulime beforethe Duke de Villars, and the intendants of Bourgogne ofLanguedoc. He then reported to Mlle Clairon that her roleof Zulime was now "plus decent et par consequent plusattendrissant"; the suicide in the last act "fait un effetterrible" (16 October 1760, D 9317; see also D 9331, D 9346and 0 9350). He was evidently seeking her support for a103revival at the Comedie. Modestly, he described himself tofriends as having played "assez pathetiquement," adding,however, that he had failed to attain the "sublime de MmeDenis" (To the count d'Argental, 1 November 1760, D 9372).But despite this triumph, Voltaire was not ready to send theplay to Paris; he was still struggling with the stagemanagement of act V, and trying to decide whether Zulimeshould kill herself with her own dagger or with Atide's (tothe Count and Countess d'Argental, 26 November 1760, D9425). Even after the 1762 Paris revival of the play,Voltaire remained much involved, trying to direct thedifficult final scene from a distance - sending instructionsto the count and countess d'Argental for this production(February 1762, D 10311 and D 10314), and later for MlleDurancy (19 December 1766, D 13746).Olympie, which was the last Voltairean tragedy toachieve popular success, was first performed, complete withfuneral pyre, at Voltaire's home in March 1762. He reportedto the Duke de Villars that "la pitie et la terreur ótaientau comble. Les larmes ont coule pendant toute la pi6ce."(25 March 1762, D 10388) As with Zulime, Voltaire was notdirecting for the mere pleasure of performance; theseprivate theatricals were an essential part of his praxis,his workshop for new ideas:Je fis jouer cette famille d'Alexandre le jour que jevous envoyai le quatribme acte; je m'apergus que104Statira, en s'evanouissant sur le theatre, tuait lapiece....Je vis encore clairement que le duel propose a.la fin du troisieme devenait ridicule au comencement duquatrieme.(to Chauvelin, 17 October 1762, D 10770; see alsoD 10746, D 10748 and D 10754)Olympie was done at Schwetzingen for the duchess ofSaxe-Gotha on 30 September 1762, under Collini's directionbut with Voltaire's detailed advice:Ce qu'il y a de plus necessaire, c'est que l'actricechargee du role d'Olympie soit tres attendrissante,qu'elle soupire, qu'elle sanglote....I1 faut au momsdeux ou trois secondes en recitant: Apprends...que jet'adore...et que je m'en punis.(30 August 1762, D 10682)Voltaire also discussed with Collini various techniques forstaging Olympie's spectacular death, according to the stagemachinery available (ibid).Even after Olympie's debut in Paris, Voltaire believedhe could do better. He directed a performance in Geneva in1766 and reported: "Elle n'a jamais eu un si grand succes."(3 November 1766, D 13644) We note from the letter thatthis Olympie used Cramer's text, published under Voltaire'ssupervision, rather than the Paris text published by thewidow Duchene.Virtually from the beginning of his working105relationship with the Comedie francaise, Voltaire strove topersuade actors to do his play his way. He coached theyoung Mlle Dangeville as Tullie in Brutus, one of her firstroles, and praised her efforts in spite of the play's lackof success (Desnoiresterres, I: 417). More experiencedactors, however, resented Voltaire's interference; we havealready mentioned the ploy of the partridge pie devised inorder to persuade Dufresne to accept more alterations toZaire. Bachaumont reports that "les comddiens sont excdddsde ses extravangances, et disent qu'ils ne veulent plusjouer de ses pieces. ..[& cause des] corrections qu'il fait achaque reprdsentation, et qu'il les force d'apprendre." (I:152) But Voltaire's interventionist approach was supportedby many. Voltaire was pressed by his friends to come backto Paris in order to supervise Rome sauvde and ensure itssuccess (Desnoiresterres, IV: 191). When the comddiens refused to accept the author's corrections to that play asrelayed by Mme Denis, she appealed to Richelieu directly, asthe government minister responsible for the Comádie, toenforce them (ibid.). In its review of Tancrede, theCorrespondance litteraire deplores Voltaire's absence:C'est un grand inconvenient que le podte soit centlieues du theatre oa il est joud. Je suis persuade quesi M de Voltaire avait pu assister a la premiererepresentation de sa piece, il^rendue admirable,106pour l'effet, A la seconde. (IV: 292)In Semiramis, Voltaire sought to re-introduce theinnovation of a ghost without offending his audience'sexpectations for tragedy as Eriphile had. It was a stepbeyond his previous reworkings, the second Mariamne and theDuc de Foix (from Addlalde), where he completely removedsimilar "unacceptable" elements. He hovered over theproduction, and attended rehearsals: "us Wont faitpleurer, us Wont fait frissonner." (27 June 1748, D 3678)He fretted over the spectre's costume, feeling that whitewould be more imposing than black (15 August 1748, D 3732).The spectators on stage so impeded the ghost's entrance thathe sought police intervention (see letters to the marquisd'Argenson and to Berryer, 30 August 1748, D 3737). He wasunhappy with the debut, particularly since Sarrasin and LaMoue had rejected his advice. He reportedly watched theplay in disguise to see from direct experience whatrevisions were needed [21]. But the Fontainebleauperformances offered him an opportunity to impose hisrevisions on the actors, including "cent vers nouvellementcorriges" for Mlle Dumesnil as Semiramis. Voltairecontinued to criticize the decor, especially Minus' tomb (tothe count d'Argental, September 1748, D 3761 and D 3766).Upon the play's revival, Voltaire relied on Lekain to giveSemiramis the visual impact he had originally wanted:"observer le costume, rendre l'action theatrale, et etaler107sur la scene toute la pompe convenable." (4 August 1756, D6959). The revival, while doing little to improveSemiramis' standing as mediocre literature, represented atremendous personal triumph for Lekain. Voltaire came torely on Lekain to uphold his wishes among the actors:"Recommendez bien au fidele Lekain d'empecher qu'onn'Otrique l'dtoffe, qu'on ne la coupe, qu'on ne la recouseavec des vers welches." (22 June 1764, D 11943)In Mlle Clairon, Voltaire found another talented if notalways obedient pupil. He instructed her, for example, onthe fine points of Electre in Oreste (January 1750; D 4095,4098, 4099, 4104), a play he considered easier to performthan its contemporary Rome sauvde (to the duchess du Maine,2 January 1751, D 4085). He went into great detail in hisadvice:Pressez sans ddclamer quelques endroits come:Sans trouble, sans remords, Egisthe renouvelle...Dans votre imprecation contre le tyran:L'innocent doit pdrir, le crime est trop heureux,vous n'appuyez pas assez....Au dernier hdmistichepesez sur cri....La nature en tout temps est funeste en ces lieux.Vous avez mis l'accent sur fu....Vous ne sauriez tropddployer les deux morceaux du quatrieme et du cinquiemeactes. (12 January 1750, D 4095)and108Ii y en a deux qui exigent une esp6ce de declamationqui n'appartient qui& vous....que la voix se deploied'une maniére pompeuse et terrible. (c. 15 January1750, D 4098)referring to passages in act IV, scene iv and act V, scenevi. He concludes:Tout le sublime de la declamation dans ces deuxmorceaux...de l'accablement de la douleur &l'emportement de la vengeance...les reproches, lessanglots, l'abandonnement du desespoir...voil& ce quevous mettez dans votre role. (ibid.)When the play was successfully revived, Voltairecontinued his efforts to direct the performance, advisingthat Oreste's fureurs would be more difficult to convey thanMile Clairon's as Amenaide in Tancrbde because he is alonewhile she was before the assembly of nobles (16 October1760, D 93a8'). The playwright complained also aboutClairon's editing of act II and of her fureurs in acts IVand V of Tancrede (28 October 1760, D 9360). Despite thisdistressing independence, he wanted her cast as Elextre,with Mlle Dumesnil as Clytemnestre (22 December 1760, D9485). On the whole, Voltaire was pleased with the revival,"une tragédie grecque sans amour," with the denouementstrengthened from the 1750 version (see the introduction tothe Moland edition and the correspondence of July 1761). Tomodern eyes, Mlle Clairon might seem more independent than109Lekain, more concerned with the quality of her ownperformance than eiyh the quality or integrity of theVoltairean text; we have noted her tendency to edit, hereand in her revival of ZUlime. While Voltaire saw Lekain ashis ally at the Comedie, his trust was not absolute. Heexpressed on one occasion his wish to print Olympie so thatnni Lekain ni Mlle Clairon ne mutileront mon ouvrage" (25April 1763, D 11174). Mistrust prOved to be justified;Lekain went so far as to stage an unauthorized revival ofAdelaide in 1765, without submitting the text to Voltaireuntil after the first performances.The history of Adelaide du Guesplin, in text and inperformance, is exceptionally complicated. As far as theComedie frangaise is concerned, we have the 1734 original,tepidly received, and the 1752 puc de Foix version, a fairsuccess, before the Lekain version of 1765. There is alsoLes Fréres ennemip (1751) done in Prussia with no "Adelaide"role, and an unpublished manuscript called Alamire with aneven more indistinct historical setting, which appears to becontemporary with it. When informed by Thieriot that anAdelaide had been staged to popular acclaim, Voltaire almostimmediately began to reassert authorial control over thisunknown version:J'ai retrouve ici, dans mes paperasses, deux tragediesd'Adelaide; elles sont toutes deux fort differentes, etprobablement la troisieme, qu'on a joude la Comedie,110diffbre beaucoup des deux autres.(to the Count and Countess d'Argental, 17 September1765, D 12887)In this letter, Voltaire asked the d'Argentals to send himtune copie bien exacte, afin qu'en la confèrant avec lesautres je pusse en faire un ouvrage supportable a lalecture, et dont le succês fut inddpendant du merite desacteurs." (ibid) That last phrase seems key to Voltaire'sattitude towards performance: the text should succeedprimarily as his literary text, with the actors'contribution subsumed and minimized insofar as possible.Initially Voltaire protrayed himself to Lekain as merelycurious:Je me borne A obtenir une copie de l'Adelaide que vousavez fait jouer. Je voudrais surtout savoir si le ducde Nemours est reconnu rival de son frbre au troisiemeou au quatrieme acte. (12 September 1765, D 12895)He requested the performance text (23 September 1765, D12898), and informed Lekain that "la copie quo vousm'envoyez", which presumably is the text of the successfulrevival, "est pleine de fautes; je les corrigerai de monmieux." (8 October 1765, D 12922) The version of the playpresented before the court must be his: "Ii seratrés-ndcessaire qu'elle soit reprêsentde a Fontainebleauavec les changements essentiels que j'y ai faits." (11October 1760, D 12930) Lines from the Duc de Foix, which111the d'Argentals had missed from the Paris production, weresent to Lekain, presumably for Fontainebleau as they do notappear in the 1765 printed edition:Les quatres vers que vous regrettez, et qui commencent:II faut a son ami montrer son injustice,sont déjà restitues, et je les ai envoyes a Lekain,qui je vous prie de faire tenir ce nouveau brimborion.(23 September 1765, D 12899)Although he must have known otherwise, with the threeversions in his possession, Voltaire now began to claim thatthe 1765 text was none other that that of 1734:La belle reception qu'on fit a cette Adelaide duGuesclin!...Le plaisant de l'affaire, c'est qu'il n'y apas un mot de change dans la piêce autrefois sifflee etaujourd'hui applaudie. (19 October 1765, D 12944)What is clear is that the two stage devices which hadprovoked laughter in 1734, Nemours in a sling and the cannonshot, were reinstated by Lekain and accepted in thisproduction.Finally, Votaire downplayed both Lekain's judgment inchoosing this play to revive and that of the public inwelcoming it. The play did not read well; it thereforelacked literary value:Quant a la pauvre Adelaide, elle ne me parait pas Siheureuse a la lecture qu'a la representation. Je voisbien que vos talents l'avaient embellie. L'edition a112beaucoup de fautes qui ne sont point corrigees dansl'errata. (29 November 1765, D 13010)In short, we may conclude that in Voltaire's judgment it wasthe printed edition, not the performance, which would lastand which would form the only basis for assessing intrinsicworth. Actors, as the letter states, by their talents"gild" the text so as to persuade the audience to overlookits faults.In the same way Voltaire took back control of Zulime after Mlle Clairon's triumphant revival in 1762. While theperformances continued, he persisted in sending revisionsand instructions on "la maniere absolument necessaire dontii faut jouer la derniere scene." (6 February 1763, D10985) He cast doubt on the wisdom of printing the play,despite its current success:La piece ne se vendra guere....Comment d'ailleurs ladonner au public? sera-ce avec la coupures qu'on y afaites?...Ces nuances delicates dchappent auxspectateurs, et sont remarquees avec degoft par lesyeux severes du lecteur. (1 February 1762, D 10301)and concluded:Au reste, le debit de Zulime est un tres-mince objet,et je doute qu'il se trouve un libraire qui en donnecinq cents livres. (13 February 1763, D 10999)The line between an actor's influence on the author and hisindependence from the author seems very clearly drawn for113drawn for Voltaire. Performance was certainly the goal ofall his theatrical work, but adapting to the needs ofperformance by no means implied relinquishing authorialcontrol. Although he could obviously never be entirelysuccessful, Voltaire strove to make the performances as much"his" as a purely literary text could be "his". ForVoltaire, the role of author expanded to encompass directorand even performer. This broad involvement with thepresentation and interpretation of theatrical text certainlyincreased Voltaire's impact on theatre in eighteenth-centuryFrance, an involvement he shared with his contemporarycomedic playwrights Marivaux and Beaumarchais.III. The Impact of Performance on Text Voltaire became notorious for the extent to whichperformance could affect his texts. As the widely quotedaphorism attributed to Fontenelle put it, "Voltaire est unauteur bien rare, il fait ses pieces a mesure qu'on lesjoue." [22] The first stage in this dialogic process wasthe private reading, which in Elam's terms we can placeunder the heading of virtual performance. The purpose ofthese private readings was not primarily to create publicityfor a forthcoming play; Voltaire sought, rather, criticalresponse from his favorite audience, well-educated friends.It was a technique typically employed for his earlier plays;it was not often feasible once he had left Paris.114Artdmire was first presented at the home of AdrienneLecouvreur; an initial positive response subsequentlybrought the play into production (Desnoiresterres, I:183-84). Voltaire, as the correspondence makes clear, couldchoose who would be present at such readings; we have, forexample, the letter inviting Moncrif to a reading ofEriptiile  (3 January 1732, D 451). Zaire was read at thehome of Mme de la Rivandiere who wept (the desiredresponse); Voltaire further invited the judgment ofCideville and Formont (3 August 1732, D 507), as he had withregard to Eriphile: "le parterre jugera Eriphile en dernierressort; mais je veux qu'auparavant elle soit jugee par vouset par M de Cidevillle." (18 April 1732, D 480) Theplaywright's interest in performance extended to theseprivate readings, and he was proud of his skill in conveyingthe emotional impact of his texts: "Je lus hier Adelaide.Je n'ay jamais tant pleure fly tant fait pleurer." (27 July1733, D 638)This technique was not wholly abandoned even afterVoltaire left Paris, although his opportunities to read forwell-informed and influential listeners were reduced:J'ai lu cette piece [Olympie] a M le duc deVillars .... On fondait en larmes a tous les actes; etsi cela est jouet, bien joue...avec ces sanglotsetouffes, ces lames involontaires, ces silencesterribles, cet accablement de la douleur... qui115passent des mouvements des actrices dans l'Ame desecoutants. (24 October 1761, D 10090)Not only did the audiences at these readings respond toVoltaire directly, they also discussed the plays amongthemselves, in very much of a workshop atmosphere:J' ay Recu Adelaide de mr Dubocage....J'ay Lu cettepiece Rapidement, elle m'a fait extrémement pleurermais vous savez que je suis un grand Larmoyeur.(Formont to Cideville, 20 November 1733, D 682)Je suis charmee qu'Adelaide vous plaise. Elle m'atouchee. Je la trouve tendre, noble, touchante, biendcrite et surtout un cinquifte acte charmant. Ellene sera pas joude Si tot, la pauvre petite Dufresne semeurt....Elle etait tres capable de faire valoir sonrole et la petite Gossein le jouerait pitoyablement.(Mme du Chatelet to Jacques Francois Paul Aldonce deSade, December 1733, D 689)For these earlier plays, we see that Voltaire's notion of anideal response seems to have been emotional rather thanintellectual, to provoke tears rather than philosophicaldiscussion. He was still obviously following the Racinianvision of tragedy as something "qui dechire le coeur." AsVoltaire expressed it in his preface to Merope, "Le grandpoint est d'emouvoir et de faire verser des larmes." (ed.Moland, IV: 197)116Fontenelle's flippant comment had at its core a verysignificant observation; Voltaire's involvement in the playtext did not end when it was accepted by the Comddiefrangaise. The text continued to be manipulated andaltered, as Voltaire responded to audience reaction andstruggled to control and incorporate actorial changes.Taking the plays in chronological order, the failure ofArt4mire, based on a recent novel by Mme de Fontaines, in1720 seems to have led to an adaptation of the sameirrational husband/ dutiful wife plot structure into asetting with a historical basis well known to the audience;Herode et Mariampe (1724). Interestingly, where atwentienth century reader would likely see a homosexualsubplot in the rivalry between Artemire the wife andPallante the "favori" for Cassandre's trust, neitherVoltaire nor his audience seem to have interpreted it so.We note also in support of this interpretation that the roleof rival in Berode et Mariamne went to a female character,Salomd, and that the d'Argentals are shocked to hear herdescribe Mariamne as a rival for Herode, emphasizing thesexual undertone to the struggle for power (23 December1762, D 10855). This first Mariamne also failed to findacceptance, due to the flagrant violation of biens4ances inhaving a tragic character drink on stage. But then theComedie frangaise audience was confronted by the abbeNadal's attempt at treating the same subject in February of1171725, and suffered his version for only four performances.Voltaire took advantage of this failure, which he may evenhave encouraged (see a letter to the abbd Nadal, 20 March1725, D 226), to offer his revised MArigane. The audiencewas pleased by his incorporation of their criticisms:Le succes qu'elle a aujourd'hui le console assez[Voltaire a] retravailld sa Piece avec tant de soinqu'elle n'est pas reconnoissable.(le Mercure, March 1725, p. 803)The March issue of the Mercure gave a new resumd of the play(pp. 801-25), and reported that:Le spectateur a le coeur attendri, L'esprit satisfait,et il est souvent en admiration... [Elle est] tres bienreprdsentde, les Acteurs voulant rdpondre A la beautdde l'ouvrage et au plaisir qu'il fait au public, sesurpassent A l'envi les tins des autres.(pp. 825-26)Its success was such that numerous parodies followed (May1725, pp. 1007 - 09), and the Comddiens frangais stoppedperforming Mariam= only after 18 performances "pour laredonner l'hyver prochain." (p. 1009)Between the 1724 and the 1725 versions, we see thedirect impact of performance in that Mariamne's death wasmoved offstage, and only reported to Hdrode. No text of theoriginal denouement seems to have survived. However, wefind in the revision an accompanying loss of political118content. In act III, scenes between Hdrode and Varus theRoman consul, and between Hêrode and his adviser Mazael, inwhich Herod's status as a subject king of Rome is at issue,were redone. In act V, scene i, Mariamne no longer deploresher unhappy ancestry (last of the previous dynasty ofkings), but rather her fatal beauty as the cause of herfate. In act V, scene vii, Herode curses his jealousy, andnot Jerusalem and the Jews. On the whole, the plot dynamicis reduced to Mrode's vacillation between obsessive loveand violent jealousy. The political role of their marriage,to legitimize Herode's rule over Palestine, is consistentlydownplayed.When Voltaire returned to Marianne during his revisionsof Olympie, his previous affection had waned: "je l'aitrouvee plate et le sujet beau; je l'ai entiérementchangdte." (21 July 1762, D 10597) The major innovation wasreflected in the character of Soheme, an Asmonean noblemandistantly related to Mariamne: "une espéce de janseniste,essdnien de son métier, que j'ai substitud a Varus" (to theCount and Countess d'Argental, 7 August 1762, D 10636). Thecharacter Varus, serving no purpose once the Roman consulversus subject king tension was removed in 1725, should havebeen eliminated earlier. Calling SoMme a Jansenist notonly suggested the rigid uprightness of his character, butalso gave a topical flavour to the plot by alluding to thelong struggle between Jansenist and Jesuit in France. There119were no structural changes to the play. Sohéme functions asVarus did to double the rivalry between Mariamne and Salomein that Salome seeks to deprive Mariamne both of hisaffection as well as of Herode's trust, and to emphasizeMariamne's virtue when she refuses to flee from Herode withhim. Even so long after the success of 1725, Voltaire wasobliged to meet audience expectations: Mariamne's exit inact II, scene v was considered lacking in motivation.Voltaire defended its plausibility (to the Count d'Argental,10 November 1762, D 10797)^Curiously, this 1762 revision,while the last in Voltaire's lifetime and therefore thedefinitive version, did not receive the same degree ofpopular approval that the 1725 version had.Eriphile offers a difficult problem to the textualanalyst. According to Niklaus, the so-called "Lekain"manuscripts indicate the performance edits, presumably thoseof 1732 preserved by the Comedie as the play was neverrevived during Lekain's career [23]. The correspondence of1732 throws light on the type of changes which were made.Voltaire's primary concern was to increase the effect of theghost in act IV i and ii and in the final scene (May 1732, D486 and D 490). He in fact decided to remove the highpriest, and to keep the ghost despite public reaction,hoping thereby to increase the tragic interest (to Formont,25 June 1732, D 497). This change is substantiated by themanuscripts underlying the Moland edition of the play (II:120505 - 530). The high priest had a largely expository role:86 lines in 6 scenes of 3 acts, of which 56 lines come inact I. His removal had little impact on plot, and the taskof exposition was given to active characters. But inSemiramis, which was a reworking of the same plot, the roleof the high priest was increased: °roes has 173 lines,including the closing speech. This type of wise old priestalso reappears much later in Olympie, the role Voltaireliked to play himself, a possible clue as to why such apassive character was in the original version of Eriphilpe.gulime offers similar difficulties in that it was notpublished in 1740 after the original performance. The 1761pirate edition which preceded Mlle Clairon's revival, andwhich Voltaire disavowed, was accepted as a variant text byMoland. It varied dramatically from the later definitivetext, and included a new ending in which Atide and notZulime commits suicide. This ending does not seem to havebeen performed; Mlle Clairon and later Mlle Durancy bothdied tragically and conspicuously in the title role. But itwas the denouement, in which Atide proposes suicide andZulime commits it, which most troubled Voltaire, a scenewhich provoked the greatest number of revisions andinstructions on performance.The interrelationship between text and performance isgreatly developed in Nahomet. From the first stages ofwriting, Voltaire was concerned with the difficulty in121casting and acting the play, and frequently consulted theactress Mlle Quinault for advice. Revisions were made tothe end of act IV, where Beide must kill his father beforediscovering the relationship, in an attempt to make Beide amore consistent and sympathetic character. But Voltairecontinued to express doubts to Mlle Quinault that a suitableactor could be found to play Mahomet within the Comódiefrancaise; Dufresne, who would want the role, would bedisastrous in it (16 February 1740, D 2163).^Voltairedoubted too, as he did for his Roman plays, the play'spotential for popular appeal because Maholpet was not aboutlove. It was, he writes, "la pace des homes" whereasZulime was for women, who set the tone for theatricalsuccess (19 April 1740, D 2200). The current vogue forDestouches' and La Chaussee's bourgeois comedies would haveto pass if the play were to have any chance (3 June 1740, D2218). Furthermore, Mahomet as a text appealed to the mindrather than to the senses: the actors alone would have toevoke the audience's sympathy (to the count d'Argental, 19January 1741, D 2408) Voltaire almost seemed to rely onMlle Quinault's professional judgment regarding theperformability of the play:Ii faut, pour l'honneur de vos predictions, quij'envoie quantite de changements...Ce sera a vous,mademoiselle, qu'il devra sa fortune.(6 January 1741, D 2395)122Mahomet was tried out in Lille with a provincialcompany under La Moue so that Voltaire could judge his playproperly and learn from audience response without runningthe risks of a Paris debut: "La representation m'eclaireraencore, et me rendra plus severe." (to the count d'Argental,7 April 1741, D 2459) These four performances aredescribed as "une sentence de juges inferieurs qui pourraitbien etre cassee A votre tribunal." (to Cideveille, 27 May1741, D 2488) While not conclusive, the response in Lillewas an extremely useful tool for Voltaire. He made not morebut rather fewer alterations in the text than he had thoughtwould be required:J'aurais voulu pouvoir retrancher l'amour; maisl'execution de ce projet a toujours ete impracticable,et je me suis heureusement apercu, a la representation,que toutes les scenes de Palmire ont etd tres bienrecues; [act IV when they innocently discuss killingtheir father] tout cela faisait au theatre un effetque je ne peux vous exprimer....Cette scene est aussineuve qu'elle est touchante et terrible....Je n'ai vupersonne qui n'ait pense ainsi, a la lecture et a larepresentation.