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Molière : a theatre of movement Small, Marjorie Elizabeth 1987

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MOLIERE: A THEATRE OF MOVEMENT By MARJORIE ELIZABETH SMALL B.A., The University of Toronto, 1985  THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of French  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1987 ( c j Marjorie Elizabeth Small  In  presenting  this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial fulfilment  of  University of  British Columbia,  I agree  freely available for reference copying  of  department publication  this or of  and study.  this  his  or  her  Department of  French  The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  September 14, 1987  that the  representatives.  may be It  thesis for financial gain shall not  permission.  requirements  I further agree  thesis for scholarly purposes by  the  is  an  advanced  Library shall make it  that permission  for extensive  granted  head  by the  understood be  for  that  allowed without  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  Moliere's theatre i s one of movement.  He owes h i s keen  sense of the gestural e s p e c i a l l y to the commedia d e l l ' a r t e and French farce t r a d i t i o n s .  The purpose of t h i s thesis i s to  examine the rhythm and devices he employs i n some of h i s e a r l i e r and more mature plays.