(to Cideville, 19 July 1741, D 2515)Voltaire did contemplate changing the motivation forPalmire's entrance in act V, scene i. It seemed implausiblethat Mahomet would summon her at a moment when his whole123revolution is in jeopardy. In a letter to Cideville,Voltaire proposed that she enter "pour lui demander la gracede son frere; alors les bienseances sont observees, et cetteaction Blame de Palmire produit un coup de theatre." (19 July1741, D 2515) The final text for this scene used the ideaof Palmire seeking Selde's pardon, but introduced herentrance rather than making it the proposed coup de theatre.When at last Mahomet came to Paris, Voltaire hadrevised it so extensively on the basis of provincialperformance that, as he writes to the Count d'Argental, "jele crois plus interessant que lorsqu'il fit pleurer lesLillois." (19 January 1742, D 2584)Mahomet is one of the few cases where Voltaire concededthat the actor was capable of transcending weakness in thetext to create a convincing illusion of sincerity. In theconclusion of the play, the prophet expresses remorse forhis crimes and then stifles it for the sake of power.Voltaire suggested an alternative to d'Argental prior to theLille performances (19 January 1741, D 2408) in which therepentance is more thorough:Delivre-moi du jour, mais cache a taus les yeuxQue Mahomet coupable est faible et malheureux.This version was not incorporated, and Voltaire continued tobe dissatisfied. But he had to concede that Lekain'sperformance in the 1751 revival succeeded admirably inconcealing the flaw which his authorial powers could not:124"Ii y a un malheur a ce Mahomet, c'est quill finit par unepantalonnade; mais Lekain dit si bien: Ii est donc desremords!" (to the count d'Argental, 28 August 1751, D 4557)Sdmiramis, while a great success in performance,underwent considerable revision after its initial run. TheMercure indicates that before the revival in March 1749lines were added to the scenes in act IV between Sdmiramisand her son Arzace, that Assur was made a more dignifiedvillain if not a more adept one, and that the ending wasimproved by Semiramis' abdication in her son's favour andAssur's entrance in chains before Ninias (Le Mercure, April1749, p. 205) There is no such denouement in the text as itstands now. The printed ending is the one in which Lekainwas later so successful, in which Arzace/Ninias emerges fromhis father's tomb with bloodstained arms, havingaccidentally killed his mother (V, vi).SOmiramis narrowly avoided Addlaide's fate, to beruined by a witticism. The well-known jest "Placel'ombre!" was provoked by an incident in act IV.Furthermore, Azóma's lines in Act V:Tous les morts, en cet affreux sejourPour nous persdcuter reviennent-ils au jour?elicited laughter at the second performance, and wereremoved at the third (P. Clement, I: 103).The revisions made seem to have little to do withcritical objections to the play, and indeed did nothing to125quell the controversy, actively pursued by Piron inparticular, around the play's literary merit: "Semiramis aête remise au theatre avec cinquante corrections qui necorrigent rien." (P. Clement, I: 60) Critics complainedthat the public seemed immune to the implausibilities inplot which so offended them: Assur and Semiramis confidetheir schemes of murder to their servants, Azema is auseless character, the ending is predictable. Nonetheless,the attendance remained high (le Mercure, September 1748, p.228), and the play was an even greater success in Lekain'srevivals, especially after the cleared stage permitted morespectacle and a more dramatic entrance for the ghost.Rome sauvee, which Voltaire considered difficult toperform, and more suitable for "messieurs de l'universite"than the Comedie francaise audience (to Mme Denis, 12 August1749, D 3975), was subjected to considerable revision bothin anticipation of and reaction to performance. Itsearliest performances were at Sceaux and at the Prussiancourt (see correspondence of September 1750). The reworkinglargely centered on the character of Aurelie, Catilina'swife (see correspondence of September to December 1750),whose entrance before the assembled Senate in act IV wasmade more of a coup de theatre (13 July 1751, D 4518)Indeed, as the only female character, the role of Aureliehad to be given more plot importance in order to pleaseFrench audiences. Voltaire's original conception of her126character, gentle and obedient like Zaire, gave way beforethe d'Argentals' criticism (13 November 1751, D 4604) andthe casting of Mlle Clairon; Aurelie eventually became more"romaine" (7 October 1752, D 5037). The process of revisionwent on for months, Voltaire despairing of the "role ingratet hasarde d'Aurelie." (8 January 1752, D 4760) The play,despite praise from critics such as Clement, was neitherlong-running nor frequently revived.Oreste, like Semiramis, was revised during performancebut not drastically enough for the critics. At MlleClairon's request, her scene of exposition with Iphise inact II was shortened, without reducing Electre's lines (12January 1750, D 4095). We note that the final text of thisscene is even shorter than that in the 1751 printed text,indicating further editing. In addition, Voltaire reducedthe amount of text in those difficult scenes in whichElectre calls down the gods' vengeance and in which Oresteis pursued by the Furies, where gesture seems more effectivethan words. But in Clement's opinion, little wasaccomplished:Vous me demandez la difference de l'Oreste de laseconde representation a celui de la premiere:quelques longueurs de moms et un récit de plus [in actV announcing Oreste's victory] (P. Clement, II: 274)The staging of act V, in which Oreste must kill both Egistheand Clytemnestre, was changed at the third performance.127Instead of stabbing both with one blow, Oreste stabbed eachseparately, an alteration which did not eliminate theperceived awkwardness for the actor (P. Clement, II: 275).There were, however, considerable revisions made for the1761 revival of Oreste. Act II, scene i, for example,shifts to a more even division of dialogue between Oresteand Pylade; later in the same act Egisthe's attack onreligion is abridged (ed. Moland, p. 158).The process of dialogue between audience and author wasespecially prolonged for Olympi,e, beginning with theflamboyantly successful performance at Voltaire's home inMarch 1762, in accodance with his maxim: "Pour leconnaitre, il a fallu le faire jouer." (to Collini, 23 April1762, D 10424) The test run was necessary to prove that thestaging, especially the pyre, would work, and that the plotcould not be altered in essence. It also convinced Voltaireof the play's worth: "le spectacle le plus singulier et leplus grand tableau qui'on ait jamais vu au theAtre." (to thecount and countess d'Argental, 26 April 1762, D 10429)Voltaire admittedly realized that the character of Olympiecould not rely for its emotional impact and plausibilitysolely on the text; the words had to be coloured by theperformer:Ce qu'il y a de plus necessaire, c'est que l'actricechargee du role d'Olympie soit tres-attendrissante,qu'elle soupire, qu'elle sanglote...de longues pauses,128de longs silences.(to Collini, 4 September 1762, D 10688)The actress needed to be particularly skilful in speakingOlympie's final line: "Apprends...que je t'adore...et queje m'en punis," in act V (  bid). Further, in terms ofstructure, the division between acts III and IV, involvingthe placement of Statira's death and of the duel betweenCassandre and Antigone, was the focus of persistentuncertainty [24].Voltaire encountered such difficulties with the Comediefrangaise's refusal to be directed by him in the staging ofOlympie that he contemplated printing the play rather thanlosing control of it to the actors (to the count andcountess d'Argental, 25 April 1763, D 11174). But thedesire to be performed triumphed and the play appeared,although the actors did ask him to rewrite act V (5 March1764, D 11749).^The 1774 edition largely followedperformance edits and revisions, and indicates that theroles most affected were those of Cassandre and Antigone.Cassandre's remorse, and the exposition of his involvementin the rebellion and the death of Alexander, are expressedin the minimum number of lines (I, iii, II ii and iv; III i,passim in act IV esp v-viii; V, v-vii). One speech byCassandre may illustrate the type of reductions made:[Sostene]De la religion la fureur animee....129Vous fait un crime affreux, un crime a detester,De posseder la fille, ayant tud la mere.[Cassandre]*Les reproches sanglants qu'Ephese peut me faire,*Vous le savez, grand Dieu! n'approchent pas des miens.*J'ai calme, grace au ciel, les coeurs des citoyens;*La mienne sera toujours victime des furies,*Victime de l'amour et de mes barbaries.*Helas! j'avais voulu qu'elle tint tout de moi,*Qu'elle ignorat un sort qui me glagait d'effroi.*De son Fibre en ses mains je mettais l'heritage*Conquis par Antipatre, aujourd'hui mon partage.*Heureux par mon amour, heureux par mes bienfaits,*Une lois en ma vie avec moi-méme en paix;*Tout etait repare, je lui rendais justice.*D'aucun crime, apres tout, mon coeur ne hut complice;J'ai tue Statira, mais c'est dans les combats,Clest en sauvant mon pere, en lui prétant mon bras....[act III, scene i in Moland VI: 125-26; the asterisksindicate lines omitted in performance]Although the edits are scattered throughout the play, lessthan 100 lines are involved; what is lost is largely furtherexposition. From these elisions we may deduce that theactors, unimpressed by Voltaire's reputation as a writer,were concerned chiefly with sustaining the action and thespectacle. Despite his more than forty years of writing130successes, he was not, in their eyes, expert in the businessof production. Voltaire's only recourse against them was toretire the text from performance and put it into the domainof literature by printing it, as he had done with Rome sauvee, and would do with les Guebres and les Scythes.Voltaire's use of audience response as a source fortextual revision was not acclaimed as sound playwritingtechnique during the eighteenth century, however sensible itmay seem to twentieth-century readers. Voltaire himself,while incorporating elements from performance andperformers, retained the status of sole author. The impactof individual performers was considered to be on theatreitself, on the choice of repertoire, and not on the textstrictly speaking. The actors' contribution would seem tobe lost when the play passed out of active repertoire. Yetwe can detect it with careful reading.Voltaire's persistence in playwriting despite thefailures of Artemkre and the first Mariamne may owesomething to the encouragement of Mlle Lecouvreur, whoseopinions and abilities Voltaire respected so highly(Desnoiresterres, I: 183-84). For certain plays themerits of performance, conceived as separate, were viewed ascompensating for the faults of text, ie. Zulime andSemiramis. Even Merope, one of his greatest successes,could be criticized so: "Les representations deMerope...ont fait beaucoup d'honneur a M de Voltaire, et la131lecture en fait encore plus a Mlle Dumesnil." (attributed toFontenelle, Moland IV: 175) Voltaire conceded the merit ofthis type of argumentation:Je doute qu'elle reussisse a la lecture autant qu'a larepresentation; ce n'est point moi qui ai fait lapiece, c'est Mlle Dumesnil...qui fait pleurer leparterre pendant 3 actes de suite. Le public a...missur mon compte une partie du plaisir extreme que luiont fait les acteurs. (4 April 1743, D 2744)A performer was given credit either for transcending a badtext or for what may be called technique. As theCouespondance litteraire concluded in reviewing Olympie:Tout le monde l'a jugee assez mauvaise A la lecture;mais elle vient de paraitre avec beaucoup de succtIs surla sCene....Ce succés, auquel le respect qu'on dolt aun grand home et le faste du spectacle paraissentavoir la principale part, ne rend pas cette piëcemeilleure aux yeux des gens de gout. [V: 479]Mlle Clairon , for example, was instrumental in therevival of &aim in 1762, which the Mercure describes as"tellement diffórente de celle qui avoit ete representee [en1740] ...pas moms different d'une Tragedie imprimee sous letitre de Zulime ii y a quelques mois." (January 1762, p.180) Although the play was not reported in the Mercure onits debut in 1740, in 1762 it was reviewed at length (pp.181 - 202). Its success was seen as that of Mlle Clairon in132the title role:[On remarqua] la verite d'expression que donnel'Actrice a ce dernier vers [et] le pathetique de cettescene [that of Zulime and Ramire on religion] [quiótait] toujours interrompue par des applaudissemens.... Le role de Zulime est sans doute si dominant,qu'il eclipse presque tous les autres. (p. 203)Mlle Clairon was, the Mercure notes, litres applaudie auxrepresentations comme elle móritera toujours de l'etre," andacclaimed as unsurpassable as a performer (p. 205). Butthis success did nothing to raise critical opinion of theplay, often seen as one of Voltaire's weakest. Bachaumont,for example, considered Zulime an "enfant indigne de saplume" (I: 12); Mlle Clairon had taken full advantage of "lamagie de son jeu [pour] faire disparoitre [sic] les defautsde son role." (I: 13)In the same way Lekain, whose name is as inextricablylinked with Voltaire's playwriting as Silvie's was withMarivaux, won plaudits for his acting, but not for hisefforts in bringing plays into the repertoire and revivingthem. Lekain's first role in Paris was as Titus in Brutus at the Rue Traversiere, his first Comódie frangaise successwas as Selde, his last performance was as VendOme (La Harpe,IV: 449). He was a student of Voltaire's theatrical"school", and his career was bound up with that ofVoltaire's plays: "M de Voltaire dira sans doute, OU est133VendOme, oU est Tancrede, et le public dira, Oil est Lekain?"(La Harpe, IV: 458). His revival of Adelaide in 1765staged without Voltaire's prior knowledge, much lessinvolvement, was so identified with the actor that the playbecame known as VendOme, his role. He died "a la suited'une representation de VendOme, la derniere oU ii ait paruet dans laquelle ii sembla se surpasser lui-meme." (LaHarpe, XI: 13-14)And yet his superiority was acknowledged almostexclusively in the realm of visual performance:On n'oubliera jamais le jeu terrible & anime du sieurle Kain, chargé du role d'Arsace...sortant du tombeaude Ninus, le bras nud [sic] & ensanglante, les cheveuxdpars, au bruit du Tonnerre, a la lueur des éclairs;arretd par la terreur a la porte; luttant, pour ainsidire, contre la foudre. Ce tableau, qui dure quelquesminutes, & qui est de l'invention de l'Acteur[emphasis mine], fait toujours le plus grand effet.(J-B Clement, p. 163)One could argue even that to eighteenth-centurytheories of performance at least, an actor did not interpretin an interactive sense, make a personal meaning out of thetext. The actor merely spoke text, that "art de la bonnedeclamation" perfected by Lekain (La Harpe X: 507), and byMlle Clairon, noted for her "diction enchanteresse."(Desnoiresterres, V: 393) Literary critics gave these two134credit for how they spoke, how they moved, even what theywore on stage: "[Lekain] est le premier qui ait eu devóritables habits de costume .... C'est a lui et a mileClairon qu'on est redevable du costume sur le thOatrefrangais." (La Harpe, IV: 453) Acting, in short, remainedin the judgment of literary critics something which is doneto text, or around it, capable of varying greatly from actorto actor or from performance to performance, visible andaudible to the spectator, but of little consequence to thelater reader.We have discussed in some detail the impact performanceand performers had on the structure and development ofVoltaire's play texts, and on popular and critical reactionto the texts. We have seen the effect of casting,biensdances and changing audience expectations on thereception afforded to plays in the examples of : Mariamne,Rome sauvde, Zulime, Mapomet, Adelaide, 04mpie.  In short,there seems considerable evidence for the view thatperformance was an essential and conscious element ofVoltaire's dramatic praxis.Yet we must also concede that there was a profoundambivalence on Voltaire's part with regard to performance.On the one hand, he wrote for the stage throughout hisentire career, from Oedipe to Irene , staged just before hisdeath, and Agathocle, left unfinished. He expended enormouseffort to see his plays performed and to help them135succeed. He had an enviable record of stage successes.Indeed his literary reputation during his lifetime waslargely as an epic poet and tragic playwright. On theother hand, Voltaire deeply distrusted the judgment ofaudiences and actors as to the value of a play, and seemedto consider theatrical success transitory and arbitrary.Crowds might flock to La Motte's Ines de Castro, but Racineremained the master.Theatre, at least in the early part of Voltaire'scareer, was often a means to an end: a way for a youngwriter to make a name for himself, to make contact withinfluential people, to have some impact on popular opinion.As a playwright, he was receptive to external response, butunwilling to relinquish control whether during rehearsals,during performance runs, or after the run when the playmight be printed.We see in Voltaire strenuous resistance to actorsmoulding the text even as he asked their advice on revisingit. Actors were considered unreliable because they, fromBrizard and Dufresne to Lekain and Clairon, were concernedonly with their own roles, with the potential for personalsuccess. They were judged to lack both the education andthe inclination to appreciate tragedy as a noble form ofliterature. Their contributions to the text itself, asdistinct from those to public reception of that text, isseverely controlled, even as we found to be the case in our136examination of changes at the linguistic level. Access toeducation in eighteenth-century France, was a function ofclass as well as of gender. The marginalized social statusof actors may lie at the root of the lack of credit given tothem even by the contemporary critics, as we saw inDiderot's comments on Lekain and Mlle Clairon, where hepraised their pantomime, their diction and their costumes,and in Bachaumont's inability to believe that Lekain alonecould have been responsible for the 1765 Addlai4e.Actresses, despite their key importance to the developmentof the performance text and to its popular dissemination,appear doubly barred from having their influence credited inthe printed text. It might even be argued that Voltaire'sapparent reliance on the advice of actresses such asLeCouvreur and Quinault in the early part of his career wasin order to elicit not their reactions to the text asliterature but rather their practical help in persuading thecomddiens to accept his plays and his frequent corrections.His later relationship with Mlle Clairon makes clear that hepreferred to give advice, and was singularly reluctant totrust her judgment about changes to the text, despite hermany theatrical successes.The extent to which Voltaire insisted on the preeminentauthority of the playwright, and strove to control allaspects of performance, is to some critics a key distinctionbetween his still classical dramaturgy and the more137forward-looking theories of Diderot:Voltaire ne saurait ni abdiquer la preeminence del'ecrivain, ni laisser, comme le souhaite Diderot,quelque liberte a l'acteur, ni alterer la nature d'ungenre oil rbgnent la parole et le vers. Ii croittoujours a la tragedie; Diderot n'y voit plus qu'ungenre moribond. [251However, we must point out that Voltaire's desire tocontrol not only text but also performance was itself aninnovation, and had considerable influence on the staging ofplays, in the realms of costume (from the time of Zaire andAlzire), decor and stage effects, and particularly on actingstyle. The extent to which many of his successes,especially the later ones, were identified with individualperformers (many of whom he had coached), may explain whyhis plays were scarcely to be found in the nineteenth-century repertoire, although the twentieth-century readermight envy Louis Moland's privilege of having seen SarahBernhardt portray Zaire in the 18705.We conclude that under each text we have dealt with,static and linear as they may now appear, lies this dynamicstruggle between the author's single voice and the manyvoices of actors, audiences, and critics, between a textopen to reaction, revision and interpretation on stage andone closed and controlled by the author's supervision ofprinting, a struggle both within the text and between the138text and the genre in seeking the delicate balance betweencreativity and obedience to the rules. This struggle wasintegral to the process by which the texts have arrived atthe form they now hold. The extent to which they have beenread as expressing Voltaire's personal beliefs and historyis an acknowledgment of his skill in incorporating theseexternal influences and in reasserting control over thetexts. It is a basic hypothesis of this study that alltheatre is political in nature, expressing some relation,whether of opposition or support, to the society in which itappears. The multiplicity of voices, of influences andresponses, which we have brought to light may lead us toexpect that the ideology which underlies these plays will becomplex in nature and heterogenous in source.139NOTES[1] See Patrice Pavis, Languages of the Stage - Essaysin the Semiology of Theatre (New York: Performing ArtsJournal, 1982), p. 70.[2] Keir Elam, The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama (London & New York: Methuen, 1980), p. 34.[3] Pavis, P. 138.[4] Elam, pp. 42-43.[5] Elam, p. 49; see also Ubersfeld, lire le theatre (Paris: Editions sociales, 1978), pp. 30-31.[6] Elam, pp. 62-63; see also Jean Duvignaud, LASociologie du theatre (Paris: PUF, 1965), pp. 69 - 83 andUbersfeld, p. 50.[7] Voltaire, Correspondence, ed. Theodore H.Besterman (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1968), letter toFrancois Tronchin, 16 December 1758, D 7983 and letter tothe count d'Argental, 3 October 1761, D 10052.[8] Elam, pp. 208 - 209.[9] Pierre Clement, Cinq anndes litteraires (Geneve:Slatkine, 1967; reproduction of the 1755 Berlin edition), I:277.[10]Le Mercure de France, mars 1720 P. 101.[11] Gustave Desnoiresterres, Voltaire et la sociéte auXVIIIe siècle 2e ed (Paris: Didier, 1871), I: 183 - 87.[12] Jean Marie Bernard Clement and Joseph de la Porte,Anecdotes dramatiques (Geneve: Slatkine, 1971;140reproduction of Paris 1775), p. 522.[13] Helene Monod-Cassidy, Un Voyageur-philosophe auXVIIIe siècle: l'abb4 Jean-Bernard Le Blanc  (Cambridge:Harvard UP, 1941), p. 195. All citations from Le Blanc willbe from this work, which contains his correspondence.[14]Armee littéraire, ed. Elie Catherine Fróron (1756)II: 348.[15] Jean Francois de la Harpe, Oeuvres (Geneve:Slatkine, 1968; reproduction of the Paris 1820 edition), X:390.[16]Correspondanc- littdraire, philosophique etcritique, ed. Maurice Tourneux (Paris: Gamier freres,1877), I: 266.[17] In lie Mercure, January 1762.[18] See also the letter to the Count and Countessd'Argental, 17 September 1765, D 12887; Le Mercure waskinder to the original production.[19] Louis Petit de Bachaumont, MémoireS secrets pourservir A l'histoire de la rêpublique des 1.ettres en France depuis MDCCLXII jusqu'a nos jours (London: John Adamson,1777), III: 177.[20] See the statistics furnished by H. C. Lancaster in"La Comedie francaise 1701 - 1774: Plays, ActorsSpectators, Finances," Transactions of the AmericanPhilosopical Society 41: 4 (1951), pp. 593 - 894.[21] René Vaillot, Avec Mme du Chatelet, Voltaire en141Son temps 2, ed. Rend Pomeau (Oxford UP, 1988), p. 336.[22] Journal et mdmoires de Charles Colld, ed. HonoréBonhomme (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1868), I: 127.[23] Robert Niklaus, "Briphile de Voltaire et lethdatre d'Eschyle" in Le Siècle de Voltaire: Homage A Rend Pommeau, eds Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant (Oxford:Voltaire Foundation, 1987), II: 709.[24] See the correspondence of October 1762.[25] Henri Lagrave, "Voltaire, Diderot et le 'tableauscdnique': le malentendu de Tancrëde," in Le Siècle de Voltaire: Hommage A Rend Pommeau, II: 574.142Chapter III - Ideology in the Tragic World:Systems of Belief and Codes of Behaviour in the Political,Religious and Familial Domains [1]Ideology is herein defined as a system of beliefs whichdetermines the ideal structure of a society and whichprovides the norms by which citizens of that society are tobehave. Of course, much of the published analysis of theideological content of Voltaire's tragedies has concentratedon the explicit statements made by characters, and has oftenarrived at the conclusion that certain plays have little orno ideological content [2]. But, as set out in theintroduction (pages 15-16), this study takes as one of itsfundamental premises that all writing for the theatre isideological and political in that it exists in arelationship of reinforcement or reform to the society whichproduced it, so that even texts which apparently have noideological content do take an ideological position. Amongthe critics who adopt this view, Anne Ubersfeld posits thatall theatre expresses some kind of ideology, and is in arelationship of agreement or opposition to the dominantideology of the society in which the theatre was produced[3].Nor is this critical position restricted tocontemporary analysis of modern theatre. Classical tragedyin France had an overtly political overtone, particularly143under Richelieu who sought to make of tragedy a "vehicle forthe promotion of authoritarian views and a static society."[4] This is not to say that State control over tragedythrough patronage and censorship amounted to dictation, butrather that the general understanding of the genre includedits responsibility to consider political issues such as thenature of kingship:La mainmise progressive de 1/Etat n'implique cependantpas que le thdAtre soit un simple instrument depropagation de l'iddologie monarchique....Les auteursdramatiques...parachevent leur tAche en posant, sur lascene du thdAtre, des problemes nouveaux qui ne peuventpas étre dits ni resolus, ni peut-Otre même pensds, Al'interieur du systeme du droit....On n'y met passeulement en scene des monarques hêrolques, maisl'ensemble des images associ6es A la figure du roi,depuis le prince gendreux jusqu'au tyran. [L'auteur]renvoie [au roi] par l'intermódiaire de la scene, uneimage de ce quill dolt ou ne dolt pas étre. [5]Thus an ideological parti pris in Voltaire's theatre can beseen not as an innovation springing from his overridingphilosophical beliefs but rather as part of his adherence toclassical norms.In considering the ideological content of these plays,and in particular in seeking to establish a system orsystems of belief which appear to operate within and even144between texts, we will also address the question of whethervariation in textual expression necessarily includesvariation in ideological content. We will seek to determinewhether the underlying beliefs are as fluid and as open tochange as we have demonstrated the texts to be, subject toperpetual transformation at the levels of linguistic andvisual expression through revision and performance. We mayfind constants within these texts at the ideological level,similarities in the nature of kingship, the role of thepriesthood and the structure of the family which persistover time and from text to text. The beliefs themselves mayprove to be the product of dialogue and collaboration withfriends, actors and audiences, or on the other handrelatively personal and static. Certain beliefs appear tobe constant, at least. Jory's conclusion, that Oeaipe contains "the image of the ideal king which remainedconsistent throughout Voltaire's works and life," (p. 12)can, as we develop this analysis, find abundant textualsupport, from Eriphile to les Guebres.Analysis of the ideological content of theatrical textmust include but not be confined to explicit statements.These statements are frequently undercut and even denied bythe context in which they are spoken (see pages 160, 179).The "situation de parole" which is inseparable from the"Ononcd" itself includes the conditions of enunciation, thatis, those relationships of power between the characters145which determine not only the content of speech but even theability to speak [6]. These relationships of power,controlling both speech and action, will provide evidencefor conclusions on the nature of government and family. Thedominant ideology, the "formation socio-historique donnee"in which the text was conceived acts not only directlythrough speech but also indirectly on speech, constrainingwhat authors could write [7]. The extent to which theideology of the texts supports or challenges the generalbeliefs of educated eighteenth-century Parisians, theirfirst if not their only intended destinataires, becomes keyto our analysis.We note that expressions of an ideology opposed to thestatus quo are often placed in the mouths of minorcharacters or villainous ones, thus lessening theirmodelling force because they are spoken by the lessimportant and less attractive agents in the drama. They canalso by this choice of locuteur become associated withpunishment and failure [8]. Lancaster goes so far to arguethat this was a deliberate technique to allay the censors,who presumably would accept the unlikelihood of the publicadopting such an obviously unsuccessful stance and thus letthe statement pass (I: 216). There are some cases where anotable speech is contradicted by the action of the play asa whole, as when in Eriphile Alcmdon complains that birthrather than merit is unjust as a measure of fitness to146command (in II, i) The audience knows, or at least suspectsat that point, that his birth is royal. Thus his ability tolead is explained within the extant social system ratherthan proving its injustice. Zaire's famous speech onreligion as an environmental or cultural phenomenon isthrown into question by her behaviour, in that she abandonsimmediately the religion in which she was raised to embracethe Christianity from which she was separated at birth andof which she knows almost nothing [9]. Thus context must beincluded in any analysis of ideological substance or intent.The discussion of ideological systems in this chapteris organized around three general areas of social structure:A. Government, including monarchies (male and femalerulers and the role of the court), republics and therole of the people;B. Religion, including the priesthood, the status of statereligion, conversion between religions, and thedepiction of individual priests and believers;C.^Family, including the divisions of power andresponsibility between parent and child as well ashusband and wife, and the treatment given to genderand sexuality within the family structure:We will continue to consider the role of publicresponse in all its forms now as it affects the ideologicalcontent or impact of a play. The ideology of a theatrical147text may prove to be neither constant over time norconsistent with itself, even as the text itself is dynamic.We will examine how the textual transformations couldemphasize, alter, lessen or even contradict the types ofsocieties and individual behaviours presented. But we willalso consider whether the underlying ideological system, orat least key concepts and structures of that system, remainrelatively constant within a text and over time.There is evidence for our hypothesis that Voltairesuccessfully sought to build a plausible social microcosm inhis tragic plays. Contemporary critics gave him credit foraccurate portrayals of historically based characters andsocieties. Cideville, describing the public reaction to the1725 Mariamne, tells Voltaire how the audience was struck bythe "portrait ressemblant des femmes et des fureurstouchantes d'Herode" (13 April 1725, D 229). TheCorresponOence litteraire concludes, late in Voltaire'scareer, that "M de Voltaire est un grand peintre de moeurs,et voila le grand merite de ses tragedies, c'est d'enpresenter toujours un tableau fidéle." (October 1760, IV:299)Government and the Social HierarchyThe predominant type of government within the societiesdepicted in these plays is the patrilineal monarchy. Thecharacteristics of the good or bad king are set forth atlength in many of the plays. While the reader may now find148an ironic undertone in Oedipe's proclamation, "Mourir pourson pays, c'est le devoir d'un roi" (II, iv: II: 77), thereis no question that the audience is meant to take thestatement seriously. Philoctete's objectivity, conveyed inthe lines:Un roi pour ses sujets est un dieu qu'on róvérePour Hercule et pour moi, c'est un home ordinairemust be placed in its context of association with thesemi-divine hero Hercules, outside the bounds of normalsociety (II, iv; II: 78). The ideal of a king sacrificinghimself is taken up in Eriphile, where Alcmeon proposessingle combat in order to halt the civil war (V, i). In alate play, les Guebres, divine status is given to a justruler without any ironic implication: "Je crois entendre undieu...Qui pane au genre humain pour le rendre plus juste."(V, vi; VI: 567)The characteristics of Voltaire's good king arerelatively constant, as Jory has indicated (p. 12), and thetexts do not seriously question the monarchy as a systemwhich transfers the right to rule by male inheritance.Sareil finds this acceptance a merit in Voltaire's socialcriticism:C'est en acceptant toutes les regles du monde danslequel ii vit, qu'il s'attaque aux institutions et auxabus. Jamais il ne remet vraiment en cause lalegitimitd de l'ordre social, et c'est pour cela que sa149critique est Si gaie, et aussi qu'elle a si bonneconscience, [10]Showalter Jr. finds this complaisance throughout eighteenth-century theatre:The temporary errors of authority figures seldom prodthe heroes to revolt or the narrators to question thepolitical structure. Female characters were held to aneven more groveling acquiescence to the unreasonabledemands of their masters. [11]While the Voltairean text reiterates that a king must haveworth - learning, justice, tolerance, it remains within themainstream of contemporary theatrical practice by retainingthe hierarchy based on birthright.Within these texts, the good or rightful king mustrecognize the primacy of learning and written law abovemilitary might, as Genghis Khan does at the close ofl'Orphelin de Chine: "Je fus un conqudrant, vous m'avezfait un roi." (V, vi; V: 356) Several of the unjust kings,or aspiring usurpers, are nonetheless efficient soldiers:Hdrode, Hermogide, Egisthe, Polifonte. As well, thecharacteristic of mercy seems key: Orosmane's last act, ashe lies dying, is to order Nerestan's safe conduct (Zaire V,x). In le Triumvirat, Octave's pardoning Pompde is thefirst sign of his transformation into the relatively justruler history paints as Augustus Caesar.Another central aspect of this portrayal is the150independence of the good king, controlled neither by hiscourtiers nor by the priests. The importance ofindependence is further illustrated within the plays chosenfor study by the bad examples of Cassandre and Herode, whosemalleability leads the first to be murdered, the second tokill himself. Herode himself recognizes the faults in hisreign, in that he has to this point been content to "regneravec éclat, mais avec barbarie"; he intends "sur mes sujetsrógner en citoyen." (III, iv; II: 196) While there remainsconsiderable material on the nature of just rule in Herodeet Mariamne, we should indicate that much of the historicalcontext of the play, the debate over Herode's ambivalentstatus as a subject king under Roman authority, was greatlyreduced in the 1725 revision and eliminated from the 1762version. Hdrode is made more of a type character,demonstrating as Cassandre does the evils of governmentunder a king who acts from emotion rather than reason,instead of the particular politico-historical problem of thekingdom as an imperial province. These pledges to rule asa citizen should be seen as part of the attack on the powerof the court, which acts as a barrier to free dialoguebetween the king and the people.The good ruler is not controlled by his priests anymore than by his court. It is typical of the just andcompassionate priest that he refuses to become involved inpolitics at all. In les Guatres it is stated that151le trOne s'humilieJusqu'a laisser regner ce ministere impie.(IV, vi; VI: 555)The emperor arrives at the pragmatic conclusion:Les persecutionsOnt mal servi ma gloire, et font trop de rebelles(V, vi; VI: 566)The phrase "en citoyen," used by Herode to describe ajust reign, implies a direct relationship between the rulerand his people. It recurs in a much later play, les Gubbres: "Je pense en citoyen, j'agis en empereur." (V, vi;VI: 567) Good kings are accessible to their subjects, notonly to arbitrate disputes but also to hear their concernsand take their advice. (Zaire, ed. Jacobs; I, iii, 235-38and les Gu6bres IV, i; VI: 544) The emperor in lep GuëbreSis portrayed as preferring to take advice from apparentlycommon people, although audiences then and now recognized inthe gardener Arzemon the far from humble Voltaire (les Guebres, ibid).The central image for this relationship between theruler and his people is that of a good father, whether it isused of Alvarez in Alzire [12] or of Zopire in Mahomet, asin Haydn Mason's analysis [13]. Mason's focus is on theimplications of the paternal image in a critique ofreligion:It is conceived within the dominant structure of152paternity, true and false...the father-son theme thatcould still, even in the early 1740's, serve as theessential channel through which to ecraser l'infame.(1988, p. 133)There is, however, textual evidence allowing us to extendthe metaphor, both within this text and to others. InMahomet, Zopire rules Medina with a "zele paternel" (I, i;IV: 107) Alcmdon, in coming to the throne still in histeens, gives himself this paternal status:Avec le nom de roi, je prends un coeur de pere.He faudrait-il verser, dans mon regne naissant,Pour un seul ennemi, tant de sang innocent?Est-ce a moi de donner le sacrilege exempleD'attaquer les dieux mem, et de souiller leur temple?[14]This metaphor of paternal authority illustrates the rightfuluse of power as one centralized in a single benevolent andjust male figure.The responsibilities of rulership, like those ofcitizenship, are modelled on the family system. But theseduties to the State take precedence over the duties owed toone's biological family. A father should sacrifice hischild for the good of the country (Mahomet II, v; IV: 128).This principle also informs the plots of Brutus and 'Orphelin de la Chine). Even the promised return ofhis children, missing and believed dead for years, does not153weaken Zopire's opposition to Mahomet; he would kill themhimself rather than bow to an imposter (II, v; IV: 128).Indeed, 'dame deplores her maternal weakness in trying tosave her own son rather than supporting her husband'sdecision to sacrifice him to save the emperor's son: "Ilpensait en heros, je n'agissais qu'en mere." (IV, iv; V:341) Voltaire's last tragedy, left unfinished by his death,was Agathocle, in which he returned to the theme of thecorrect models of fatherhood and kingship as interdependent.But there is a hierarchy of responsibility and dutyestablished within and across the texts, with the king ashead of state, father of his country, at the apex.The key principle in this hierarchy of authority is thesupremacy of the State and its laws over other duties, eventhose to religion and family. As the emperor in les Guebres summarizes the equitable state:Que chacun dans sa loi cherche en paix la lumiére,Mais la loi de l'Etat est toujours la premiere.(V, vi; VI: 567)The crime of lese majesty, however motivated, is uniformlypunished. VendOme, in Adelaide, has no rightful authorityover Adelaide and Nemours because he is a rebel against hisking (II, v). To be motivated by love rather than honourand loyalty is a grave fault (III, iii). This overridingduty to the ruler forms the basis of the plot of Olympie.Although Cassandre at the time was obeying and154protecting his father, his participation in the rebellionagainst Alexandre requires that he be punished, his marriageto Alexandre's daughter prevented, hence the deaths ofOlympie and Cassandre. Crimes against the rightful rulerare unforgiveable, and are spoken of in terms suggestingreligious blasphemy rather than politically motivatedviolence. In Oreste, Egisthe is introduced as a "tyran" (I,i) and referred to as such throughout; he is constantlyopposed to Agamemnon, who is spoken of in the Biblicalphrase "roi des rois."  ^Egisthe and Clytemnestre instriking Agamemnon raised "leur main sacrilege" (I, iv; V:96) against (if we may continue the Biblical image) theLord's anointed.This hierarchical arrangement of duties does notentail, however, that lesser duties could be shirkedentirely, not even by kings. The corrupt or illegitimateruler is as clearly marked by a failure in his duties asfather as by his injustice to his subjects. Mahomet iscalled a "father" to the orphans he has recruited assoldiers and concubines, that is to say to his dupes andvictims (II, iv; IV: 122 and III, v; IV: 135). Zopire callshim a "tyran" (in I, iv); this particular epithet willbecome a favourite pejorative used of those holding powerillegitimately throughout the plays, and a key indicationthat their hold on power is precarious. Catilina is markedas a potential tyrant by his deliberate dereliction of155familial responsibilities :Titres chers et sacres, et de p6re, et d'epoux,Faiblesses des humains, evanouissez-vous.(Rome sauvee 1, i; V: 214)The leaders of the Triumvirat are rarely if ever describedas other than "tyrans" throughout the play. Both Antoine,in abandoning his wife Fulvie, and Octave, in choosing toexecute Julie's father and lover in order to marry her,reveal their lack of commitment to the whole system ofvalues and responsibilities held up as necessary forachieving and maintaining legitimate rule.Thus, as analysis of the text shows, a relativeconstancy in the portrayal of model kings, both favourablyand unfavourably. This theme, the nature of kingship istaken up frequently throughout the oeuvre under examination,but the idealized emperor in les Guébres bears considerableresemblance to the ideal king in Qedipe. Those textualtransformations which appear to have political implicationsentail an increased emphasis on French nationalism, clearlyseen in the variants to Adelaide and Zaire dating from the1760's: the shift from "francs" to "frangais" as thefavoured epithet for the Crusader knights in Zaire, therestaging of Adelaide with historically accurate personalnames and setting. But these transformations, andparticularly the renewed Adelaide which was initially stagedwithout Voltaire's knowledge, can easily be attributed to156theatrical pragmatism rather than to any shift in theideological system. The considerable popular success of DuBelloy's patriotic Siege de Calais in the early 1760s wouldnaturally lead to imitations.This relatively constant authority system is based onthe symbol of the father, on male authority at all levels ofsociety. Realms in which women have managed to wield powerinevitably fall into chaos, whether Assyrie under Sdmiramis,Argos under Eriphile, or Trdbizonde under Zulime. Zulime,in fact, refuses her father's throne to flee with Ramire(II, iv), showing that for a woman affection takesprecedence over responsibility. Despite her originalability and courage, Sdmiramis has lost the respect of hersubjects, who "de servir une femme en secret sont lassds."(II, iii; IV: 525) As a woman, her appearance was key toher success as a ruler:Sa beautó, ce flatteur avantage,Fit adorer les lois qu'imposa son courage.(II, iv; IV: 527)Although an active partner in the murder of Agamemnon,Clytemnestre likewise sinks into subordination afterwards.Egisthe becomes "un maitre absolu", and she no more than "sapremiere sujette." (Oreste I, v) Against historicalexample, these plays operate on the premise that females arenot fit to govern, and are not accepted by their subjects,for example in Eriphile : "L'Etat demande un maitre" (I,157iv; II: 467).A woman has no access to legitimate authority to rule.Mdrope, as a good mother, refuses the throne even as regentefor her son, despite the persistent danger from other citiesand the threat of imminent civil war. Those femalecharacters who have attained power are shown as unable tomaintain it; the focus is on them as guilty mothers ratherthan as political figures. Eriphile, who was at sixteen nomore than a passive accomplice to her husband's murder, andhas since succeeded in keeping his murderer from the throne,is from the beginning of the play obsessed by remorse.Semiramis, the ruthless and capable Assyrian queen, ispainted as devoured by remorse and no longer able to govern:"Succombant au mal qui la dechire, See mains laissentflotter les renes de l'empire." (I, i) Fulvie, in LATriumvirat, continues this association of sexual activity,crime and ineffectiveness established by Eriphile andClytemnestre. She was originally a co-conspirator withOctave and Antoine, and as such not only a politicalagitator but independent and vengeful enough to try to killAntoine on her own (V, ii). But she is ultimately not onlyunsuccessful but contemptible, because she has steppedoutside the bounds of proper female behaviour, asexemplified by the virtuous and passive Julie (i.e. in IV,vii). Fulvie is reproved for her unwomanly activity:158Dans nos vaines douleursD'un sexe infortune les armes sont les pleurs.(IV, i; VI: 222)The restoration of order in these chaotic realms, prone tocivil war, requires the establishment of a legitimate maleruler, by any means necessary. Alcmeon, who gains thethrone by accidentally killing his mother, re-establishesthe male line of Amphiarails and therefore legitimizes hisrule. Rather than evoking punishment, his actions areconsidered a source of wisdom:Que de ce jour affreux l'exemple menagantRends son coeur plus juste, et son régne plus grand.(V, vii; II: 504)We will return to the differing retribution meted out forpatricidal and matricidal actions, for the crimes of sonsand those of daughters (see pages 201-202).As perhaps could be expected in a body of work meant toappeal to Paris rather than Fontainebleau or Versailles, thecourt surrounding the king is consistently criticized fromthe earliest plays. Pallante, the villain of Artemire, hassucceeded in establishing such influence over Cassandre thathe has become "id i le seul roi" (I, i; II: 128). He usesCassandre's trust in plotting to murder and succeed him,bypassing succession by inheritance. Many of Cassandre'sfaults as a king and husband are attributed by Artemire toPallante's influence:159C'est toi qui, de ton prince infAme corrupteur,Au crime, des l'enfance, as prepare son coeur.(II, Hi; II: 137)The rivalry between Salome and Mariamne is, like thatbetween Pallante and Artemire, painted in political terms:the struggle for control over Herode. His court, like allthe courts in the tragedies, is full of plots, secrets, andenemies (see II, i^ii). The character of the courtier,from Pallante to les Guebres, remains consistently negative:unfaithful, ambitious and unscrupulous. Alcmeon'scondemnation in Ertphile:Vos oisifs courtisans, que les chagrins devorent,S'efforcent d'obscurer les astres qu'ils adorent(IV, i; II: 488)is echoed by Merope:... la foule infideleDes memes courtisans que j'ai vus autrefoisramper sous mes lois.(eds. Vrooman and Godden; V, iv, 134-36)The courtiers have been corrupted by Polifonte (I, iv, 294),and support his accession. In Semiramis, we return to thevillainous courtier as a plot device; Assur, like Pallante,is seeking to take his "master's" place as king. Thiscourtier type of usurper is less frequently seen within theplays, and appears less efficient than military leaders suchas Hermogide, Egisthe, and Polifonte, who win160credibility on the battlefield first and use rather thanjoin the court, which appears no more efficient than honest.The court does not actually appear in Les GuOres, butis nonetheless attacked as one reason for the apparentinjustice of the emperor's reign:Ces flots de courtisans, ce monde de flatteurs...qui laisse languir la valeur ignorde;(I, i; VI: 508)andCe mercenaire usage, et ces homes cruelsGages pour se baigner dans le sang des mortels.(IV, vi; VI: 552)The one exception to this condemnation of court andcourtiers which we may note is the character Coucy / Lisoisin the various versions of Adelaide, who is able to bringreason to Vendeme's leadership while remaining subordinateto it:Vos conseils prudents [peuvent]Moderer de son coeur les transports turbulents.(ed. Cartwright; I, i, 121-2; 1734 and 1765 versions)It is part of his superiority to know when to disobey ordersso that he is not VendOme's accomplice in fratricide (V, iv,133 in 1765 and V, v, 143, in 1734). Indeed this rationaldisobedience, this refusal to encourage crime, whichdistinguishes Coucy is essential to the play's happy161denouement. But the general rule of these plays isenunciated in Semiramis:: "un soldat est mauvaiscourtisan," (I, iv; IV: 514), a conclusion emphasized by thecontrast in Les Guebres between Cesene and Iradan on the onehand, loyal officers, and the corrupt court and arrogantpriesthood on the other.The right government of a society appears, despite thenegative influence of the court, to require some sort ofsocial hierarchy. Only Brutus offers us the picture of astable republic, and even here that republican ideal ispersonified by a single individual. The senate form ofgovernment will be examined shortly. But the monarchicalform appears to be typical of these plays, and thatstructure entails an aristocracy.There are within the tragedies well-known criticisms ofthe aristocracy, as in that cited earlier from Oedipe (p.148) and in the passage from Eriphile cited below. However,on close examination, these passages lose some of theirforce (see p. 148). For example, Alcmeon's speech inEriphile, "Qui sert son pays n'a pas besoin d'aleux," (II,i; II: 471ff) is undercut first by the action of the play,in which Alcmdon is revealed as the heir to the throne, thusexplaining his extraordinary ability within the socialstatus quo. The passage is further undermined by itsrepetition within Merope, where it is spoken by the villainPolifonte as part of his justification for seizing the162throne (I, iii). In this context, the statement is deniedovertly by Merope within the scene (ibid.), and implicitlyby the working out of the plot.Other plays give some weight to the traditionalassociation between birth and fitness to rule. Mahomet'scredibility is weakened by his lowly birth: "au dernierrang des derniers citoyens" (I, iv; IV: 113) A reference toCiceron's plebeian status, as a reason for Catilina tooppose his authority, was first included and then deletedfrom Rome sauvee (I, 1). In Adelaide, the issue ofnobility, and social expectations of how it should beportrayed, formed the major obstacle to public acceptance.Voltaire accepted that it was impossible to depict "unprince de sang", VendOme, as his brother's murderer (27February 1734, to Cideville, D 712). This respect affordedto the nobility, as distinct from the court, explains the1752 revision of Adelaide as the much less historical Duc de Foix (to the count d'Argental, 16 oct 1751, D 4595; and 3June 1752, D 4902) This constraint of social expectationplayed a role in Voltaire's resistance to the revival of theoriginal Adelaide (to Lekain, 20 February 1763, D 11027; andto the count and countess d'Argental 25 February 1763, D11042) We must note that Vendeme's repentance, thedenouement of all versions of the plot, included his joiningNemours and Adelaide on the French royal side. The truenoble does not rebel against his king: "Bon Francois,163meilleur fr6re, ami, sujet fidele." (V, v, 207 1765;likewise in the 1734 and 1751 versions) Nobility, likerulership, has its responsibilities, and social stabilitydepends on their maintenance.The Roman senate is not favourably portrayed withinthese tragedies. In Brutus, the first of Voltaire's Romanplays, the Senate's ingratitude to Brutus' son Titus is madea motivating factor in the plot, in order to explain why heis susceptible to the Tarquins' corruption. Voltairefollows the Shakespearian model in his adaptation of La Mortde Cesar, by making the assassination of Caesar, intended torestore republican rule, into a tragic event. In Romesauvóe, moving to the plays under direct study, Catilinaattacks the Senate as the "tyran de l'Italie" (I, ii; V:214); indeed this key epithet is applied to the Senatethroughout the play (i.e. again at II, vi). The Senate isflawed by its own power: "enivrê de sa grandeur supréme."(I, vii; V: 224) Its ingratitude, in failing to reward itssubjects, is again a plot factor, as Voltaire foreshadowsCicdron's being punished for foiling Catalina's conspiracy:Ah! qui sert son pays sert souvent un ingrat.Votre merite méme irrite le senat;Ii volt d'un oeil jaloux cet éclat qui l'offense.(I, vii; V: 224)Although in history no dictator was appointed at thiscrisis, Cicêron himself, defender of the republican state,164exclaims, "Rome demande un chef en ces calamites." (IV, vi;V: 257) Even he is portrayed as finding the Senateinadequate to protect the state. The Senate remains a weakforce in the later Roman play Le Triumvirat, in which theSenate proves helpless to protect the people from thetyrants (I, iv).In Tancrëde, there is a type of senate called an"assemblee de chêvaliers" which is similarly marked byinjustice and ingratitude. It banishes Tancrede and makeshis goods forfeit on the mere accusation of Orbessan (I, i).Argire admits, "Je le servis injuste, et le cheris ingrat"(I, iv; V: 511) and concedes that "un senat tyrannique estidi tout-puissant." (I, vi; V: 513) Amênaide is so outragedby its condemnation of Tancrbde and herself, resulting inhis dying to defend her, that she curses it comprehensively:Que l'enfer engloutisse, et vous, et ma patrie,Et ce sênat barbare, et ces horribles droitsD'êgorger l'innocence avec le fer des lois.(V, vi; V: 562)There is also an organization called a senate inMahomet, but it is subordinate to Zopire's leadership.While characters refer to it (I, iv), it is both invisibleand inactive within the play.Although the good king is in direct contact with hispeople, within the tragedies under study the generalpopulation is generally portrayed as a mass of foolish165children requiring a wise father. Their fickleness andprejudices are presumed from Oedipe onwards. In this firstplay by Voltaire, the people of Thebes lose their respectfor Laius upon his death (I, iii), which was seen at thetime as an allusion to the popular reaction after the deathof Louis XIV; they are equally quick to accuse Philoctetewithout evidence of complicity in Laius's murder (II, i;III, i-ii). In Eriphile the people demonstrate their needfor a strong male ruler by throwing their support behind thesuspected regicide Polifonte (I, ii and iv). He holds thissupport at its true worth, calling them "ce peuple infidele"(I, iv, 294). To Merope's despair, "nos peuples volages"acclaim Polifonte the murderer (II, iii, 181); however, theyare equally ready to accept Egiste. Cicdron, in Rome sauvee, expects to be in turn acclaimed and rejected by thepeople:Je connais l'inconstance aux humains ordinaire;J'attends sans m'ebranler les retours du vuIgaire.(V, iii; V: 265)Gullibility and irrational prejudice are likewisecharacteristic of the masses. Zopire condemns their facileconversion to Mahomet's leading:Ce que ton peuple adore excite mes mepris....Des plus des humains tente la foi cr6dule.(I, iv; IV: 114)Mahomet himself has no more respect for his followers. He166knows and uses their preconceived ideas to control them:"Les prejugeffs, ami, sont les rois du vulgaire," (II, iv; IV:122), as in his use of superstitious credulity to pass offSeide's murder as divine intervention (V, iv). We would behard pressed to find any evidence for "democracy" in thetreatment given the mass of common people or of morerepublican forms of government within these tragedies. Theideal states portrayed - stable, just and merciful - are atmost constitutional monarchies, where kings are limited byuniversal laws of reason and equity, where duty to God andfamily is subordinated to one's duty as a citizen. Theprevalence of the father as symbol of just rule, and theinterrelationship indicated among the various levels ofauthority, will be examined in more detail in our discussionof family social structures (beginning at p. 184).B.^Religion in its Institutional And Individual Manifestations Within the limits of this study we cannot propose toaddress the complicated and contentious question ofVoltaire's personal beliefs about divinity and religion.Our focus is rather religion as it operates in thetragedies, and in particular the social function and valuesattributed to it. As Pomeau has observed, Voltaire waslabelled as anything from essentially Christian to atheistby his contemporaries and by nineteenth-century critics[15]. Current criticism usually places Voltaire as a deist167or a humanist: God may exist, as a Creator, but he is sodistant and non-interventionist that the responsibility isthrown back on humanity to save or condemn itself. Butthere is considerable variation in how a particular criticemphasizes the anticlericalism or rationalism implicit inthis belief, or argues the extent to which hisanticlericalism became anticatholic or even antichristian[16]. The relationship between the stage and the Church inFrance was problematic at best during the eighteenthcentury. The Church was active in the censorship and evenbanning of plays; actors of course were excommunicates.Pomeau mentions Voltaire's tendency to depict "a la sceneles sanglantes evocations du pretre assassin", and finds inVoltaire a lifelong struggle to defeat "la double obsessiondu Dieu terrible et du pretre cruel." [17] But neitherPomeau nor Gay analyzes the frequent portraits of idealizedgood priests in the tragedies, nor the fact that Voltaireenjoyed playing the wise high priest in Olympie at lesDelices. Thus there appears to be some separation betweenwhat is commonly held to be Voltaire's personal belief andthe belief system of the plays in the treatment of organizedreligion.In concentrating on the texts, we will examine the wayin which the god or gods themselves are described, thenature and influence of the priesthood as an institution,the ambivalent status of conversion as both desirable and168condemned, and the portrayal of individual priests and ofindividual believers including their statements of faith.Attacks on the gods themselves are more typical of theearliest plays, such as Oesiipe, written under the Regencywhere frank skepticism was socially tolerated and evenpopular. The gods of Oedipe are unjust; Thebes suffers undertheir "colere inhumaine." (I, i; II: 61) The divine oraclesare declared to be dubious in value and subject to abuse byambitious priests (III, iv: II: 87). These statements ofdoubt arguably carry more weight because they are spoken byMajor protagonists and are not denied by the development ofthe plot insofar as the goods do appear cruel and theiroracles more harmful than helpful. The audience seems meantto approve such speeches as Jocaste's famous rejection ofpriestly authority, although the well-known plot requiresthat the priests be correct:Nos prètres ne sont pas ce qu'un vain peuple pense,Notre cródulite fait toute leur science.(IV, 1; II: 93)The attacks on faith itself, on the existence ofgod(s), were highly vulnerable to censorship on theirappearance in performance or print. They occur lessfrequently the later the play or revision. The 1750 editionof Oreste contains ten lines by Egisthe on the foolishnessof attempting to receive guidance from the gods (II, vi),which is reduced to two lines in the established text (V:169111). The first editions of Les Gubbres had an additionalfour lines in the opening confrontation between Iradan andthe high priest (I, iii), part of their debate over theprimacy of religious law; these were later edited out,possibly as part of the efforts to see the play performed.However unlikely or unwelcome their prophecies, thedivine oracles are never proven wrong; indeed theirfulfillment is key to the plots of Oreste and Semiramis aswell. The attack on divine power in Sdmiramis is put intothe mouth of the villain Assur: "C'est par la fermetd qu'onrend les dieux faciles." (II, vii; IV: 530) This line wascensored by Crdbillon and only reinstated on Voltaire'scomplaint to Nicolas Rend Berryer, the lieutenant gdndral de police (27 June 1748, D 3679). Any value this statementmight have had as a promotion of skepticism, however,appears to be undercut by its speaker, the scheming courtierAssur. Furthermore it is denied directly by the protagonistherself, who responds to Assur's unbelief with a statementof her own contrition:Qu'on peut sans siavilirS'abaisser sous les dieux, les craindre et les servir.(II, vii; IV: 532)Although Merope complains, as did Jocaste,Par l'or de ce tyran, le grand-prbtre inspireA fait parler le dieu dans son temple adore"(eds. Vrooman & Godden; IV, iv, 209-10)170the high priest proves not to be corrupt, and the play endswith his benediction:Cette gloire est aux dieuxAinsi que le bonheur, la vertu nous vient d'eux.(V, viii, 295-96)Late plays go even further in their expression ofbelief in a divine power. Olympie and Les GuObres containapparently sincere prayers made on stage by majorsympathetic characters. Even Mahomet was initiallyaccepted, in less sophisticated Lille, as an attack on thefalseness of Islam as opposed to Christianity, rather thanas Paris understood it, as an attack on Christianity "atravers l'Islam." [18] We must also note that this playpresents Zopire as a sincere believer, holding to the faithin which he was born despite the practical merits ofconversion (I, i; IV: 107).Nonetheless, the gods of the tragic world are notuniversally compassionate. Their punishments are neitherconsistent nor sure. If they were, there would be no tragicaction, no suffering of a victim who is sympathetic withoutbeing absolutely innocent. Desvignes indicates that thesuffering of a relatively innocent character is a recurrenttheme within these plays (pp. 550-51). Comparative virtueis no protection from "divine" wrath, because no one can beperfect. Jocaste attacks with justification "les dieux quim'ont forcee au crime" (V. vi;171II: 112), since her sins were unconscious. Zaire'sChristian brother Ndrestan calls her death her justpunishment for having loved Orosmane (ed. Jacobs; V, x,172), which seems and was meant to seem excessive, thepersistence of his fanatical hatred of Islam. In Eriphile,Thdandre criticises not the gods' existence but their mercy,exclaiming:Impenêtrables dieux! est-il donc des forfaitsQue vos sdvèrites ne pardonnent jamais?(V, iv: II: 501)AlcmOon asks that their vengeance fall on his head forhaving killed his mother (V, vii; II: 504), a punishmentwhich does not arrive in his case, though his crime seems noless than that of Oreste. It is interesting that the godsand the father Amphiarads are interchangeable as sources ofretribution; this same passage attributes Eriphile's deathto both forces (ibid).Not only are the gods of this world more severe thanloving, they permit that at least on occasion evil shouldsucceed. At the end of Mahomet, the charlatan triumphs;Palmire cries out in despair, "Le monde est fait pour lestyrans," and dies. (V, iv; IV: 461) At the end of Zaire only the unsympathetic Nerestan and the scheming Corasminsurvive. Antigone, the only major character left alive,closes Olympie with the unanswerable questions:Dieux...172Qu'avait fait Statira? qu'avait fait Olympie?A quoi reservez-vous ma deplorable vie?(V, vii; VI: 164)Such faith as may exist in the tragic sphere is not withoutits doubts and unresolved conflicts. Such questioning, suchwrestling with "the essential question of evil" in the faceof "an incomprehensible universe" [19], is consistent withthe whole atmosphere of rationalism and skepticism ineighteenth-century thought, from Locke and Hume to Diderotand d'Holbach.But there is a place, a need for religion in the state;an attractive and national system of belief is required forthe efficient government of the masses, as Mahomet wellunderstood (II, v; IV: 126). This restriction of religionto its social role, without a need to establish the truth ofthat religion, fits in with Voltaire's non-theatricaltreatment of religion. Both Pomeau and Gay agree thatVoltaire never wholly liberated himself from the ideathat the "canaille" deserved a social religion that wasmore vulgar that the true faith of the philosophers,without which they had no moral restraints. [20]As we saw earlier, wise kings do not reject religion; theymerely control it within their reasonable laws, a goalVoltaire promoted widely in his writings [21]. It is amaxim frequently reiterated within the plays that thepriesthood not be banned, merely made subordinate to the173throne:Un pretre...quelque dieu qui l'inspire,Dolt prier pour ses rois, et non pas les maudire.(Oedipe III, iv: II: 88)Mahomet, as a conscious statement against fanaticism,is opposed only to the kind of religion which refuses to bebound by reason and duty: "la piece n'est au fond qu'unsermon contre les maximes infernales qui ont mis le couteaula main des Poltrot, des Ravaillac et des Chátel." (tothe count d'Argental, 7 Dec 1742, D 2696) In writing itVoltaire was aware of being restricted by "l'attention a nepas dire tout ce qu'on pourrait dire" (to the marquisd'Argenson, 26 Jan 1740, D 2148), in view of theconsiderable power wielded by the politically influentialand interventionist Church of his time. Mahomet himself iscalled an "imposteur" throughout the play; there is noquestion of his believing what he preaches, in contrast tothe misguided sincerity of Sdide. The problem of whetherdivine inspiration actually occurs is skirted; the playattacks instead the hypocritical pretence of religiousinspiration for material ends. Badir observes that religionis simply a practical means to a political end in Mahonet,the unification of the Arabs: "ndcessaire au gouvernementde peuple...ddsormais subordonnde a la souverainete dumonarque." [22]While most of these plays portray, unfavourably,174ancient and pagan priesthoods, and leave their audience todraw the obvious parallels to contemporary religiouspolitics, Voltaire does on one occasion refer directly toone form of Catholicism, that which arrived in the Americaswith the sixteenth-century Spanish explorers. Although nopriests appear in Alzire, the action of the Spanish inconquering, forcibly converting and plundering the Americasis condemned as unrestrained greed masked as religious zeal:"Ces tyrans cruels...Qui depeuplent la terre...Dont l'infameavarice est la supreme bit" (ed. Braun; II, ii, 71-75).This outspoken criticism does not appear to have provokedany serious response, perhaps because it was masked by theexpedient conversions of both the cruel Gusman and the paganZamore in the denouement.Les Guebres is very outspoken on the dangers ofelevating religion to the status of government andpermitting the persecution of "alien" sects, as leading toinjustice, violence and arrogance. The denouement restoresthe primacy of secular authority under the emperor. Asimilar plot structure was used in Les Lois de Mipos,attacking the evils of theocracy and persecution asproducing a bloodthirsty and inflexible priesthood incontrol of an unjust society.Individual priests are not portrayed with the samesense of cynicism and criticism that was directed againstorganized religion. They are frequently used as sources of175knowledge and experience in the exposition of plots. AsVoltaire himself phrased it in a note to Olympie, "Les herosagissent, et un grand-pretre instruit" (VI: 127,footnote to III, ii). We find this type of character inOedipe, the original Eriphile, Merope, Semiramiq andOlympie. we should point out that in the first privateperformances of Olympie, Voltaire played the high priesthimself.There are within the tragedies many priests held up asgood examples. But their authority is consistently limitedto moral issues. The high priest in Oedipe, althoughattacked by Oedipe as "sacrilege" (III, iv; II: 88), issincere and accurate in his prophecies, and takes no part inthe political disputes. °roes in Semiramis, who isessential to the revelation of Arzace as Minias the lostheir, is portrayed as devout and apolitical:Renferme dans les soins de son saint ministere,Sans vaine ambition, sans crainte, sans detour,On le volt dans son temple, et jamais a la cour....Moins ii veut etre grand, plus il est revere.(I, i; IV: 510)The high priest in Olympie, speaks of the alliance of faithand law against violence (II, v), and accepts thelimitation of his ministry to religious matters:Me preservent les cieux de passer les limitesQue mon culte paisible a mon zele a prescrites!176Les intrigues des cours, les cris des factions, ...N'ont point encor trouble nos retraites obscures:...Les debats des grands rois...Ne sont connus de nous que pour les apaiser.(III, ii; VI: 127-28).To make the point even more strongly in the printed text,this twelve-line speech is accompanied by a three-pagefootnote criticising the barbarity of priests in the OldTestament. The same kind of apolitical priest is set forthas ideal in Les GuébKes:Des homes de paixDes ministres cheris, de bonte, de clemence,Jaloux de leurs devoirs, et non de leur puissances...par les lois soutenusEt par ces memes lois sagement contenusLoin des pompes du monde enformes dans leur temple.(V, vi; VI: 566)Iradan, in his confrontation with the high priest, comparesthat prelate unfavourably with the same ideal:Les pontifes divins, justement respectesOnt condamne l'orgueil, et plus les cruautes.(I, iii; VI: 510)Le vieil Arzemon, seen by contemporary readers as a portraitof Voltaire, repeats the same lesson:Eux qui de la pitie devaient donner l'exemple,Eux qui n'ont jamais da penetrer chez les rois177Que pour y temperer la durete des lois.(V, ii; VI: 560)Thus the portrait of the ideal priest in these textsappears to be as consistent and enduring as that of the goodking. There are also certain examples of what the priestshould not be, as there had been for kings. The high priestin 1s Gubbres violates the limits on his role most clearlyin abrogating to himself the powers of a king: "Nous seulsdevons juger, pardonner, ou punir." (I, iii; VI: 510) He,like others illegitimately exercising power, is labelled atyrant, by Cesene (I, ii) and Iradan (II, i). He is asinsincere as Mahomet, a priest for worldly motives of wealthand power, and unlike Mahomet is punished with more thanremorse:Ii blasphemait ses dieux qui l'ont mal defendu,Et sa mort effroyable est digne de sa vie.(V, iv; VI: 562)As in the examples of kings, the texts give us right andwrong examples in order to make clear the nature of theideal being presented: compassionate, apolitical andreasonable.There are nonetheless several characters in thesetragedies for whom sincere religious belief is painted as asympathetic characteristic rather than a tragic fault. Therestraint of belief by reason and compassion is implicit inthese favourable portraits. Alvarez in Alzire is one of the178earliest examples. He tries to bring his son into the sameconception of religion:J'en ai gagne plus d'un, je n'ai force personne;Et le vrai Dieu, mon Ills, est un dieu qui pardonne..... Tout exces merle au crime. [23]When Gusman repents, he returns to his father's God of pityand reason (V, vii, 211 - 226). This kind of faith isexercised within the bounds of reason, mercy and socialresponsibility. As Iradan expresses it in Les Guebres:Un sujet gouverne par l'honneurDistingue en tous les temps l'Etat et sa croyance.(I, i; VI: 506)Faith which displaces reason leads to evil, and is stronglycondemned, notably but not exclusively in the character ofSeide (Mahomet III, vi).Cassandre and Olympie, when they take their oathsbefore the altar, actually pray on stage. These prayers arelengthy expressions of belief attested by their havingpassed through the mysteries (occupying all of I, iv, 39lines), and bear close resemblance to orthodox belief inVoltaire's society. Cassandre invokes:Dieu des rois et des dieux, etre unique, eternel!...Qui punis les pervers, et qui soutiens les justes....Confirme, Dieu clement, les serments que je fais!(VI: 107-08)Olympie implores:179Protegez a jamais, ô dieux en qui j'espere,Le maitre genereux qui m'a servi de pbre,Mon amant adore, mon respectable dpoux;Qu'il soit toujours cheri, toujours digne de vous!(VI: 108)However, these prayers go unanswered within the action ofthe play because of the characters' sins against duty toking and father, namely Cassandre's participation in therebellion against Alexandre and Olympie's inability tosubordinate her love for Cassandre to her duty to herfather. The hierarchy of duty and the inevitability ofpunishment we noted earlier are still operational. Statira,Alexandre's widow, holds retribution against Cassandre as ahigher duty than that of her vows as a priestess, the stateabove religion (II, ii and iv), and is not rebuked.Another unexceptionable statement of faith within theseplays occurs in the very late play Les Guébres. Arzame,while considered an infidel by the priesthood, believes in arecognizable God:Dieu qui le fit.. .Dieu son seul auteurQui punit le me-chant et le persecuteur. (I, iv; VI:513)This passage establishes that she worships a spiritual beingand not the material sun. The list of duties imposed by herfaith are hardly iconoclastic: obedience to parents,fidelity to kings even the unjust, protection of innocence,180justice, generosity, and compassion (ibid). By no means anisolated incident within these plays, Arzame's confessionclosely resembles the faith of the Chinese in l'Orphelin de la Chine, meant to contrast with the chaotic violence of theMongols and defined as: "le droit paternel...la foi del'hymen,^l'honneur, la justice, le respect desserments." (IV, iv; V: 340) We can even include in thiscredo a belief in life after death; in the face of imminentexecution, Arzame anticipates:Par lui persecutde, avec toi reunie,J'oublierai dans ton sein les horreurs de ma vie.(III, v; VI: 542)However, while faith may have a legitimate place in thesocial structure, subordinate to one's duties to the state,conversion between faiths has a dubious status. AsScott-Prelorentzos observes, even Zaire is an ambiguousstatement on tolerance, in that religion is made to demandthe destruction of an otherwise desirable human relationship[24]. To abandon the faith of one's birth, one's father, israrely rewarded. While sincere and unpunished conversionsdo take place, notably in Alzire, they occur solely on thebasis of persuasion by a father figure, either Alvarez (ed.Braun; I, i, 129-134) or Mont&ze (I, iv, 255-62). Alzire makes use of the Spanish declaration in the Americas that"la loi pardonne a qui se rend chretien." But Zamorerefuses with Alzire's support: "Renoncer aux dieux que l'on181croit... 'est le crime d'un lache." (V, v, 142 and 185-86)We are meant to understand that he does not actually convertin the play (V, vii, 256; see note). Mahomet furtherillustrates the fundamental injustice of conversion by forceor as a result of military conquest (II, v; IV: 125); Zopireis to be admired for refusing to recant the faith of hisfathers (I, i; IV: 107).Zaire is called Christian because she was born ofChristian parents, but she has no knowledge of the faith andhas grown up in a Muslim environment (I, i). The impact ofher often-quoted speech on diversity of belief whichconludes "l'instruction fait tout" (ed. Jacobs; I, i, 109)is undercut, however, by the plot, in which birth and notenvironment is the key factor:The calm philosophic phrases of the first scene do notstand up in the face of the revelation of her originsand the importunings of her father and brother.^[25]Lusignan appeals to his daughter in heavily weighted terms:Songe au sang qui coule dans tes veines:C'est le sang de vingt rois, tous chretiens come moi.(II, iii, 344-45)Her conversion from the Muslim faith in which she has grownup is swift (II, iii between lines 332 and 378). Herfather's faith and his approaching death are used topressure her to renounce Orosmane 4nd be baptized (III, iv).182She calls on the God she knows only as "Dieu de mon 'Dere" (asignificant epithet) for help which does not appear to come(III, vi, 234 and V, iv, 73).While this play was not censored as anti-religiousduring the eighteenth century, it raises for present-daycritics serious questions on the superiority of one religionover another.^Zaire falls within the paternalistic systemby returning to the faith of her fathers, but the text doesnot otherwise uphold the orthodox view of a spiritual rewardfor conversion. Zulime's proposal to convert toChristianity in order to marry Ramire is not even takenseriously within the play; it is suggested in one scene (II,ii) and not therafter discussed. She returns at the end tothe authority and faith of her father (V, ii). Thus weobserve conversion is portrayed not as a matter of personalbelief but rather as an act which involves an entire socialunit. The individual must remain under paternal authority,whether this involves a change in belief or fidelity to thecreed into which one is born. Religion can therefore beseen to take its place within the social hierarchy, imposingduties that are necessary but subordinate to those imposedby the State and which ideally fall within the bounds ofreason, compassion and paternal authority. The State'scontrol over religious expression and over the priesthood asan institution should be absolute.The substance of belief in the plays, however, bears183considerable resemblance to that which would be acceptablein French society of the eighteenth century. Trueskepticism, doubt of the existence of a god rather than ofHis mercy or willingnes to intervene directly in humanaffairs, appears much less often in those plays writtenafter the end of the Regency. The considerable powers ofthe Catholic Church in French society, demonstrated by thebanning of Mahomet and Les Guebres, to give only examplesfrom the plays under study, were doubtless a force to bereckoned with for a writer such as Voltaire as well as atarget for his persistent criticism. A writer who wished tohave his texts published or performed had to keep themwithin the limits set up by secular and religious authority.The relationship between religion and family, particularlythe authority of the father over belief, which we haveindicated here, will be developed in the next section.C. The Family within the Social HierarchyWe have spent considerable time examining theprevalence of the father as the actual and metaphoricalrepresentative of authority at all levels of society, fromemperors to gardeners. Haydn Mason's contention that inMahomet the primary struggle is between good and bad fatherfigures can with profit be extended to many other tragediesin the Voltairean oeuvre. [26]It has been made clear that within these plays femalecharacters have little if any active role to play in the184sphere of government or religious institutions. EvenStatira is as a priestess under the authority of the highpriest (Olympie II, ii) and draws such limited power as sheexercises from her status as the widow of Alexandre. Thepaternalistic model of authority at the State level requiresa similar structure within the family itself.One can find a wide range in Voltaire's writing withregard to the role and value of women in society, from thealmost feminist tone of the preface to Alzire, in which hepraises Mme du Chatelet's erudition, to the prevalence ofwomen as pathetic victims in his theatre, which LucetteDesvignes has pointed out in her article in the Revue des sciences humaines[27]. As Albistur and Armogathe conclude:L'attitude de Voltaire envers les femmes est, elleaussi [come celle de Diderot], entachee d'ambigultd.Certes Voltaire s'est elevê a plusieurs reprises contreles injustices dont les femmes sont victimesn'est-ce pas pluteit parce qu'elle est un étre faibleopprime, que parce qu'elle est vraiment une &galeprivee par l'usurpation masculine de ses droits? [28]Indeed, with the exception of Condorcet, the philosophes offer little in the way of evidence for a belief in equalityof the sexes, according to the Histoire du feminisme.Nonetheless Voltaire's theatre in eighteenth-centuryperformance is marked by productive working relationshipsbetween the author and the strong, creative actresses of the185period - Lecouvreur, Quinault, Clairon. These actressesfound many of their star roles in Voltaire's plays, whichmay explain their enthusiasm in encouraging, critiquing andpromoting his work. The implications of these roles areless straightforward now, insofar as they can be seen asnormative or prescriptive, idealizing in some way desirableor undesirable behaviours within the family and within thesociety as a whole. The questions which arise are whetherthese female characters are powerful or passive within thefamily, whether they act from reason or sentiment, andwhether they are rewarded or punished differently from theirmale counterparts. Desvignes has indicated the Raciniantendency to martyrdom in Voltaire's female characters [29].No such tendency can be observed in male characters; themost frequently occurring types are the young men strugglingto control emotions or overcome destiny - Lekain's starroles of Arzace, Vend6me, and Orosmane - or the wise oldmen, fathers or priests, who were Voltaire's own favouriteamateur roles.The theatre under study expresses considerableambivalence towards female sexuality, and develops a complexrelationship between sexuality and maternity, particularlyin the inconsistent treatment of incest, an inter-relationship suggested and summarized in Voltaire's nicknamefor the niece with whom he had a affair, Hmamann. It is acommonplace of Voltairean criticism that his theatre was a186medium for propagating his ideology. This ideology could bemore conservative and patriarchal than many critics believe,especially in this domain of domestic organization. Thephilosophical ideals of freedom of thought and belief werenot always extended to women.In the microcosmic world created of his tragedies,female sexuality is a force to be feared and controlledwhether by external paternalistic authority or byinternalization of the values and duties imposed by thatauthority. Male sexuality, however, attracts no suchconcern. Such duties imposed on women are frequentlyimpossible or internally inconsistent, from which dilemmasVoltaire often draws his tragic plot. Death becomes thefavorite resolution to the impossibility of living as awoman (Hdrode et Mariamne, Zulime, Rome sauvee, Olympie),when it is not the favoured punishment for conscious orunconscious crimes against those duties (Zaire, Eriphile,Sdmiramis, Oreste). The tragedies of men are not usuallybased on such dilemmas, but rather on the relentlesspressure of destiny. The situations of incest in theseplays highlight this strict code of behaviour applied towomen, and illustrate the greater dangers of unrestrainedsexuality in women than in men, through the inconsistenttreatment of the men and women involved.When a female character expresses love, it is usuallyin terms of subservience to the beloved. Men are painted as187struggling against this "enslavement", and resentful of it:Ii vaut mieux sur mes sens reprendre un juste empire;Ii vaut mieux oublier jusqu'au nom de Zayre. [sic](ed. Jacobs; III, vii, 325-26)But Zaire exults,Je ne connais que lui, sa gloire, sa puissance;Vivre sous Orosmane est ma seule esperance.(ed. Jacobs; I, i, 25-26)and tells him,J'ai par dessus vous ce plaisir si flatteur...De tenir tout, seigneur, du bienfaiteur que j'aime.(ed. Jacobs; I, ii, 220-22)This term "bienfaiteur" is also used in situations where thefemale dependence is on a father figure, suggesting theblurred line between affection for a male parent and a malelover, as between Arzeme and Iradan in Les Guebres. WhenZulime describes herself as "fidele a mon epoux et soumisea mon maitre" (II, ii: IV: 28), the association between loveand self-abnegation is heightened by the fact that Zulime isa reigning princess and Ramire a slave. The woman in loveis not an independent agent, but an extension of that lovedman's identity and ambition, and so an accomplice to all hisactions.The duty and love owed by a daughter to a father arespoken of in the same hierarchical terms. This control overthe daughter's sexual desire and expression by the father,188may be illustrated first by the number of attempted andactual forced marriages in the texts. Jocaste speaks ofboth her marriages as forced on her:Deux fois de mon destin subissant l'injusticeJ'ai change d'esclavage, ou plutOt de supplice.(II, ii; II: 72)To her example we can add the alliances of Eriphile toAmphiaroUs, Semiramis to Ninus, Alzire to Gusman, Artemireto Cassandre, and that proposed of Olympie to Antigone.The power relationship between mother and daughter isgermane to only one text of those under study, Olympie, inwhich the mother, Alexandre's widow Statira, acts as achannel for absent paternal authority. Most often thedaughter is considered only in terms of her struggle toreconcile two male systems of authority, paternal andmarital; the mother is absent. Such is the case for Zaire,Zulime, Alzire, Palmire, Aurelie, Amenaide, Arzbme andIrene. There is no text in which both parents are active ina conflict with an adult child. The stormy relationshipbetween Clytemnestre and Electre shows to what extentloyalty to the father permits disrespect towards the mother.The father's authority is unquestionable within thisdepiction of social roles. This emphasis on the nature andextent of parental authority is usually explained inbiographical terms by Voltaire critics [30]. In thearticles cited above, Mason and Spica both point out the189duality of paternal authority in Voltaire's oeuvre, parallelto that of the priesthood and the divinity, in that each isseen as either vengeful or forgiving. The play texts underexamination, however, concentrate on the legitimacy ofpaternal authority as a basis for social order, whether theindividual father is just or unjust. Idamd describes theChinese empire, an ideal rational and just societycontrasted with Mongol brutality, as first "fonde sur ledroit paternel, sur la foi d'hymen" and then "sur l'honneur,la justice, le respect des serments."^(L'Orphelin de la Chine IV, iv; V: 340) To a daughter, her parents are "dudieu que nous servons..la vive image." (V: 339) In the sameway, Arzeme's confession of belief begins "qu'on soit soumisaux lois de ses parents." (Les Gu6bres I, iv; VI: 513)Paternal authority over children appears not as a deplorableaspect of the ancien régime, but as a necessary component ofthe philosophes' ideal society.This submission of daughter to father is not weakenedor impeded by years of separation. For example, Zaire'sfirst word to her father on learning of their relationshipis "seigneur", symbolizing her immediate recognition of hisauthority (ed. Jacobs; II, iii, 319). Knowing that her lovefor Orosmane will be blocked by a return to Christianity,she still asks "mon 'Dere, cher auteur de mes jours, parlez,que dois-je faire?" (ibid., lines 375-76) She admits nodoubt of her decision:190Quoi, je suis votre soeur, et vous pouvez penserQu'A mon sang, a ma loi, j'aille renoncer?(ed. Jacobs; III, iv, 79-80)Indeed, despite her expressions of regret and anguish, herresolution remains firm through the rest of the play.Alzire extends her filial duty beyond abandoning Zamoreto marrying the brutal Gusman at her father's order:Je sais ce qu'est un 'Dere, et quel est son pouvoir;M'immoler quand ii pane est mon premier devoir....Mes yeux n'ont jusqu'ici rien vu que par vox yeuxMon coeur change par vous abandonna ses dieux.(ed. Braun; I, iv, 251-56)Palmire, raised in the belief that Mahomet is her de facto father: "Mahomet m'a tenu lieu de 'Dere" (I, ii; IV: 111),obeys him as such : "un dieu qui m'epouvante" (IV: 110).The texts may have indicated reservations about the priest'sability to represent divine authority over secular rulers,but not the right of husbands and fathers to that divinestatus.In many cases, however, the father role, as do those ofcertain kings, serves to exemplify justice, compassion andthe reasonable exercise of authority. In this regard we cancite Alvarez, Zopire, and the foster father old Arzemon inLes Guebres. Gusman's faults in Alzire stem from hisrejection of his father's example; his dying repentancereinstates that ideal of compassion and justice:191Mon ame fugitive, et prete a me quitter,S'arréte devant vous...mais pour vous imiter.(ed. Braun; V, vii, 213-14)Zopire, separated from his children by war, acts as a wiseand generous foster father to them without realizing theiridentity. His virtuous nature, in their ignorance of therelationship, acts as a serious obstacle to Mahomet'scommand to kill him (IV, iii). In his last appearance, heimplores the gods for the return of his children (IV, iv).He, like Zaire and Clytemnestre, receives his requestliterally:Rendez-moi mes fils a mon heure dernibreQue j'expire en leurs bras; qu'ils ferment ma paupi6re.(ibid., IV: 148)As he lies dying, he forgives them, even as Sómiramisforgives Arzace and Eriphile Alcmdon. Let us point out,however, that Zopire, unlike the mother characters, diesinnocent, and the true responsibility for his death lieswith Mahomet. Old Arzemon, in Les Guebres, is in hiscareful upbringing and wise advice essential to the happyoutcome, and serves to contrast with Iradan and C6sene, whosacrificed their children in obedience to their militaryorders. He, the foster father and humble gardener whoadvises the emperor, was considered a portrait of Voltairefrom the play's appearance in print.192No female character more vividly illustrates theabsolute and compelling nature of paternal authority over adaughter than Electre. Her time on stage is devoted tomourning her father, castigating her mother, and beseechingthe heavens to send Oreste to avenge the murder (Oreste I,ii; II, vii; III, iv). The marriage proposed betweenElectre and Plisthbne, Egisthe's son, which compoundsregicide with a kind of incest, is so unthinkable that itdisappears from the plot even before Plisthene's death isreported. Agamemnon is afforded a semi-divine status, andhis murder is sacrilegious. Electre never mentionsAgamemnon's sacrifice of her sister Iphegdnie. Apparentlythat killing was not sufficient to permit insubordination.She invokes the furies in the names of Oreste and Agamemnon(IV, iv), and offers no hope of her mother's salvation:"Peut-elle r6parer les malheurs qu'elle a faits?" (V, ii; V:144) Nonetheless, as the representative of her father'sspirit crying out for vengeance, her own hands are clean ofher mother's blood. Oreste alone carries that guilt: "Qu'avez-vous fait, cruel?...Quoi, de la main d'un fils?" (V,ix; V:^154-55)Zulime may defy paternal authority, but not withoutregret and contrition. Her freedom and independence areseen as a failure on Bênassar's part (II, iv), andresolution requires the re-establishment of his authority.193From the opening lines of the play she expresses contritionfor her reckless action:Je n'ai plus de patrieJe l'outrage et je l'aime; il est assez venge.(Zulime I, i; IV: 11).When she is brought before her father, she uses the languageof a subject: "Seigneur, mon souverain, j'ose dire monp6re." (II, iv; IV: 31) Not even her love for Ramire candestroy her filial devotion:Et ce coeur, tout brillant d'amour et de colbre,Tout forcen6 qu'il est, volt un dieu dans son pêre.(V, ii; IV: 58)Again we see reiterated the divine status of paternalauthority over the daughter.Aurdlie, like Zulime, suffers for her flouting ofpaternal control and for choosing a husband freely:Ma perte fut certaine au moment oil mon coeurRecut de vos conseils le poison seducteur.(Rome sauvde III, ii; V: 239)Her unwitting involvement in Catalina's conspiracy againstRome and in her father's death drives her to suicide (IV,vi).The father's power extends from control over sexualityto control over belief; the daughter remains faithful orconverts to a religion as he does, as we saw in the cases ofZaire and Alzire. When Mahomet boasts,194Votre coeur a-t-il pu, sans etre dpouvanteAvoir un sentiment que je n'ai pas dicte?(III, iii; IV: 133)he is expressing no more than normal paternal influence overa daughter.Only when that authority, whether of father or lover,has lost its legitimacy does the female character resist orargue. Once Zaire has decided that filial duty outweighsher love for Orosmane, she can say to him "Vous, seigneur!vous osez me tenir ce langage!" (ed. Jacobs; IV, vi, 308)Mahomet's power over Palmire is broken when she learns he isnot her father, and she repulses him: "Imposteur teint desang, que j'abjure a jamais!" (V, ii; IV: 158) VendOme'sstatus as a rebel negates any legitimate (as opposed topractical) power he might have had over Adelaide, and shenever treats him with the respect his actual power mightdeserve.Among these self-consciously virtuous and obedientdaughters, Amenaide, in Tancrede, stands virtually alone asindependent. She was reared by her mother alone andbetrothed to Tancréde in exile. On her mother's death, shefinds herself forced to be self-reliant:Je me vis seule au monde, en proie a mon effroi...n'ayant d'appui que moi.(I, iv; V: 509)195She has but late come under her father's control, and doesnot have Zaire's swift docility:Je vous ai consacre mes sentiments, ma vie;Mais pour en disposer, attendez quelques jours.(V: 511)Argive, in view of his insufficiencies as a father, grantsan unparalleled concession:Ma fille, je n'ai plus d'autorite sur toi.J'en avais abuse, je dois l'avoir perdue.(IV, vi; V: 549)No other father, not even the unreasonable and ambitiousfathers of Irene and Zulime, makes such a confession offailure. It cannot be concluded, however, that Amenaide isrewarded for her independence of spirit. Rather it becomesthe instrument of her downfall, preventing her fromexplaining the misdirected letter either to her father (inIV, iv) or to Tancrede (in IV, v). Her silence is made thecause of Tancrede's death, and thus of her own heartbreak.The duties of marriage allow no exceptions to the wife,whether the marriage was against inclination or the husbandis brutal and even criminal. There are no tragedies of thehusband's failures causing his punishment, only those ofjealousy and domestic violence, namely Herode et Marianne and Zaire, where one is meant to pity rather than condemnthe excess of emotion, as even Nerestan does:Faut-il qu'a t'admirer ta fureur me contraigne,196Et que dans mon malheur ce soit moi qui te plaigne?(V, x, 229-230, the closing lines)Semiramis, however, speaks for a number of Voltaire'sheroines when she confesses:Plus les noeuds sont sacres, plus les crimes sontgrands.J'etais epouse, Otane, et je suis sans excuse.(I, v; IV: 517)While the father has virtually divine authority over thedaughter, that power passes with the same prestige to thehusband over the wife. Although Eriphile was married atsixteen without consultation or affection, her husband is a"demi-dieu dont je fus la coupable moitie" (Eriphile I, iii;11: 466), and her complicity in his murder the crime shecannot escape. Clytemnestre, although active in the murderof Agamemnon, sinks into subordination afterwards; Egisthebecomes "un maitre absolu" and she no more than "sa premieresujette." (Oreste I, iii; V: 100) Artemire, faced with aviolent and irrational husband to whom she was marriedagainst her will and who killed her father, accepts that itis her duty to obey and respect him, to take no actionagainst him or even to save herself from him:Le ciel qui me poursuit me l'a donne pour maitre.Je connais mon devoir.(Artemire 1, ii; II: 130. See also II, i)The same theme of the virtuous wife and the abusive197husband is taken up in Mariamne:Malgre ses cruautes, malgre mon desespoir,Malgre mes interets, j'ai suivi mon devoir.J'ai servi mon epoux, je le ferais encore.(II, v; II: 186)Mariamne is so insulted by the insinuation that she hadbetrayed Herode with Soheme that she refuses to lend colourto it by supporting the uprising or leaving the palace withhim (V, ii-iv). Thus the uprising is crushed and she isexecuted (V, vi). Indeed, Voltaire was so concerned withholding Mariamne to a standard of virtue that he eliminatedevidence of her affection for Varus (before this characterwas changed to Soheme), because "elle ne servait qu'ajustifier sa condemnation et par consequent a diminuer lacompassion qu'on doit avoir pour elle." (October 1723, D171) The social values of his audience would not permitsuch a lapse from the norms of wifely behaviour. Thus thetextual transformation acts to strengten, not challenge,conventional norms. Nor is the 1762 Mariamne the laststaging of this theme. Voltaire's last complete play,Irene (1778), again draws its tragic dilemma from the wife'sinescapable duty to an unloved and unjust husband.Widowhood, however, is not in these plays the woman'semancipation from male authority, as comedic tradition mightlead us to expect, but rather a new set of restrictions.Chief among these is the strong bias against remarriage. A198second marriage, even when the character does not instigateit, is (in Merope's words) treason to the first husband andto the son of that marriage (eds. Vrooman and Godden; I,iii). In this area, Voltaire reiterates the laws and socialnorms of his period. Abensour's summary of the legalposition of women in eighteenth-century France sets forththe ambivalent status of the widow:Est-ce a dire, cependant, que la femme veuve soit,meme au point de vue de ses droits familiaux ou de laliberte de disposer de ses biens, absolument l'egale del'homme? Pas tout a fait. [31]Many aspects of Abensour's analysis of French socialstructure, such as the strict standards of modesty in dressand behaviour, the legal difficulties placed in the way ofremarriage, and the insistance on patrilineal inheritanceaccompanied by the transfer of authority from father to sonre-appear as social norms in the tragedies under study,echoing rather than challenging the status quo.Sexual desire after childbirth and/or bereavement ischaracteristic of the "evil" wives and mothers such asEriphile and Semiramis. Statira, in direct contrast,provides the example of correct behaviour by withdrawing tothe seclusion of a temple from which she is only drawn bythe revelation of her daughter's impending marriage to aformer rebel against Alexander (Olympie II, ii). Not evenfifteen years of external and internal conflict can persuade199Merope to hold the throne in her own right. There is noexample of a concluded second marriage in the plays underexamination, not even between Clytemnestre and Egisthe,however implausible its delay may seem. Where one doesoccur, in Oedipe, it is the catalyst to the tragedy itself.Female sexuality, largely controlled by obedience tomale authority, is shown to find its fulfillment inmaternity, and particularly in the birth of a son. Goodmothers channel their energies and ambitions into him, andsacrifice for him. The character of Merope is a notableexample, as is that of Idame.^There are few legitimateoutlets for a woman's ambition and ability beyondsublimation in her children. Ambitious women are failed andguilty mothers within these plays: Clytemnestre, Eriphile,Semiramis. They suffer remorse and punishment because theydare to pursue their own desires, and allow anything, even adivine prophecy, to interfere with the mother/son bond.Jocaste, years after the event, speaks of her regret thatshe obeyed the oracle in sacrificing Oedipe; it is a sourceof her lack of faith in the gods, that they could ask such athing (Oedipe IV, i).^Merope, even after fifteen years ofcivil war, and despite her status as the daughter and thewidow of kings, refuses to seek the throne for herself,which would seem an excellent way to ensure politicalstability. Throughout the play she is solely concerned withfinding her son and seeing him crowned (I, i; II, i; III,200ii). This coronation is her last act and the last scene inwhich she speaks in the play (V, vii).The relationship between mother and son is paramountfor the mother. After failing to reconcile Electre to thestatus quo, Clytemnestre renounces all ties to her (in II,v), but welcomes Oreste's return though it means her death,even risking herself to protect him from Egisthe (III, viand IV, viii). She promises, "j'obtiendrai sa grace, endusse-je perir" (V, iii; V: 147), a promise kept to theletter. This revived mother-love gives her the courage todefy Egisthe her master:C'est trop braver peut-étreEt la veuve et le sang du roi qui fut ton maitre.(ibid)But Clytemnestre, who did not appear troubled by heracrimonious break with Electre nor Egisthe's treatingElectre as a slave, confronts an irreconcilable conflict inthose duties imposed on mothers and wives, which leads toher death in intervening between Oreste and Egisthe:Je suis epouse et mere, et je veux a la fois,Si je puis etre digne, en remplir tous les droits.(V, v; V: 150)Among these failed mothers, Semiramis is portrayed,somewhat against the historical record, as turning togovernment not out of ambition but as a consolation for herunhappy marriage and the sacrifice of her son to another201oracle (III, i). Suppressed mother-love is at the heart ofher attraction for Arzace, and her final lines are "Je tepardonne tout .... 0 mon fils, mon cher fils...C'en estfait." (V, viii; IV: 566-67) Apparently this forgivenessspares Arzace Oreste's punishment for matricide. WhenArzace accedes to the throne, legitimate authority is passedfrom father to son. The same pattern was set in theprecursor to Semiramis, Eriphile. Mdrope, the good mother,preserves that channel in keeping the usurper from thethrone; Semiramis or Eriphile, in taking power for herself,becomes the usurper and must herself be removed.Such authority as a mother, rather than father, hasover her child is most clearly seen in Olympie, where thefather is dead and Statira is "veuve d'un demi-dieu, fillede Darius." (II, ii; VI: 115) As an agent of maleauthority, she can command Olympie and expect compliance,regardless of the fifteen-year separation and of Olympie'sfeelings for the man who has saved her from slavery.Olympie hardly dares protest: "Permettez...que je vousfasse entendre une timide voix." (III, vi; VI: 137)Statira's intention is to put her daughter under what sheconsiders legitimate male control, that of Antigone:Si vous la protegez, Si vous vengez son pbre,(emphasis mine)Je ne vois plus en vous que mon dieu tutelaire,(III, vi; VI: 135)202which is surely an unexpected thing for a high priestess tosay to any man. Statira, in a classic controlling gesture,uses even her own death to tighten Antigone's claim:Elle m'aime, et VordonneQue, pour venger sa mere, elle epouse Antigone,(IV, viii; VI: 151)an order which he undertakes to see obeyed (V, ii).Olympie, faced with Zaire's dilemma between duty to parentsand love, makes Zaire's choice:Cet hymen si cher etait un crime horrible....Rendez-moi digne du grand nom qui vous reste:Le devoir qu'il prescrit est mon unique espoir.(II, iv and vi; VI: 122-24)Confronted by this complex system of strict butoverlapping and conflicting duties to various male authorityfigures within the family structure, these female charactersinevitably fail. They take blame, they are tormented byguilt, and they are punished. We will not see the samedegree of suffering and punishment inflicted on malecharacters, even those who commit matricide. The keyrelationship for a male is that to his father, not hismother or wife, and we see in many texts an emphasis placedon reconciliation between father and son, as the son avengesthe father's death and /or inherits the father's values andstatus: Oedipe, Eriphile, Mahomet, Alzire, Oreste,Semiramis, les Guebres. Both Mason and Spica, in203the articles already mentioned, find in this recurrent themean autobiographical element. They do not suggest, nor do I,that the ambivalence and even hostility with which the wifeand mother roles are portrayed have a similar source. Inview of the open-ended and dialogic writing process we haveestablished for these texts we hesitate to make anyunequivocal statements for an autobiographical source.For our purposes, blame can be defined as the taking oraccepting of responsibility for another character's actions.When Jocaste refuses to take blame: "J'ai fait rougir lesdieux qui m'ont forcee au crime" (Oedipe V, vi; II: 111),she is acting exceptionally. Acceptance, if notself-attribution, of blame is far more common for femalecharacters, and requires no logical connection with thecrime. The social principle may be seen even in Voltaire'sdrame bourgeois Nanine, where the count attributes to womenthe responsibility for maintaining the moral character ofmen (I, i; V: 16).^Mariamne is blamed for her own death atHerode's hands, an action characteristic of the abusivehusband: "Elle a voulu sa perte; elle a su m'y forcer."(Herode et Mariamne V, vii; II: 215) Adelaide, in the sameway, is informed by VendOme that while he ordered Nemours'death, she bears the responsibility for it: "Vous avez dictesa sentence mortelle." (ed. Cartwright, Adelaide, V, iii,133; in the 1734, 1751 and 1765 versions) VendOme alsoblames Nemours' death on Coucy, the officer to whom he gave204the order (V, v, 143 in 1734; V, iv, 125 in 1751; V, iv, 134in 1765), an action strongly contrasting with the enthusiasmshown by female characters in taking blame. Zaire, whofalls in love with Orosmane not knowing her origin, isinformed by her loving Christian brother Nerestan: "Vousdemandez la mort, et vous la meritez....tu vivras fidele, ouperiras martyre." (Jacobs; III, iv, 132 and 182)Furthermore, she does not challenge his judgment; indeed sheasks for death as a solution, wishing only that Orosmanewould close her eyes (IV, i, 35-38), a wish which isliterally granted.Alzire marries Gusman in obedience to her father'sorder and only after news of Zamore's death. Nonetheless,she considers that marriage her conscious crime againstZamore, again meriting death (Alzire; III, iv). Artemire inthe same way condemns herself for having been forced intomarriage to Cassandre (II, ii; II: 135). In Alzire,Montbze's order serves only "pour affaiblir mon crime."(III, iv) But Alzire's love for Zamore becomes her crimeagainst Gusman (V, v); she cannot help betraying them both.In Rome sauvee, Aurelie, who was unaware of Catalina'sconspiracy, rushes to attach blame to herself and declaresherself his guilty accomplice as soon as she learns of theplot (Rome sauvee III, ii). Palmire, as unconscious asAurdlie of the intent to murder her father, on discoveringthe truth takes all responsibility for Zopire's205murder by Seide, exculpating even Mahomet (IV, v). Olympiemakes herself guilty of Cassandre's crimes against herfamily committed before she met him: "Votre fille enl'aimant devenait sa complice." (III, iii; VI: 132) Arzame,who did not know of it, takes the blame for incitingArzemon's attack on Iradan (Les Gu6bres III, iv).Thus we see that within these texts blame is largelysubjective and even retroactive, expressing a feeling ofresponsibility separate from any legal culpability, or evenguilty knowledge. Even when the female character isportrayed in a sympathetic way, the patriarchal system underwhich she lives does not permit her to be innocent; she isautomatically complicit with the man under whose authorityshe lives, whether husband or father.Male figures, on the other hand, are responsible onlyfor themselves, and as we have seen, freely delegate blameto their agents or victims. Furthermore, their violentbehaviour is often mitigated and excused. Vend6me'sfratricidal jealousy is forgiven because of the depth of hislove for Adelalde (V, v, 157-58 in 1734; V, iv, 135-36 in1751; V, iv, 143-44 in 1765). Arzace is prevented fromkilling himself for having killed his mother; he must ruleafter her on his father's throne (V, viii). Iradan andCesene, who sack the city in which their wives and childrenare living, are at the end of Les Guebres rewarded by thereturn of those children and the emperor's favour.206Guilt, like blame, is internal rather than external; itstems from conscious violation of one's duties. Whileremorse and repentance are sympathetic characteristics, theydo not constitute extenuating factors. There is no abusedwife defence in this system. Artemire and Mariamne arescrupulous in their obedience to duty; their inability tolove the husband who threatens to kill them rather than thelover who offers them refuge is the crime for which theyfeel they must be punished (Artemire III, i; Herode et Mariamne V, ii). Eriphile at sixteen was a passiveaccomplice to her husband's murder, and has since succeededin keeping his murderer from the throne. Nonetheless, sheis from the beginning of the play consumed by remorse.Repentance is no mitigation : "Vous voyez la mere, helas,la plus coupable, / La mere la plus tendre et la plusmiserable." (Eriphile V, i; II: 497) In dying she persistsin trying to explain her offence, but never complains of theretribution:Un moment de faiblesse, et meme involontaireA fait tous mes malheurs, a fait perir ton pere.(V, vii; II: 504)Clytemnestre, likewise, from her first appearance on stageexpresses grief and regret at Agamemnon's murder, and makesno effort to protect herself from Oreste, whom she knows tobe the agent of divine retribution against her.^Oreste'sactions, while punished in the play, were seen as207plausible and justified by Voltaire's contemporaries: "Unfils force a hair sa mere la hait bien plus fortement que sila nature n'avait pas mis de lien entre eux. " (Corresp. litt. IV: 440) There is among these plays no parallelsituation of a child forced to hate a father, or to be theagent of divine retribution against that father, regardlessof the father's behaviour.Even Semiramis, the ruthless and capable Assyrianqueen, is painted as devoured by remorse and no longer ableto govern. She is not even active within the plot. After abrief appearance in act I scenes vi and vii, she does notre-enter until act II scene vii, in which she informs heraccomplice and regent Assur that "les remords, a vos yeuxmeprisables, / Sont la seule vertu qui reste 'a descoupables." (IV: 532) When she discovers that Arzace is herson, she seems eager for expiation, and calls on him tofulfill the prophecy : "Remplis ta destinde, / Punis cettecoupable et cette infortunee." (IV, iv; IV: 555) We do notsee the same kind of persistent and devouring remorse inmale characters, even those who commit grievous crimes suchas Alcmeon or Arzace or VendOme or Gusman, to say nothing ofthe unrepentant male villains like Assur, Hermogide,Polifonte and Mahomet. Only when the classical mythrequires it do we see the gods' wrath fall on delinquentsons, in Oedipe and Oreste.^Crimes against the father,however unconscious, do result in the son's death as well as208in that of Seide.The death which comes as punishment is a welcomerelease for female characters. Eriphile and Semiramis askfor death at their sons' hands, in fulfillment of theprophecy and as the only expiation for their crimes forwhich they have been seen to suffer. Olympie, having nosuch convenient agent of retribution, promises to punishherself for loving Cassandre (III, vi) and keeps her word bythrowing herself onto her mother's pyre (V, vii). Zulime'ssuicide is explicitly made one of expiation for her crimesagainst her father: "Enfin j'ai rempli mon devoir." (V,iii; IV: 65) To die for one's sins is as much a deliberatechoice by the erring woman as a punishment inflicted by someexternal justice. These heroines know and accept that theydeserve their end.In none of his tragedies, not even those with happyresolutions such as Adelaide, Alzire or L'Orphelin de laChine, can we see a female character's free choice result inhappiness, although there are many instances of malecharacters achieving happiness through their own actions, asthey are elevated to the status of husband and ruler:Alcmdon, Arzace, Egiste. These irresoluble conflicts forwomen within the authority structure make death anattractive solution for female characters; many express theview that it is the only choice or decision they can make.There is associated with this view of death as a209solution a strong tendency to self-sacrifice, to considerone's own death a just price for some desired end. Jocasteon several occasions offers to die if it would save Thebesfrom the plague (Oedipe II, ii; III, i and v). Mariamneoffers herself to stop the civil war being waged on herbehalf: "Epuisez tout sur moi." (V, iii; II: 213) Idamdfirst offers to die in place of the orphan prince so that heand her own son will be saved from the Mongols (L'Orphelinde la Chine II, iii) and later to avoid Gengis's adulterousadvances (V, v). In les GObres Arzbme twice offers toallow the priests to kill her in order to save Iradan andthe rest of her family (II, iii and V, ii). Male charactersare more likely to act in order to attain a desiredresolution: Alcmdon's duel with Hermogide, Oreste's withEgisthe, Arzdmon's attack on Iradan, Soheme's uprisingagainst Herode. Only in Oedipe do we see the king offer tosacrifice himself, as there is no enemy to attack (I, iii).But death seems most often to operate as the resolutionto the heroine's own situation of conflict, and as such isdescribed as a gentle or happy outcome. Mariamne considersdeath the only honourable way out of her marriage:Frappez, le coup m'en sera doux.(IV, iv; II: 210. See also Artómire„ I, i and ii)This resolution would also save her from any implication ofadultery:Ii est honteux pour moi de vous devoir la vie.210L'honneur mien fait un crime, il le faut expier.(Herode et Marianne V, ii; II: 211).Alzire, torn between her love for Zamore and her duty toGusman, exclaims with a similar evocation of Thanatos:Qui me dëlivra par un trepas heureux,de la nêcessita de vous trahir vous deux?(ed. Braun; III, vl 213-14; emphasis mine)Palmire chooses death as her only refuge from tyranny(Mahompt V, iv). MOrope prefers death to marryingPolyphonte; apparently the idea of seizing power herself iseven less attractive (Mêrope III, vii; IV, iii). In allthese cases death solves, or is considered capable ofsolving, the otherwise unresolvable problems of theheroine's situation; it becomes the only way for her toreconcile conflicting duties or to escape being forced intofurther offenses. It is an interesting contrast that themale accomplices to these crimes are not invariablyexecuted, at least within the action of the play; Hermogidein Briphile and Assur in $emirapis are only taken prisoner.We also notice in Oedipe that while Jocaste dies at her ownhand, Oedipe is exiled and his self-blinding takes placeoffstage (V, vi).The situation of incest provides a particularly intensefocus on the limits of authority and sexuality within thefamily structure. We can find in the plays all threesituations of incest: female-dominant, sibling, and211male-dominant. The first two types result in punishment forthose involved, and are spoken of with great loathing.Jocaste and Oedipe, Eriphile's attraction for Alcmdon, andthat of Semiramis for Arzace are all of the female-dominantor mother/son pattern; Palmire and Selde, Arzeme and Arzemonillustrate the sibling. In Palmire's words, such arelationship is "un amour plein d'horreurs." (Mahomet V, iv;IV: 161) The third pattern, possibly because of the similarpower held by husbands and fathers over their femaledependents, is not seen to be punished. Mahomet expressesno hesitation and receives no criticism for his practice ofconverting foster daughters like Palmire into wives. Iradanin 1,,ps Guebres, while happy to see Arzeme with Arzemon oncehe knows they are cousins, feels no guilt over his attemptto marry her. The mere revelation, however, of herunconsummated love for her brother revolts him (II, iii).ArzOme, however, turns not to her natural father but toIradan for help, and calls him "bienfaiteur" (in II, iii andIII, ii; VI: 521 and 537).^One might mention in passingthat in Voltaire's Nanine, the count d'Olban disguises hislove for Nanine by saying he is acting as a father to her(I, vii; V: 29) There are no cases of incest between abiological father and daughter, only between father-figuresand dependent females. It is tempting to see a link betweenthis recurrent father-figure and Voltaire, whose preferencefor playing wise father roles on the amateur stage as in212real life is well-known. Desvignes acknowledges a parallelbetween the authorial and paternal roles in referring toVoltaire as "'Dere et defenseur de toutes ces victimes," (p.550) that is, of his tragic heroines, an epithet which is byno means completely favourable in view of the analysis wehave undertaken.The texts are scrupulous in indicating that the incestin all cases is unconscious. Jocaste is married to Oedipefor purely political reasons: after his slaying of theSphinx, to confirm him in the kingship (II, ii). Eriphileis drawn to Alcmeon by something more pure and tender thanlove, and by her reasonable distrust of Hermogide (II, iv).She believes her own son dead when she proposes themarriage, which is immediately followed by omens of disaster(III, iii).^Arzace feels no attraction to Semiramis, onlyrespect; she insists, as did Eriphile, "Ce n'est pointl'amour qui m'entraine vers lui." (III, i; IV: 534) Palmireis drawn to Seide by "un instinct charmant" (Mahomet III, i;IV: 132), Iradan to Arzame by a sentiment stronger than thepriests' power (Les Guëbres I, vi; VI: 517). These areinstinctive affections which effortlessly become naturalfamilial love on discovery of the blood relationship.Walter Rex argues that in Merope the implicit incest, whichwas overt in its precursor Eriphile, is so wrapped inidealized mother-love that the passion disappears, and theplay's morality appears above reproach [32]. There is no213parallel to Racine's Phedre within Voltaire's tragic sphere.Yet despite this careful purity the retaliation is assevere as on those who have actually transgressed. A womaninvolved in an incestuous affection suffers; the men, withthe exception of Oedipe, do not. The exception, one canargue, was forced on Voltaire by the familiarity of themyth, just as Oreste's punishment was. Arzace and Alcmeonkill their unfaithful and potentially incestuous mothersunder the same circumstances of divinely causedmisunderstanding as Oreste, without pursuit from the Furies,and are even rewarded with accession to their father'sthrone. While Arzace and Arzemon are discovered to becousins, and thus are permitted to marry, Palmire and Sdideare siblings, and are made to realize the horror of theirrelationship before their deaths (IV, v). Thus there issome evidence, in view of the differing degrees of blame,guilt and punishment we have noted, to suggest that thesystem of justice set forth in these plays has bias,favouring men over women, and father figures over children.It is not new to conclude that the heroines ofVoltaire's tragedies are put into insoluble situations, thatthe standards to which they are held are impossibly high,the punishments they suffer often out of proportion to thecrimes (if any) committed. Desvignes indicated the clearpattern of martyrdom, but argued that it was a deliberateexaggeration of the female condition of eighteenth-century214France, by which Voltaire intended to evoke sympathy andpossibly encourage social change [33]. One should note atthis point that contemporary critics recognized and deploredVoltaire's penchant for pathos and remorse in femalecharacterization as leading to implausibility and evenderisiveness:Il eat mieux fait de nous donner Semiramis comme nousla represente l'histoire, intrepide guerriere quede nous la peindre comme une femmelette qui craint lesrevenants. [34]His heroines, rather than provocative or even normative rolemodels, became frequent and popular candidates for parody intheir unnecessary suffering and unlikely silences, as inthat of Tancrede called Ouand parlera-t-elle? , written byRiccoboni and performed by the Théâtre italien, and thenumerous parodies of Herode et Mariamne listed in thepreface to the Moland edition, II: 169.The present analysis goes further than that ofDesvignes, and indicates what I consider the significantdifference in how these plays critique aspects of Frenchsociety. When criticizing other elements of contemporarysociety such as government and religion, Voltaire's textsoffered positive models as well as negative ones; we haveexamined those of what a king, a father and a priest shouldbe. But the texts do not seem to offer alternatives to thesocial subservience of women. There appear to be no215heroines in these plays who succeed in escaping thatcaptivity to duty without suffering retribution. There isnot even a consistent reward for female virtue within thetragic universe of the texts: under similar circumstancesZaire is killed but Alzire lives, Mariamne dies and Artemiresurvives. Incest, which violates the codes of maternal orfilial duty, is the most extreme state of non-conformity tothe constraints of society on female sexuality. Even whenVoltaire's text makes clear that the incest is neitherconscious nor consummated, the mere attraction draws thestrongest condemnation on the woman involved. Men appearlargely to escape retribution for sexual misbehaviour; theassociation between paternal concern and sexual attractionin Nanine and Les Guébres does not even draw comment.And so we return to our original hypothesis, thatwithin the paternalistic authority structures set up withinthese plays female independence and especially sexuality aredangerous forces which society must restrain. Deniedlegitimate power and subject to inconsistent justice in themicrocosmic world of these plays, a woman appears best ableto keep her various obligations, to be safe within and tosociety by her retreat into death. While Voltaire's femalecharacters offered excellent roles to eighteenth- centuryactresses, in the eloquent pathos of their helplesssuffering, their attractiveness as role models, then or now,is dubious. As Mariamne expresses the texts' recurrent216lesson, a woman's glory lies in knowing how to suffer(Hdrode et Mariamne V, iii).To sum up our observations on the ideological system orsystems at work in these plays, we must first conclude thatwe found little which seriously challenged social structuresor mores of eighteenth-century Prance except the reiteratedargument for State control over the Church. In this lastregard, the tragic texts show strong links with Voltaire'swork as a whole, and propose a fundamental social reform[35]. However, the monarchy, with certain improvements,remains the ideal form of government, given the ineptitudeof senates and the inconstancy of the masses. Privilege,power, and even retribution are attributed according to ahierarchy based on birth and gender. These ideal statesportrayed - stable, just and merciful - are in modern termsconstitutional monarchies, where kings are limited only byuniversal laws of reason and equity, where duty to god andfamily is subordinated to one's duty as a citizen. Littleif any criticism of the class structure can be detected.The themes of just rulership, of the restoration of order bylegitimate male accession, of the inevitable decline ofregimes based on violence or usurpation are taken uprepeatedly and treated in similar ways within these plays.The prevailing metaphor for just leadership at all levels ofsociety is the father, implying a hierarchy based first ongender.217Religion as well takes its place within the monarchicalhierarchy, imposing duties that are necessary butsubordinate to those imposed by the State and which must bewithin the bounds of reason and compassion. The substanceof belief is itself less contentious than the proposedabsolute subordination of the Church to the State, and bearsconsiderable resemblance to that which would be acceptablein French society of the eighteenth century. Trueskepticism, doubt of the existence of a god rather than ofHis mercy or power, appears much less often in those playswritten after the end of the Regency, as it became lesssocially acceptable and as Voltaire the deist resisted therise of the atheist materialists [36]. This hesitationdoubtless stems from the considerable powers of the CatholicChurch in French society, demonstrated by the banning ofMahomet and Les Guebres to give only examples from the playsunder study. The Church was a target of persistentcriticism, but it was also a formidable opponent to the freecirculation of criticism, and the texts bear witness to theconstraints imposed by that opposition in their print andperformance histories.Therefore we conclude that these tragedies, althoughinherently ideological in content and function, operatewithin largely non-controversial patriarchal norms of socialand familial structure. Indeed, it can be argued that suchconformity was necessary to their popular reception, in view218of the power of censorship and the reluctance of audiencesto accept drastic innovation. The "good father", afavourite theme of Voltaire's, is at best a benevolentdespot in a hierarchical social system where not evenfreedom of belief is consistently extended to women, letalone freedom of action or choice. They are objects of maledesire or victims of man-made laws, consistently renderedpassive in the plots. The clearest example of thispassivity is Adelaide, who can be eliminated from the textwithour changing the plot (in Les Frerps ennemis, 1751).This process of limitation leads inevitably to theresolution of "female" problems in death, the commondenouement in Voltaire's tragedies from Jocaste's suicidaldespair to Irene's immolation.219NOTES[1] A preliminary and incomplete version of theresearch underlying this chapter was presented as a paper atthe 1991 conference of the Canadian Society forEighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Calgary, andis being published in volume 12 of the journal of theSociety, Man and Nature, under the title "Voltaire et«Maman>>: Female Sexuality, Maternity and Incest in theTragedies."[2] Michael Cartwright, introduction to Adelaide duGuesclin, Complete Works of Voltaire  (Oxford UP, 1985)volume 10 and Jack R. Vrooman and Janet Godden, introductionto Merope, Complete Works of Voltaire  (Oxford UP, 1991)volume 17, pp. 91 - 387. Thomas J. Carr Jr. (op. cit.,1975) associates certain plot structures with ideologicalcontent, but bases his argument on three overtly ideologicalplays: Brutup, Alzire, Mahomet.As in previous chapters, all reference to Voltaire'sworks will be to the Moland edition, volume and page number,except where the Oxford edition is indicated. Allreferences to plays in the Oxford edition after the firstwill be made in text and include the editor's name. Allreferences to the Correspondence will be to the Bestermanedition (Oxford, 1968), and will include the Bestermannumber and the date, with the recipient or writer's namewhen relevant.220[3] On pp. 265 - 67; see also Jean Duvignaud, LaSociologie du thdatre (Paris: PUF, 1965), p. 36.[4] David H. Jory, "The Role of Greek Tragedy in theSearch for Legitimate Authority under the Ancien Rógime," inEighteenth - Century Fren0 Theatre: Studies Presented to E. J. H. Greene, eds. Magdy Gabriel Badir and David J.Langdon (University of Alberta Department of RomanceLanguages and Comparative Literature, 1986), p. 6.[5] Jean-Marie Apostolides, Le Prince sacrifid: Théâtre et politique au temps de Louis XIV  (Paris: Minuit,1985), p. 28-29.[6] Ubersfeld, p. 283.[7] Ubersfeld, pp. 287 and 296-97.[8] As H. C. Lancaster observes in French Tragedy inthe time of Louis XV and Voltaire 1715 - 1774  (Baltimore:Johns Hopkins UP, 1950), I: 216 and 612.[9] Zaire, ed. Eva Jacobs, in Complete Works ofVoltaire (Oxford UP, 1988), volume 7, pp. 273-569: I, i,101-27.[10] Jean Sareil, Voltaire et les grands (Genéve:Droz, 1978), p. 144.[11] English Showalter Jr., "Writing Off the Stage:Women Authors and Eighteenth-Century Theater," Yale FrenchStudies 75 (1988), p. 103. See also Barbara G. Mittman,"Women and the Theater Arts," in French Women and the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Samia I. Spencer (Bloomington:221Indiana UP, 1984), pp. 155 - 169, whose more positiveconclusion Showalter Jr. challenges.[12]Alzire, ed. T. E. D. Braun, in the Complete Works of Voltaire (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1989), volume 14:I, ii, 177.[13] "Fathers good and bad in Voltaire's Mahomet," inMyth and its Making in the French Theatre  (Cambridge UP,1988), pp. 121 - 135.[14] Act V, scene ii; II: 523. This passage occurs inthe 1779 Eriphile and in its manuscript variants; the term"'Dere" is not in the established text. I follow RobertNiklaus in adopting Voltaire's own spelling of the title andcharacter as Eriphile, as argued in "Eriphile de Voltaire etle theatre d'Eschyle," Le Siècle de Voltaire: Hommage Rend Pommeau, eds. Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant(Oxford UP, 1987), II: 707 - 718.[15] Rend Pomeau, La Religion de Voltaire (Paris:Nizet, 1956), pp. 7 - 10.[16] Pomeau, pp. 12 - 14; see also Peter Gay,Voltaire's Politics (Princeton UP, 1959), P. 249; William H.Trapnell, Christ and his 'Associates' in VoltairianPolemic (Stanford French and Italian Studies  XXVI, 1982),pp. 214 - 15.[17] Pomeau, pp. 265 and 456.[18] Rend Vaillot, Avec Mme du Chatelet, volume 2 in222the series Voltaire en son temps edited by René Pomeau(Oxford UP, 1988), p. 156.[19] Mason (1988), p. 133.[20] Gay, op. cit., p. 259; see also Pomeau, p. 400.[21] Pomeau, op. cit., P. 44.[22] Magdy Gabriel Badir, "L'Anatomie d'un coup d'Etatou la prise du pouvoir dans la tragedie Mahomet deVoltaire," in Eighteenth - Century French Theatre: Studies Presented to E. J. H. Greene, eds. Magdy Gabriel Badir andDavid J. Langdon, pp. 102 - 104.[23] eds. Vrooman and Gooden; I, i, 133-34 and IV, i,42.[24] Alison Scott-Prelorentzos, "Religious Tolerance inEighteenth-Century Drama: Three Examples" in Eighteenth - Century French Theatre: Studies Presented to E. J. H. Greene, eds. Magdy Gabriel Badir and David J. Langdon, p.89.[25] Scott-Prelorentzos, p. 87.[26] Mason (1988), p. 121.[27] Lucette Desvignes, "Le Théâtre de Voltaire et lafemme victime," in volume XLIV (1977): 535 - 51. See alsoMadeleine Rousseau Raaphorst, "Voltaire et feminisme: unexamen du theatre et des contes," SVEC LXXXIX (1972): 1325- 1335 and for a more recent survey of the subject, seeGloria M. Russo, "Voltaire and Women" in French Women andthe Age of Enlightenment, ed. Samia I. Spencer (1984), pp.223285 - 295.[28] Maite Albistur and Daniel Armogathe, Histoire du feminisme frangais du moyen age a nos jours (Paris:Editions de femmes, 1978), pp. 191-92.[29] Desvignes, pp. 550-51.[30] See Mason (1988) and Jacques Spica, "Le Filssubstitue ou les Menechmes de Voltaire," in Le Siècle de Voltairp: Homage a Rend Pomeau, eds. Christiane Mervaudand Sylvain Menant (Oxford UP, 1987), II: 867 - 880.[31] Leon Abensour, La Femme et le feminisme avant la revolution (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1928), p. 23. See alsoAdrienne Rogers, "Women and the Law" in French Women and theAge of Enlightenment, ed. Samia I. Spencer (1984), pp. 33 -48.[32] Walter J. Rex, "On Voltaire's Merope," in TheAttraction of the Contrary (Cambridge UP, 1987), p. 92.[33] Desvignes, pp. 550-51.[34] Charles Cone, Journal et memoires, ed. HonoréBonhomme (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1868), III: 236.[35] Pomeau, p. 306 and Gay, op. cit., pp. 32, 309 and337.[36] Pomeau, p. 387.224ConclusionThe examination of linguistic changes undertaken inchapter I demonstrated that the pursuit of "noble"language entailed for the playwright a conception oftheatre as literature which co-existed in perpetualconflict with the demands of theatre as performance.Tragedy as a genre continued to afford the same prestigeto its successful exponents as it had in the seventeenthcentury, but it also continued to operate under largelythe same set of literary rules and audience expectations.Such innovation in language and versification as has beennoted was limited in scope, and even this was hotlycontested by audiences and critics of the time. Themotivations for linguistic change were found to bevarious. The purity demanded by the "noble" ideal playedan important role in textual revisions, but alterationswere also provoked by the desire for psychologicalplausibility in the characters or their actions, bychanges in character conceptualization due to readerreaction or to casting, and finally by exterior forcessuch as critics or censors. It is significant that oftenthe reassertion of authorial control appears to have beenthe inspiration for the alteration, insofar as iteliminated or concealed a performance change to thetext, as in the late revisions to Zulime and AddlaIde.225Considerable evidence was found to suggest Voltaire'sambivalence towards outside criticism of the text, in hisasking for assessments from his friends even as helargely dismissed the contributions of the actors, andfor the struggle within the text between thecollaborations between author and reader, actor andspectator on the one hand and sole authorial control onthe other, particularly as the text moved from the domainof performance into that of printed literature.Those most capable of affecting the text at thislevel were a group of male friends and teachers. Womenand performers (of both genders) were by their lack ofclassical education largely barred from direct impact onthe tragic text, as they were considered incapable ofmanipulating such a demanding literary genre. Tragedy,by its adherence to a "noble" form, remained a mediumcapable of reflecting considerable prestige on theauthor, but to which access was restricted by gender andclass because of the limited access to classically basededucation.The limited degree to which performance andperformers were allowed to imfluence the language ofthese texts, i.e. to make choices about grammar, syntaxand vocabulary, is perpetuated in the struggle fortextual control in the domain of performance per se.Performance was clearly essential to the theatricalpraxis underlying these texts; a successful run at the226Comedie was the goal and the proving ground for eachplay, as well as a source of prestige for Voltaire. Thecasting and the quality of the performance were key tothe development and reception of the play. Voltaireparticipated as fully as he could in the choice andpreparation of actors. Extensive changes in text andeven in the basic conceptualization of a character weremade to suit a particular casting, such as that of MlleClairon in Ttome sauvee.Successful performance increased the circulation ofthe printed text. Voltaire deplored the prevalence ofversions transcribed from performance rather thanproduced under his supervision, as much for the loss ofcontrol as for the loss of revenue. Audience reactionand expectations could affect the form of a play in theexpansion to five acts of  ahomet, or thecharacterization in the way Mariamne was made morevirtuous and Aurelie more strong, or the action in theremoval of Mariamne's onstage poisoning from Herode et Mariamne(1725) and of the cannon shot from Adelaide (1752), or the staging in the use of the tomb and theghost in Semiramis to the pyre in Olympie.But the pursuit of authorial control over the textcontinued to operate powerfully on the text during itsperformance history. Audience judgment in conflict withVoltaire's own literary judgment was deprecated andusually ignored. We saw considerable resistance to the227incorporation of performance edits and revisions into theprinted text, i.e. in Zulime, Adelaide and Olympie.There was little recognition from Voltaire or fromliterary critics that the 1765 revival of Adelaide owednot only its popularity but also much of its textual formto Lekain, who compiled the performance text withoutconsulting Voltaire.^However, this drive for textualcontrol made Voltaire not merely a playwright but truly adirector of his plays in the modern sense of the word.He supervised rehearsals, coached performers in person orby mail, advised on costume and decor. He went furtherthan supervision by elaborately staging his ownperformances whether at Cirey, at Potsdam or at lesDelices, in which he himself acted. This newinterventionist style of playwriting was acknowledged asa major contribution to French theatre. These plays madea tremendous change in contemporary standards of stagepresentation: increased realism in costume and decor,more exotic locales, and more elaborate effects (ghosts,trapdoors, pyres) which made full use of the clear stageavailable after 1759. The impact on acting style mustalso be considered. Both Lekain and Clairon, the leadingComedie francaise performers from the 1750's to theRevolution, built much of their reputations on theirroles in Voltaire's plays, and acknowledged his influenceon their acting styles.When we move from the domain of performance to the228wider implications of the texts as reflections and modelsof a society, the ideological systems operating withinthese texts elaborate the gender and class hierarchypreviously observed, and demonstrate a relativeconsistency, particularly in view of the great variationsin their textual expression and the length of timecovered by their textual and performance histories. Theplays' social systems are dominated by the recurrentassociation between authority and paternal status; ingovernment as in the family, power resides in the handsof one enlightened, reasonable, benevolent butself-determining male figure. The legitimacy of power isbased on the legitimacy of (male) birth and themaintenance of a hierarchical class structure. Attacksare made on the parasitical court rather than on thearistocracy Der se, and would be welcomed by a Parisaudience habitually differing in its judgments on theatreas on other issues from those of Fontainebleau andVersailles. While female rulers are portrayed in theplays as essentially incapable, male rulers only becomeunjust when they cease to govern by reason. Order inboth cases is restored by another, more enlightened, maleruler. Republican government is painted as ineffective,theocratic government as inescapably unjust.Religion is within the social hierarchysystematically subordinated to the authority of thepaternal ruler. The texts over time become increasinglyfavourable to belief as such in their portrayals of229apolitical tolerant priests and reasonable, law-abidingbelievers, in contrast with the cynicism and skepticismof the earlies texts. But any church above or evenindependent of the state is unacceptable within thesetexts, as is any individual faith not limited by reasonand the duties of citizenship. Religion is restricted toits social function of promoting national unity andsocially beneficial behaviour.In the societies depicted by these texts, women arelargely excluded from freedom of belief and autonomy ofaction within the family as they are from the effectiveexercise of political power. Belief and behaviour are orshould be controlled by the father. There areindications of a differential justice at work in thepunishments meted out, based on the gender of the victimand the offender. The child's primary duty is to thefather, not the mother, and the wife's is to the husband.A man's failure to return reasonable treatment forobedience does not entitle the child or wife to retaliatein any form, not even such glaring injustices asAgamemnon's sacrifice of Ipheganie or Hdrode's murder ofMariamne's father. Nor does female virtue bring aconsistent reward. The prevailing fate of women in thesocieties within these plays is suffering leading todeath.In all these texts there continues the dynamicstruggle between control and collaboration, between onevoice and many, between a static text and one open to230perpetual transformation. This tension of opposingforces is essential to Voltaire's theatrical praxis.Beneath the surface of each text we find an underlyingnetwork of outside influences and authorial responses,imperfectly incorporated or concealed or even suppressedin the effort to create an impression of sole authorshipand authority. However, the ideological system withinthe texts is in broad terms coherent, held togetherparticularly by the recurrence of father symbolism. Theextent to which class and gender affect one's access tothe tragic text, one's ability to have opinions ordecisions reflected in print rather than merely in theevanescence of performance, is a part of this dominantideology based on a patrilineal hierarchy. The rigidityOf this social structure within the text stands in sharpcontrast to the freedom of performance and performers,perpetually and infuriatingly escaping from Voltaire'scontrol.Voltaire's choice of tragedy itself as his preferredtheatrical genre, in the way it was defined ineighteenth-century France, has in itself ideologicalimplications. Tragedy was an essentially privilegedmedium, difficult of access, highly rule-bound and tiedby its very premises (the requirement for "noble"characters and situations) to a hierarchical socialsystem. Thevariations between the social structures within these231plays and those of the society in which they were producedcan be grouped almost completely under the heading ofimprovements to the status quo. The models in the textsencourage the incorporation of reason, equity and toleranceinto the established figures of authority: the king, thepriest and the father; they do not present a radical re-thinking of that familiar hierarchy, except in theirinsistence on the subordination of Church to State. In thisregard they dared to question the accepted order, andprovoked strong censorship, from Mahomet to Les Gu6bres andLes Lois de Minos.This paternalism and conservatism are not, however,surprising in these texts. The intended performanceaudience was a relatively broad spectrum of French societyin Paris and the provinces, to which can be added the largereadership within and beyond France's borders. These playsalso had to pass an alert and rarely well-disposed system ofcensors. Goodlad's study of popular drama in the twentiethcentury came to the same conclusion, that conservatism wasnecessary to popular success [1]. Innovation at all levelsof tragic construction was a difficult and slow process,whether it was the expansion of accepted tragic vocabulary,or the increase in realism and spectacle on stage, or thepresentation of a monarchy based on reason, tolerance andfairness rather than on prejudice and patronage. WhileGay's conclusion that "in his age and in his regime,232Voltaire was a radical," [2] may not apply to histragedies considered separately, the plays do presentsocieties more just and more compassionate thaneighteenth-century France could be.^The plays doestablish, however, significant limitations to what areconsidered the basic tenets of Voltairean philosophy:"toleration, the rule of law, freedom of opinion" [3] inthat these fundamental rights do not extend consistentlyto women, and for women remain subordinate to the alwayslegitimate authority of fathers and husbands. Howeverdisappointed the modern reader might be in these texts,however rigid and biased these idealized societies nowseem, one need only contrast the decay of the ancien rdgime into the Revolution with the military andmercantile expansion of Britain (with its greaterreligious tolerance and its constitutional monarchy)during the same period to realize how considerable analteration of history might have been realized if Francehad become a society like those envisioned in theseplays.233NOTES[1] J. S. R. Goodlad, A Sociology of Popular Drama(London: Heinemann, 1971), p. 28.[2] Gay, p. 337.[3] Gay, p. 32.234BIBLIOGRAPHYPRIMARY SOURCES Voltaire, Francois Marie Arouet de. Oeuvrescomplbtes, ed.Louis Moland, volumes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 containinghis theatre. Paris: Gamier frbres, 1877.***********************************• The Complete Works of Voltaire. General ed. W. H. Barber. Oxford: TheVoltaire Foundation.1731 - 1732 Ed. Eva Jacobs, 8 (1988): pp. 273 -526.Adelaide du Guesclin. Ed. Michael Cartwright. 10(1985).Alzire, ou les Americains. Ed. T. E. D. Braun. 14(1989): 1 - 210.Merope, pp. 91 - 388. Eds. Jack R. Vrooman and JanetGodden. 17 (1991): 91 - 388.**********************************. Correspondence. Ed.Theodore Besterman. Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation,1968.WORKS CONSULTED - BEFORE 1800 L'Annee litteraire. Ed. Elie Catherine Freron. Amsterdam[Paris]: Lambert, 1754 - 1776. 183 vols. Irregularpublication. Continued after Freron's death by Freronfils, the abbe Grosier and J.-L. Geoffroy to 1790.d'Aubignac, Le Pratique du theatre, ed. P. Martino. Paris:Carbonel, 1927.235Bachaumont. Louis Petit de. Mdmoires secrets pour servir l'histoire de la republique des lettres en France depuis MDCCLXII jusqu'a nos jours. 36 vols. London:John Adamson, 1777.Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de. Essai sur le genre dramatique serieux in Oeuvres. Ed. Pierre Larthomaswith Jacqueline Larthomas. Paris: Gallimard, 1988.Boileau-Despreaux, Nicolas. Art poetique in Oeuvres.Paris: Gamier freres, 1952.Clement, Jean Marie Bernard and Joseph de la Porte.Anecdotes dramatiques. Geneve: Slatkine, 1971;reproduction of the Paris 1775 edition.Clement, Pierre. Les Cinq annees litteraires. Geneve:Slatkine, 1967. Reproduction of the Berlin 1755edition.Colle, Charles. Journal et mdmoires. Ed. Honoré Bonhomme. 3vols. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1868.Corneille, Pierre. Théâtre complet. 2 vols.^Paris:Gallimard, 1957.Correspondance littOraire, philosophique et critique par Grimm, Diderot, Raynal, Meister et al, including theNouvelles litteraires. Ed. Maurice Tourneux. 16 vols.Paris: Gamier freres, 1877 - 82.Diderot, Denis. Oeuvres. Paris: Editions de la Pleiade,1951.236LeMercure de France. Eds. Fuzelier, Raynal, Marmontel etal. Paris: 1672 - 1820.Racine, Jean Baptiste. Oeuvres completes. 2 vols. Paris:Gallimard, 1950, 1952.WORKS CONSULTED - POST 1800 Apostolides, Jean-Marie. Le Prince sacrifid: Théâtre et Dolitique au temps de Louis XIV. Paris: Minuit,1985.Bachum, Albert. Censorship in France from 1715 - 1750: Voltaire's opposition. New York: Lenox Hill, 1971.Conlon, Pierre M. Voltaire's literary career from 1728 to 1750.^SVEC (1961) XIV.Deloffre, Frederic. Marivaux et le marivaudage: une próciositá nouvelle, 2e ed. Paris: Armand Colin,1967.Descotes, Maurice. Le Public du thdatre et son histoire.Paris: PUF, 1963.Fontaine, Leon. Le Theátre et la philosophie au XVIIIesiècle.^Versailles: Cerf, 1879.Gaiffe, Felix. Le Drame en France au XVIIIe siècle. Paris,1910.Gay, Peter. Voltaire's Politics. Princeton UP: 1959.Gooden, Angela. Actio and Persuasion: Dramatic PerformancejjL Eighteenth-Century France. Oxford, 1986.237Goulemot, J-M et M. Launay. Le Siècle des lumieres.^Paris:Editions du seuil, 1968.Lagrave, Henri. Le Theatre et le Public a Paris de 1715 1750. Paris, 1972.La Harpe, Jean Francois de. Oeuvres. Geneve: Slatkine,1968. Reproduction of the 1820 edition.Lancaster, H. C. French Tragedy in the time of Louis XV andVoltaire 1715 - 1774. Baltimore, 1950.Lion, Henri. Les Tragedies et les theories dramatiques de Voltaire. Geneve, Slatkine, 1970; reproduction of theParis 1895 edition.Lough, John. Paris Theatre Audiences in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Oxford UP, 1957.Monod-Cassidy, Helene. Un Voyageur-philosophe au XVIIIe siècle: ^l'abbe Jean-Bernard Le Blanc. (Cambridge:Harvard UP,^1941).Niklaus, Robert. A Literary history of France - the 18thcentury. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1970.Parker, David. The Making of French Absolutism. London:Edward Arnold, 1983.Pomeau, René. La Religion de Voltaire. Paris: Nizet,1956.Rex, Walter J. The Attraction of the Contrary. CambridgeUP, 1987.Ridgway, Ronald S. La propagande philosophique dans les tragedies de Voltaire. Studies in Voltaire and238the Eighteenth Century (1961) XV.Russell, Trusten Wheeler. Voltaire, Dryden and Heroic Tragedy. New York: AMS, 1966.Sareil, Jean. Voltaire et les grands. Gen6ve: Droz, 1978.Scherer, J. La Dramaturgie classique. Paris: Nizet, [1950].Torrey, Norman L.^Voltaire and the English Deists. NewHaven,^1929.Trapnell, William H. Christ and his 'Associates' in Voltairian Polemic. Stanford French and Italian StudiesXXVI, 1982.Vaillot, René. Avec Mme du Chatelet. Voltaire en son temps2.^Ed. René Pomeau. Oxford UP, 1988.Vier, J. Histoire de la litterature frangaise du XVIIIe siècle,^2 vols. Paris: Armand Colin, 1970.Vrooman, Jack Rochford. Voltaire's theatre: the cycle from"Oedipe" to "Merope". Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (1970) LXXV.Wade, Ira 0. Voltaire and Mme du Chatelet. New York:Octagon, 1967.Wellington, Marie. The Art of Voltaire's theatre: Exploration of Possibility. New York, Bern,Frankfurt, Paris: Lang, 1987.Willens, Lillian. Voltaire's comic theatre: composition,conflict and critics. Studies in Voltaire andthe Eighteenth Century (1973) CXXXVI.239ARTICLES AND DISSERTATIONS CONSULTED Abrate, Jayne Halsne. Play and Playscript: Dramatic Structure in Six Voltairean Tragedies. PhD thesis,Purdue, 1983.Badir, Magdy Gabriel. "L'Anatomie d'un coup d'Etat ou laprise du pouvoir dans la tragódie Mahomet deVoltaire," in Eighteenth- Century French Theatre: Studies Presented to E. J. H. Greene, pp. 99 - 106.Eds. Magdy Gabriel Badir and David J. Langdon.University of Alberta Department of Romance Languagesand Comparative Literature, 1986.Berubd, Georges. Le Personnage, instrument d'analyse du theatre de Voltaire. PhD thesis, Laval, 1983.***************. "Voltaire et La Mort de Cesar" Man andNature,^eds Roger L. Emerson, Gilles Girard,Roseann Runte, VI: 15 - 20.Carr, Jr., Thomas M. A Structural Study of Voltaire's Theatre of Ideas. PhD thesis, Wisconsin, 1972.********************. "Dramatic structure and philosophy," inStudies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century^CXLIII(1975): 7-48.Desvignes, Lucette. "Le theatre de Voltaire et la femmevictime," Revue des sciences humaines XLII (1977)537-51.Jory, David H. "The Role of Greek Tragedy in the Search for240Legitimate Authority under the Ancien Rdgime," inEighteenth- Century French Theatre: Studies Presented toE. J. H. Greene, pp. 6 - 16. Eds. Magdy Gabriel Badir andDavid J. Langdon. University of Alberta^Department ofRomance Languages and Comparative Literature, 1986.Lagrave, Henri. "Voltaire, Diderot et le 'tableauscdnique': le malentendu de Tancréde," in Le Siècle  deVoltaire: Hommage a^Rend Pomeau, II: 569 - 575.^Eds.Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant. Oxford: VoltaireFoundation, 1987.Mason, Haydn. "Diderot critic of Voltaire's theatre," in LeSiècle de Voltaire: Homage a^Rend Pomeau, II: 633^IMP642.^^Eds. Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant.Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1987.*************. "Fathers good and bad in Voltaire'sMahomet," in Myth and its Making in the French Theatre: Studies Presented to W. jD. Howarth, pp.121 - 35. Eds. E. Freeman, H. Mason, M. O'Regan and S.W. Taylor. Cambridge UP, 1988.Niderst, Alain. "Tragique Voltaire" in Le Siècle de Voltaire: Hommage a Rend Pomeau, II: 701 - 706.Eds. Christiane Mervaud and Sylvain Menant.Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1987.Niklaus, Robert. "Eriphile de Voltaire et le thdatred'Eschyle"^in Le Sidcle de Voltaire: Homage a 241René Pomeau, II:^707 - 718. Eds. Christiane Mervaudand Sylvain Menant. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation,1987.***************. "Eriphyle et Semiramis" in Essays on theEnlightment in honour of Ira O. Wade, pp. 247-54.Geneve:^Droz, 1977.****** ********* . "La Propagande philosophique au theatre ausiècle des lumiéres," Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century XXVI (1963): 1219-60.Raaphorst, Madeleine Rousseau. "Voltaire et feminisme: unexamen du theatre et des contes," Studies in Voltaireand the Eighteenth Century LXXXIX (1972): 1325 - 1335.Sanderson, Anne. "Voltaire and the problem of dramaticstructure: the evolution of the form of Eriphyle" and"In the playwright's workshop: Voltaire's correctionsto Irene," Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century CCXXVIII (1984): 97-170.Sareil, Jean. "Les quatres premieres Lettresphilosophiques,"^Romanic Review LXXVI (1985):277-286.Scott-Prelorentzos, Alison. "Religious Tolerance inEighteenth-Century Drama: Three Examples," inEighteenth- Century French Theatre: Studies Presented to E. J. H. Greene, pp. 85 - 98. Eds. MagdyGabriel Badir and David J. Langdon. University ofAlberta Department of Romance Languages and Comparative242Literature, 1986.Showalter Jr., English. "Writing Off the Stage: WomenAuthors and Eighteenth-Century Theater," Yale FrenchStudies 75 (1988): 95 - 111.Spica, Jacques. "Le Fils substitue ou les Menechmes deVoltaire," in Le Siècle de Voltaire: Homage a. René Pomeau, II: 867 - 880. Eds. ChristianeMervaud and Sylvain Menant. Oxford: VoltaireFoundation, 1987.MODERN CRITICAL WORKS Burton, Deirdre. Dialogue and Discourse: a sociolinguisticapproach to modern drama dialogue and naturallyoccurring conversation. London: Routledge & KeganPaul, 1980.Demarcy, Richard. Elements d'une sociologie du spectacle.Paris, 1973.Duvignaud, Jean. La Sociologie du thdatre. Paris: PUF,1965.Elam, Keir. The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama. London andNew York: Methuen, 1980.Goodlad, J. S. R. A Sociology of Popular Drama. London:Heinemann, 1971.Helbo, André, ed. Sftiologie de la representation. PUF,1975.Larthomas, Pierre. Le Langage dramatique. Paris: ArmandColin, 1972.243Morgan, Robin. The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism.^New York, London: W. W. Norton, 1989.Pavis, Patrice. Languages of the Stage: Essays in the Semiology of the Theater. New York: Performing ArtsJournal Publications, 1982.Penelope, Julia. Speaking Freely: Unlearning the Lies of the Fathers' Tongues. In the Athene series. New York:Pergamon Press, 1990.Reboul, Anne and Jacques Moeschler. Discours theatral etanalyse conversationnelle. Cahiers de linguistiquefrangaise #6, 1985.Searle, J. R. Speech Acts. Cambridge UP, 1969.Sherman, Carol. Reading Voltaire's contes: a semiotics of philosophical narration. North Carolina UP, 1985.Spencer, Samia I., ed. French Women and the Age of Enlightenment. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984Ubersfeld, Anne. lire le theatre. Paris: Editionssociales, 1978.***************. Le Roi et le bouffon. Paris: Corti,1974.OTHER WORKS CITEDAtwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Toronto: SealBooks,^1986.Dezon-Jones, Elyane, ed. Ecritures feminines. Paris:Editions Magnard, 1983.244APPENDIXChronological Tables of Textual Changes in the Plays under ExaminationReferences in the Correspondence to revisions without specific textual location (at a minimum,act and scene) do not appear here. Revisions for which exact texts are not available are notincluded in the totals for variant lines.^When the revision involves a reduction in thenumber of lines, the lines changed column will have a higher number than the total lines.Revisions affecting the length of a specific règligue will when relevant be indicated by theoriginal lenghth of the passaged given in parentheses next to the total length of the scene.Reference to editions are to the Noland edition and its cited sources unless otherwiseindicated. Reference to correspondence is to the Oxford edition (1968) edited by TheodoreBesterman and will be made by Besterman number. The gender of a character will be indicatedonly once.^Strictly grammatical changes, such as the order of pronouns, the tense of verbs,the substitution of synonyms, and the -ois/-ais shift, are not noted in the tables.Abbreviations: corresp = Correspondence de Voltaire, ed. Besterman (Oxford, 1968)perf =^performance (at the Comedie frangaise unless indicated)m =^malef =^femaledet =^detached, referring to lines which cannot be placed exactlyNo table is given for Artemire, as no complete text exists, only the role of Artemire herself.Herode et Mariamne, debut 6 March 1724, revised and restaged 10 April 1725 and 7 September 1763date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)Oct 1723 II,^ corresp^Mariamne (f)^feelings^character-iii-iv D 171 for Varus^izationMar 1724- III,^ perf^Nerode(m),^politics^subplotApr^25 iii-iv Varus(m), reduced228 lines Mazael(m)V, iv^pert^Mariamne^death on^loss ofstage^actionThe text has been lost; the recit which replaces it has 31 lines.1757^V, i^ edition^Mariamne^grief^subplot4.5 lines^ reduced1757^III,i edition^Narbas(m)^rephrasing^styleDuring July and August 1762, the character of Varus, a Roman consul, was replaced by Sohême,Asmonean prince. This change required the the following sections of text to be replaced, allof which can be found in the Moland edition notes:245Wade et NariamneI, i^edition^Salome(f)^Herode in^exposition142 lines Mazael RomeI, ii^ Varus^Varus'arrival^exposition22 lines MazaelI, iii^ Varus^feelings^exposition91 lines Albin(m) for MariamneII, i^ Salome^Varus' feelings exposition63 lines MazaelII, ii^ Salome^references to^exposition6 lines 49 lines^Mazael VarusMariamneII, iii^ Mariamne^Mariamne's^exposition14 lines 24.5 lines^Elise(f) feelings for VarusNarbasII, iv^ Nariamne^Mariamne's^exposition5 lines 56 lines^Elise feelings for VarusII, v^ Mariamne^references to^subplot14 lines 110 lines^Elise Rome^changeVarusIII,iii^ Varus^Mariamne's^fore-15 lines 44 lines^Idamas (s)^danger^shadowingIII, iv -v^ Hêrode references^subplot13 lines 121 lines^Mazael^to Varus changenew scene division^Idamas references to^subplotvi^ lltrode^Varus^change3 lines 87 lines SalomeIV, i^ Salome^references to^subplot4 lines 30 lines^Mazael Varus^changeIV, ii^ flêrode^references to subplot18 lines 68 lines^Salome Rome^changeMazaelV, v^ Htrode^Varus' death^subplotIdamas changeVariant lines: 680^Final text: 1307 linesEriphile debut 7 March 1732The text as performed involved a high priest, which role has survived in the 1779 version basedon a manuscript owned by Lekain, and offering certain variations in another manuscript. TheNoland text is based on the subsequent revision removing the high priest, see the letter toFormant, 25 June 1732, D 497. In anticipation of the resolution of these textual problems inthe forthcoming new edition by Robert Niklaus, we will, in the absence of clear dating for therevisions, use the Noland version as our final text, and cite the 1779 and its variant asearlier, abbreviated as 1779 and 1779v.date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)As stated above, Voltaire deleted the high priest soon after the play's debut. This changeentailed the following changes, first from the 1779 Lekain text and its variants.1779^I, i^edition^ThAandre(m)^politics^exposition86 lost^96.5 high priest (m)I, ii^edition^Theandre^remorse^character38 lost^13.5 high priestEriphile (f)I, iii^edition^Eriphile^remarriage^plot18 lost^93I, iv^edition^Eriphile^remarriage^plot12 lost^38.5 Polemon (m)8 added^38.5^edition^ character of plotHermogideII,i^edition^Theandre^AlcmAcin's^exposition38^76.5 Alcmeon (m)II, ii1.5^5.5^edition^PolAmon^stage directionremovedII, iii^edition^Eriphile^rephrasing^style2^66III,i^edition^Hermogide (m) ambition^exposition28^76.5 Euphorbe (0(moved to I, i in place of exposition by high priest)IV,i^edition^Alcseon^threat from plot56.5^71 Theandre HermogideIV, iii^edition^Alcmeon^staging of3^9 Eriphile ghostIV, iv^edition^Alcmeon^recognition^plot6^42.5 Eriphile(this exchange alone expanded from to 22 lines)247EriphileI V, v^edition^Alcmton^foreshadowing removal of33^105 high priest^Eriphile's^characterdeathAct V in the 1779 text is organized so differently that no comparisions within a given arepossible. We will furnish scene lengths, characters and content for the 1779 text and theNoland text to show the extent of the variationV,^i1779 41 AlcatonTh6andrePoltsonNoland V,^i Eriphile47 Zelonide ffl1779 V,^ii Alcston29 ThtandrePolémonMoland V,^ii Eriphile62 MlonideTheandre1779 V,^iii Alcorton38 HermogideMoland V,^iii Eriphile5 AlcOonHermogideThkandre1779 V,^iv high priest12 ThtandreNoland V,^iv Thtandre15.51779 V, v Alcmton17Noland V,^v Théandre16 Polemonduel proposed with Hermogidecivil warduel acceptedrecit of Alaton's proposalduelAlcmton and Hermogideenter the templeAlcmton stabs Eriphileoffstageanticipation of disasterremorse over Eriphile'sstabbingrecit of Eriphile's death249Eriphile1779^Alcmton^Eriphile's dying28^high priest^forgivenessEriphileTheandrePolèmonNoland^V, vi - vii^ AlcmOon^Hermogide's capture and54 Hermogide Eriphile's dyingThéandre^forgivenessPolèmonEriphileZOlonideAct total: 165 in 1779, 199 in NolandThe term "manuscript' indicates a manuscript source cited in the Noland edition.date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)1779v^I,i^manuscript^ThAandre^expansion on^exposition26^(12) 86 high priest^marriageI, iii^manuscript^Eriphile^political^exposition111^94 ZAlonide^situationI, iv16^38.5^manuscript^Eriphile^marriage^plotPolemonII,iii^manuscript^Alcmeon^Hermogide's^exposition4 (lost)^11.5II, iv^manuscript^Eriphile^rephrasing^style26^51 IAlonideII, v^manuscript^Hermogide^rephrasing^style4^87II,vi^manuscript^Hermogide^rephrasing^style6^18III,i^manuscript^Hermogide^character of^plot29^38 Euphorbe^Alcmeon249EriphileIII,^ii manuscript Eriphile supposed death plot17^68 Hermogide of her sonIII,iii manuscript Eriphile marriage to^plot4^32IV,v manuscript Alcmeon rephrasing and^style19.5^105 Eriphile editing downAct V - variants compared to the 1779 text; 1779v has the same scene organization.V,^i16 41 manuscript Alcmton rephrasing stylePolhonV,^iii manuscript Alcieon Amphiaraas' plot3.5 38 Hermogide swordV,^iv manuscript Th6andre Eriphile's expansion18 12 high priest deathV,^v manuscript Alcmeon mistaken plot9 17 victimV,^vi manuscript high priest benediction reduction3.5 28Total variant lines, 1779 and 1779v: 683.5^Total lines, Noland text: 1513250Zaire, debut 13 august 1732. From the Oxford; Voltaire Foundation edition by Eva Jacobs,1988. Letters attached to the dates of editions indicate specific editions and manuscripts asestablished by Jacobs' edition.As many of the changes in Zaire's text do not occur in strict chronology, they are ordered bytheir first occurrence, with those versions which maintain the variation listed in parenthesesbelow.date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)1732^I, i^prompt copy^Zaire (f)^rephrasing^style11^156 Fatime(f)1732^I, ii^prompt^ stage direction added1732^I, iii^prompt stage direction added1732^I, iii - iv^prompt^ location of scene breakchangedI, iv^prompt^Orosmane (m)^rephrasing^style4^47.51732^I, iv - v^prompt^ location of scene break1732^I, v^prompt stage direction added1732^II, i^prompt^Nerestan (m)^rephrasing^style3^160^ Ch2tillon (m)1732^II, iii^prompt^ stage directions added1732^II, iv^prompt^Corasmin (m)^rephrasing^style1^91732^III, i^prompt^ stage direction added^III, iv^prompt^Nerestan^rephrasing^style5^(2)133.5^Zaire1732,^.5 prompt rephrasing(1733, 1736)1732^III, vi^prompt^ stage direction added1732^III, vii^prompt^Orosmane^rephrasing^style33^64^ and editing1732^III, vii^prompt^Orosmane^expansion^style4^64(all subsequent)Zaire2511732 IV,^i prompt Zaire4 811732 IV,^ii promptIV,^iii1732 IV,^iii prompt Orosmane10 241732 IV,^iv - v prompt1732 IV,^v prompt Orosmane5 76.55 76.51732 IV,vi prompt Orosmane13 64.5 Zaire1732 V prompt Meledor^(m)(1736)1732 V,ii prompt1732 V,^iii prompt1732 V,^iii prompt Fatime8 48.5 Zaire1732 V,^v prompt Zaire.5 41732 V,^vi^- vii prompt1732 V,^vii prompt Orosmane1 51732 V,^viii prompt Orosmane(1733, 1736)^1 32(1733) 1 prompt Orosmane4 prompt Orosmane1732 V,^ix prompt4 16 prompt OrosmaneNerestanomission^stylestage directions addedstage direction addedfaith in^styleZaire - expansionstage direction added andscene division movedrephrasing^styleexpansion^stylerephrasing^stylename given to slave rolestage direction addedstage direction addedrephrasing^styleFrancais for^ideologychretienstage directions added,scene division movedrephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylestage directions,scene division movedrecognition^plot252Zaire3^(lost) Fatime Zaire's lovefor Orosmanecharacterdevelopment(1733) 2 prompt Nerestan rephrasing style1732 V,^ix^- x scene division moved1733 l,i edition Zaire omission style4 156III,^vii edition Orosmane rephrasing style10 64I736A I, iv edition Orosmane change toifrancais'ideology(all subsequent)1736A II,iii edition stage direction added1736A III,^iv edition Nerestan rephrasing style1 6.51736A III,^vi edition Zaire rephrasing style1 54I736A III,vii edition Orosmane rephrasing style7 641736A IV,iii edition Orosmane rephrasing style1 241736A V.^viii edition Corasmin sympathy character2 32 removed development1 Orosmane rephrasing developmentI736A V,^ix edition stage directions added1738 I,^i edition Fatime rephrasing style1 1561738(1740,^42) 1 156 edition Zaire rephrasing style1738(1740 - 46) III,^vii edition Orosmane rephrasing64Zaire1740 1 ,^i edition Fatime1 1561742 I,^i edition Zaire4 1561751 I,^i edition Fatime1 1561751 IV,^i edition Zaire1 811151 IV,^iii edition Orosmane.5 241752 I, i edition Fatime1 1561757 II,ii edition Nerestan1 44Kehl I,^i edition Zaire1 156Kehl V,^iii edition Zaire1 48.5253rephrasing^stylereplacing^stylelines removedrephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylerephrasing^stylechange to^ideology'frangais'rephrasing^stylerephrasing^styleVariant lines: 164.5^Total lines:^1650254Adelaide du Guesclin, debut 18 January 1734, revived under this title 9 September 1765Les Freres ennemis, at Potsdam 1751; Amtlie ou le Dm de Foix, debut 17 August 1752From the Oxford: Voltaire Foundation edition by Michael Cartwright (1985)For the purposes of this table, we confine ourselves to the performed texts, and omit themanuscript only version called Alamire, which was not printed until the Cartwright edition, inaccordance with Cartwright's conclusion (introduction, p. 59) that there was no intentionthat is should be published or performed."We begin with the 1734 version as our base text, and group the variants by the revision (as distinct from individual edition) to which they belong, i.e. Adelaide du euesclin or Le Ducde Foix. The abbreviations for sources are those of the Cartwright edition. Letters attachedto the dates of sources indicate specific editions and manuscripts as established byCartwright's edition.Variants within the 1734 textdate^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)unclear II,vii^2 (added) 114^manuscripts^Coucy (m)^love vs.^character(MS2-NS4) honour development4^114^manuscripts^Vendame(m)^reproof^character(1152 - 1157) developmentIII,i^manuscripts^Nemours (m)^rephrasing^style10^54^(1151 - 1157)^4 (added) 54^manuscripts^Nemours^anxiety for^plotAdtlaideIII, ii^manuscripts^Nemours^rephrasing^character50^80^(NM - 1157)^Adtlaide (f) developmentIII,iii^manuscripts^VendOme^rephrasing^style3.5^100^(MS1 - 11S7)IV,iv^manuscripts^Vendame^rephrasing^style4^8^(MS1 - 11S7)4 (added^8 expansion^emphasisIV, v^manuscripts^Vendame^rephrasing^style7^77^(MS1 - 1157)IV, vii^manuscripts^Adelaide^expansion^emphasis13 (added) 41^(MS1 - 11S7)33^41^manuscripts^Adelaide^rephrasing^style(MS1 - 11S7)^VencrameAdelaide du 6uesclin^ 255IV, ix4 (added) 26manuscripts^Adelaide^Adtlaide's^staging(MS 1 - MS7)^Taise (f)^collapseV,v - vi^manuscripts no scene division made(M52 - MS7)Variant lines (within the 1734 text) 138.5^Total lines (1734): 1610Les Freres ennemis (Potsdam, 1751) This is a thorough re-working, with Adelaide replaced byher brother on stage, and the five acts reduced to three. However, considerable portions ofthe text are taken from the 1734; we will indicate the number and location of the new lines.Dangeste (m)^politics^expositionCoucy (e)d'Alencon (m) proposed^plotDangeste^marriageCoucyd'Alengon^appeal for^plotCoucy^truced'Alengon^English^plotCoucy^attackI,^i39 89I,^ii18 18I,^iii47.5 47.5I,^iv5.5 5.5II, i^ d'Alengon^rtcit of^plot40II,^ii12II,^iii841234 34II,^iv102 126II,^v12 12II,^vi98 100Coucy^battled'Alengon^despair^characterdevelopmentNemours^rivalry with^plotDangeste^d'AlengonNemours^recognition^plotDangested'AlengonNemours^renewed^plotDangeste^attackd'AlenconCoucyNemours^attempted^plotCoucy reconciliationLes Freres ennemis^ 2,56(Act^III drawn^from Acts IV and V of Adelaide)III,^i24III,^ii31 NemoursDangested'Alengonproposed^plotmarriagearrest^plot20 23 NemoursIII,^iiiDangested'Alengon order^for^plot50III,^iv80 Coucyd'Alengonexecutionremorse^character16III,^v40.5d'Alengon execution^plot5III,^vi22 an officerd'Alengonreportedexecution^plot8III,^vii30.5 Coucyd'Alengondeniedreconciliation plot10 42 CoucyDangesteNemoursNew lines: 470 Total^lines: 746257Amelie ou le duc de Foix, Comedie frangaise debut 17 August 1752This revision involves the change of names and setting to avoid the problems with audiencereaction experienced by the first Adelaide.date^location^source^character^content^functionnew lines^total lines^(gender)I, i1752^70^144^edition^Amelie (f)^politics^expositionLisois (m)I, ii^edition^Asklie^rivalry^plot58^65 Taise for herI, iii^edition^de Foix^love for^plot30^30 ArleneI,iv^edition^de Foix^politics^plot86^86 Lisois(Act II draws from act III of Adelaide)II,i^edition^de Foix^jealousy^character9^9^ developmentII, ii^edition^de Foix^her refusal^plot74^105 AmelieII, iii^edition^de Foix^rage^character14^14 developmentII, iv^edition^de Foix^truce^plot76^130 Lisois rejectedII, v^edition^de Foix^attack^plot10 10^Lisoisofficer(Act III draws from act II of Adelaide)III, i^edition^de Foix^victory^plot34^56^ LisoisIII, ii^edition^Lisois^recognition^plot20^20 VamirIII, iii^edition^Vamir^doubts about^plot46^46 AmtlieIII, iv^edition^Vamir^recognition^plot30^56 de Foix259Le Duc de FoixIII,^v81III,^vi1015810editioneditionVamirde FoixAselieVamirde FoixAmelieLisoisAmelie'srefusal^ofde FoixrenewedattackplotplotIII,vii edition Vamir attempted^plot50 50 Lisois reconciliationIV,i edition Vamir proposed plot49 56 A.élie flightIV,^ii edition Vamir arrest plot35 38 de FoixAmtlieIV,^iii edition Vamir de Foix' character8 8 de Foix vengeance developmentIV,^iv edition Vaair reproach character19 19 de Foix developmentLisoisIV,v edition de Foix execution plot104 104 Lisois orderV, i edition de Foix remorse character26 55.5 developmentV,^ii edition de Foix execution plot3 23.5 officer reportV,^iii edition de Foix reproach plot4 42.5 AmtlieV,^iv edition de Foix execution plot8 31.5 Amelie deniedLisoisV,^v edition de Foix reconciliation plot14 46 AmtlieLisoisVamirNew lines:^976^Total lines 1400259Adelaide du 6uesclin, revived by Lekain, 9 September 1765.Variants to the 1734 textlocationnew^lines^total^linessource charactergendercontent functionI,^i edition Coucy politics exposition37.5^170.5 Adelaideedition Adelaide affection plot.5^67.5 Taise for NemoursI,^iii edition VendOme love for plot0 69 Adelaide AdelaideI,^iv edition Vendame proposed plot4 23 Adelaide attackCoucyI,v edition Adelaide fear for plot2^4 NemoursII,i edition Vendame Teta of plot0^54 Coucy battleII,^ii edition Vendame recognition plot10 56 Coucy by VendOseNemoursII,^iii edition VendOme recognition plot0 10 Coucy by AdelaideNemoursAdelaideII,^iv Edition Adelaide fear for plotLJ1 " Taise NemoursII,^v edition Adelaide declaration plot38 99 VendameII,^vi14 14edition Vendame despair characterdevelopmentII,vii edition Vendame loyalties character35^130 Coucy developmentIII,i edition Nemours doubts of plot4^58 Dangeste AdelaideIII,^ii edition Nemours reconciliation plot0 76 Adelaide260Adelaide du Guesclin(the new lines in the following scenes are drawn largely from les Freres ennemis)III,^iii edition Nemours jealousy^plot91 164 AdelaideVendSmeIII,^iv edition Nemours renewed^plot10 10 Adelaide attackVendameCoucyIII,v edition Nemours attempted^plot50 50 Coucy reconciliationIV,i edition Adelaide proposed^plot44 79 Nemours flightIV,^ii edition Adelaide Nemours'^plot35 38 Nemours arrestVend ame(the new lines in the following scenes are drawn largely from le Duc de Foix)IV, iii^edition^Adelaide^vengeance^plot4^8 VendameIV, iv^edition^VendOme^reproach^plot19^19 Adelaide(the new lines in the following scene are drawn largely from les Freres ennemis)IV,v edition Vendame execution plot90 108 Coucy orderV,i edition Vent:lame repentance plot16 61.5 officerV,ii edition VendOme execution plot0 21.5 officer reportV,^iii edition Venclame plea for plot5 46.5 Adelaide mercyV,^iv edition Vendame execution plot8 30.5 Adelaide deniedCoucyLU1Adelaide du GuesclinV, v^edition^Vendame^reconciliation plot9^50^ AdelaideCoucyNemoursNew lines (compared to the 1734 edition):^487^Total^lines:^1542Variant lines within the Adelaide^of 1765date^location source character^content functionlines changed^total^lines (gender)I, iii edition VendOme^rephrasing style65PA 4^69(65PB,^W701.)II,ii edition VendOme^rephrasing style65PA 4^(7)56(65P13)65PA 2^56 Vendgme^rephrasing style(6511)II,^v edition Vendame^rephrasing style65PA 1.5^99(65P8)II,vii edition Coucy^politics exposition21^130 Vendase1765 813015 Coucy^correction to above edition130W701_ iii,^i edition Dangeste^rephrasing style4 57.5 NemoursIII,ii edition Adelaide^expansion emphasis65PA 4 (added)^76.5(65P8) 2 rephrasing style65PA III,^iii edition Vendame^rephrasing style(65P8) 9 164 Adelaide65PA IV,^ii edition Adelaide^rephrasing style(65PB) 2 38 Nemours65PA(65P8)IV,^ii^-^iii no scene division at line 117,^consequentrenumbering through the act65PA(65P8)IV,^v no stage directionsee D 12964 for its addition65PA IV,^v edition Coucy^rephrasing style(65PB)^2 108Adelaide du Guesclin8^(4)^ Vendale^expansion^emphasis7 Coucy^rephrasing^styleVend3me65PA^V, i^edition^scene i divided at line 23, consequent(6511, T67)^renumbering through the act85PA^V, ii^edition^VendOme^staging the cannon shot(65P8) 3 (lost)^21.53^21.5^Vendgme^rephrasing^styleVariant lines (within the 1765 edition): 84.5^Total lines:^1542262263Zulime, debut 8 June 1740, revival 29 December 1761. The base text is that of 1763:date^locationlines changed^total^linesSOUTCC character(gender)content functionFeb 1740^V,^iii corresp Atide^(f) rephrasing style9 130.5 D 2164 Zulime^(f)Ramire (m)Apr^1740^V,^iii corresp Zulime rephrasing style1 130.5 D 2200V,^iii corresp Zulime rephrasing styleMay 1760^.5^130.5 D 8903Spring 1761^the edition disavowed by Voltaire tie in D 9854) offers considerable variationin text and a different denouement.date location source character content functionlines changed^total^lines (gender)1761 I,^i edition Hohadir^Cm) prior exposition38 114 Zulime eventsI,^ii edition Zulime love for character47 66 Atide Ramire developmentI,^iii edition Zulime proposed plot21 51 Atide escapeRamireI,v edition Ramire Ramire's plot11 70 Atide dilemmaII,i edition Ramire proposed plot55 93 Menodore(m) escapeII,^ii edition Zulime obstacles to plot31 91 Ramire marriageII,^iv edition Zulime refusal to plot98 Benassar^Cm) reconcileIII,^i edition Zulime doubt character13 48 development(The 1763 text adds a new scene ii, 19 lines, and a scene vii; making allowance for therenumbering, 1761 iii - v parallels 1763 iv - vi)264ZulimeIII,^ii edition Zulime rift^between^plot49 Atide loversRamireIII,^iii edition Atide renunciation^plot19 26.5 RamireIII,^iv edition Ramire truce^plot89.5 77 BtnassarIII,v edition Ramire reconciliation plot30.5 33 Atide(Here again there is considerable divergence between the texts, with only 1761 v- viiicorresponding to 1763 iv - vii.)IV,i4^edition^Ramire^anxiety^characterdevelopmentIV, ii^edition^Ramire^combat^plot30 MenodoreIV, iii^edition^Ramire^departure^plot6^ ZulimeIV, iv^edition^Zulime^despair^character4 developmentIV, v^edition^Zulime^rtcit of^plot42^46.5^Benassar^battleIV, vi^edition^Zulime^realization^plot11^43.5^ of betrayalIV, vii^edition^Zulime^jealousy^plot27^74.5^AtideIV,viii^edition^Zulime^death^plot9^17 Atide sentenceStrame (f)V, i^edition^Btnassar^plea for^plot17^64^ Mohadir^mercyV, ii^edition^Btnassar^remorse^character45^46 Mohadir developmentZulime265ZulimeV, iii^edition^Bhassar^Atide's^plot70^135 Mohadir deathZulimeAtideRamireNote:^in the 1763 established text,^Zulime dies.Variant lines:^674 Total lines (1763):^1205Changes subsequent to the 1761 editiondate^locationlines changed^total^linessource character(gender)content functionAug 1761^V,^iii corresp Zulime rephrasing style.J^135 D 9945Jan^1762^V,^iii le Mercure Zulime rephrasing4 125 II:^202Dec 1766^V,^iii corresp Zulime rephrasing style2 125 D 13727Note: the above letter corrects in text the passage given in the Mercure as the closing linesof the performance; this version is followed until the Kehl edition.266Mahomet: Comedie francaise debut 29 August 1742date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)Nov 1739^IV, iv-^corresp^/opire(m)^paternal^recognitionD 2106 love sceneJan 1740^IV, v^corresp^Zopire^paternal^recognition2131 Ride fm)^love sceneFeb 1740^IV, v^corresp^Zopire^paternal^recognition02160 Ride love sceneJun 1740^V^corresp^Mahomet^deaths of^plot revision02218 Palmire^Ride and^in responseRide Palmire to criticismJul 1740^V^corresp^deaths of^plot revision02266 Ride andD 2267 PalmireJan 1741^IV, v^corresp^Zopire^paternal^recognition5 D 2408 Ride love sceneV, iv^D 2408^Mahomet(m)^remorse^character5 Omar (m) developmentJul 1741^II, iv^corresp^Mahomet^motivation^character02515II, v^02515^Ride^rephrasing^style.5V^D 2515^Mahomet^motivation^characterPalmire (f)^for movement developmentAug 1741^II, vi^corresp^Omar^description^character9^D 2525 of Side^developmentIn August 1741 Voltaire reported to the marquis d'Argenson (0 2523) that he had changed oradded 200 lines to the text subsequent to the version the marquis had in manuscript, butgave no specific lines.267Mahomet1748^ editionMoire^politics^ideology0^130^ Omar1748^II, i^edition^Sêide^rephrasing^style.5II,vi^ Omar^rephrasing^style.JIII,i^ Palmire^rephrasing^style20^45^ SêideIII, viii — Zopire^transposition sceneix^ Side of lines^divisionchangeIII,x Zopire^paternal love foreshadowing28^26IV,i Omar^rephrasing^style12.5^42^ Mahomet1751^ editionI, i^ Zopire^rephrasing^style1 PhanorIII, ii^ Palmire^rephrasing1 word1756^ editionI, i^ Zopire^rephrasing^style.5II,i^ Seide^rephrasing2 words1775^ editionIV, vi^ Zopire^Zopire's dying removal of5^53^ Phanor plea^revenge motifVariant lines : 91^Final text: 1448 linesAct V, 190 lines long, was an extension of the original conception of the text, which had endedat Zopire's death. Voltaire added the deaths of Sêide and Palmire, Mahomet's final triumph, andhis suppressed remorse in reaction to criticism.268Semiramis, debut 28 August 1748, revived (to greater success) 10 April 1749In subject and in stage Effects (the ghost), Semiramis can be considered a development ofEriphile, and is therefore included.date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)Jun 1748^II, vii^corresp^Assur (m)^critique of^ideology2^88^D 3677 religion(lines reinstated after Crebillon had censored them)Aug 1748^I, ii^perf^ cries from thetomb eliminated1749^II, i^edition^AMr^attack on^plot(to 56)^14^(18)100 Arzace1749^II, iv^edition^Assur/^expansion^emphasis(to 56)^2.5^(7.5)82 Cedar (shift inspeaker)Variant lines: 19.5^Total lines 1649There are several references in contemporary sources (such as P. Clement) to extensiverevisions between 1748 and 1749, but without exact texts.269Oreste, debut 12 January 1750date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)1750^I, i^edition4(lost)^47.5^Pammtne(m)^attack on^ideologythe court6^47.5 Iphise (f) shift inspeakerI, ii^edition6 (lost) 116.5^Iphise^compression^styleElectre (f)I, v^edition^Electre^rephrasing^style3^89^ Clytemnestre (f)II,i^edition^Pylades(m)^compression^style38^34^ Oreste (m)II, v^edition3^(2) 80^ Pamméne^compression^style10^(2) SO Egisthe (m)^the gods'^ideologysilenceII,vii^edition^Iphise^rephrasing^style2^72(the correspondance refers to editing in this scene, without citing specificlines; 84095, 4098, 4099, 4104 to Clairon)Act III has a completely different organization of scenes in the 1750 edition; scene i(83 lines) includes what would become scenes i - iii (81 lines).III,i^edition^Nuke74^83 (in this text)^Oreste^vengeance^plotPyladesIII, ii^edition^Electre^recognition^plot38 IphiseOrestePylades(picking up the established text at scene iv, line 3)III,vi^edition^Oreste^mistaken^plot15.5 (19.5)117^Clytemnestre^recognitionEgistheIV,i^edition^Oreste^rephrasing^style2^32OresteIV,^iii edition Electre compression style16^(1°) 59 IphiseIV,^iv edition Electre expansion emphasis10 15IV,v edition Electre compression emphasis22^(17) 51.5 OresteV, iv edition Egisthe rephrasing style2 4.5V,^viii perf Clytemnestre death staging11^(9) 32.5 ofV,^viii edition Pasméne recit of staging7 32.5 deathV,^ix perf Oreste compression style15^(11) 28V,^ix edition Oreste rephrasing style28270Variant lines: 290.5^Total lines: 1524271Rome sauvt,e, datut 24 February l752date^location stucco charabtar content functionlines changed^total^lines (gender)Sept^1751 I,^iii corresp Catilina^(m) rephrasing style17 87 04577 Aurelie^(f)III,^iii Aurklie rephrasing style49.5 CatilinaIII,^vi Aurtlie rephrasing style1 20IV,^vi Aurelie rephrasing style75Jan 1752 II,^i corresp Catilina rephrasing style2.5^67 04774Cickron^(m) rephrasing style5 (unprinted)Feb 1752 IV,^vi corresp Aurelie rephrasing style^2 75^04787The following variants come from a manuscript cited by Kehl, called detached and unpublishedby Beuchot, date unclear.Act I, v to II, i: there are changes in scene order and scene division which do not greatlyaffect content.I, v^8 (added) 118^manuscript^CatilinaI, vimanuscript^CatilinaI,vii40^60^manuscript^Ciceron^rephrasing^styleCaton (m)II, i^manuscript^Ciceron^rephrasing^style47^67^ CéthegusThe following variants come from the Berlin edition, 1752.1752^II, i^edition^Catilina^expansion^emphasis^6 ^68^ Cethegus272Rome sauveeII,^ii edition Catilina expansion^emphasis44 52 CethegusLentulusII,^vi edition Catilina rephrasing^style2 77III,^i edition Catilina compression^style7^(3)^51III,^ii8 99 edition Catilina rephrasing^style57^(25) Catilina compression^styleAurelie3III,ii^-^iiiAurtlie rephrasing^stylescene division movedIV,i edition Cèthegus rephrasing^style4^28 LentulusV,^i^- ii edition Cictron change in time of entrances37 108 LentulusCtthegusThe following variants come from the Dresden 1753 edition1753^I, i^edition^Catilina^rephrasing^style10^24edition^Catilina^motivation^character22^52^ for rebellion developmentI, iii8^878 (lost)10edition^Catilina^rephrasing^styleCatilina^compression^styleAurelieCatilina^stage business removed^I, iii - iv^edition^ scene division movedI,v^edition^Cictron^rephrasing^style8^110II,i^edition^Catilina^rephrasing^style8^67Rome sauveeII, ^edition^Cesar^expansion^emphasis4^(8) 97II,iv^edition^Catilina^compression^style10^(4) 5III,ii^edition^Catilina^expansion^emphasis35^103 Aurelie(final text expands this to 2 scenes)III, vi^edition^Catilina^compression^style5^(2) 20IV, iv^edition^Catilina^compression^style32^(17)^119.5IV, v - vi^edition^Aurêlie^change in scene division1753 - 140 lines Catilina^and compressionfinal text - 94 lines CicOronCethegusCaton273Variant lines: 658.5^ Total lines: 1512274elyppie, Comedie frangaise debut 17 March 1764date^location source character content functionlines changed^total^lines (gender)Jan 1762^V,^i corresp Hermas Cassandre character10 (det) 44 810243 developmentFeb 1762^IV, v corresp Olympie(f) order to action1 87 D 10333 fleeMar^1762^IV,^iii corresp high priest rephrasing style1 37 D 10388Jul^1762^III,^v corresp Statira^(f) rephrasing style2.5(det) 69.5 D 10594Oct^1762^III,^vi corresp Olympie rephrasing style2 73 D 10770Jan 1763^IV, iii corresp high priest rephrasing style2 37 810932(This variant attaches to the 1774 edition text.)The following variants come from the 1763 Frankfurt edition which preceded performance at theComedie frangaise.1763^I, iv^edition^Cassandre (m) rephrasing^style39III,vi^edition^Statira^rephrasing^style.5^73IV,ii^edition^Antigone (1)^rephrasing^style2^52.5IV, v^edition^Cassandre^rephrasing^style3^87V, iii^edition^Olympie^rephrasing^style2^92The following variants come from performance texts.1764^I, ii^pert^Cassandre^history^exposition12 (lost) 142 Antigone1 (added)^Antigone^history^exposition275OlympicI,^iii6^L7pelf Hermas/Antigoneshift^inspeakerstagingI,iv6^(lost)^39pert Cassandre proposedmarriageplot2 (added)II,iv pert Olympic recognition plot9 (lost)^50 Statirahigh priestIII,i13^(lost)^50pert Cassandre remorse characterdevelopmentIV,ii pert Antigone marriage plot2^(lost)^51IV,^iii perf high priest marriage plot6 (lost)^37IV,^iv pert Sostene (0 description character4 (lost)^42 of Olympic develoment^IV,^v4^(lost)^79pert Olympie despair characterdevelopmentIV,vii8(lost)^18perf Olympic despair characterdevelopmentV, vii perf Cassandre suicide plot7^(lost)^36The following variants come from the 1774 edition, which perpetuated many of the performanceedits, indicated by an asterisk.1774^II, iv* 4 (lost)^50III,i4 (moved) 50* 13 (lost)edition Statira recognition plotOlympicedition Cassandre rephrasing styleCassandre remorse characterdevelopmentedition Cassandrehigh priestrephrasing stylehigh priest Statira'sdeathplotIV,iii2^37* 6 (lost)6 (added)276OlympieIV,^iv edition Sosténe description character*4^(lost)^42 of Olympie development^IV,^v*4^(lost)^79edition Olympie despair characterdEvelopmentIV,^vii*8 (lost)^18edition Olympie despair characterdevelopmentIV,viii6^24edition Olympie Statira'scurseplotV, v edition Cassandre plea for plot4 (added)^22 Olympie fidelityV,^vi edition Cassandre shift^in staging45 Antigone speakerV,^vii edition Cassandre suicide plot*7 (lost)^363 (added)Textual variants after the 1774 edition are largely grammatical and therefore omitted; however,the Kehl edition offers one more substantial variant:1784^II, ii^edition^high priest^rephrasing^style2.5^127.5Variant lines: 136.5^Total lines : 1510277Le Triumvirat, debut 5 july 1764The variants available in the Moland edition come from a undated "early" manuscript, likely1763, and give an excellent indication of the extent to which text was reworked beforeperformance.date^location^source^character^content^functionlines changed total lines^(gender)1763?^I, iii^manuscript^Octave (m)^politics^exposition106^138 Antoine (m)relocated in manuscript to II, iand replaced by64^manuscript^Fulvie (f)^pardon for^plotAntoine^Porn*Act II33^0^manuscript^Octave(scene removed) FulvieIII, iii, v^manuscript63III,vi^manuscript^Octave61^(45) 117.5^Julie (f)reproach for^plotabandonchange in entrances andcharacters on stagecompression^styleAct IV scenes i - iii are interrupted by new scene ii and iii, and a consequentrenumbering of scenes in the manuscript. The scene numbers of the printed textare given in parenthesesIV,ii59^0 manuscript JulieFulviedespair characterdevelopmentIV,^iii manuscript Julie proposed plot56 0 Fulvie flightPool*IV,^iv manuscript Fulvie rephrasing style3^(ii)^28 Pomp&IV,vi manuscript Fulvie assassination plot12^(iii)(10)76 Pompee proposedAufide (0V,i manuscript Octave recit of plot77^(lost) Antoine attemptreplaced by^42.5 JulieFulvierecit ofattemptplotLe TriumviratV, iii^manuscript^Julie^reproach^plot19^(11) 32.5Variant lines: 437^Total lines:^1364Les Gugres, unperformed, first printing 1763date^locationlines changed^total^linessource character(gender)content functionDec^1768^I,^i corresp Iradan^(m) rephrasing style4 120 D 15379Sept 1769^I, i corresp Iradan rephrasing style2^120Taking the 1769 text as our base:y Arz6mon = young Arz6mon, o Arzhion = old Arzkon1771 I, iii edition Iradan religion and ideology4^(lost) 50 high priest lawII,vi edition Iradan attack on ideology7^(3) 19 Uséne (m) priesthoodII,vii edition Iradan attack on ideology7^(3) 52 y Arzémon () priesthoodIII,i edition y Arzemon rephrasing style7 83 Mtgatise (m)7 (3) expansion emphasisIII,ii edition Arzame (f) rephrasing style3.5 81 y ArzemonIV,i edition o Arzémon^(m)^rephrasing style1 79IV,^iv edition Ceséne rephrasing style4 20 Arzame1778 IV,^v edition o Arzemon rephrasing style16Variant lines:^40.5^Total lines: 1593279

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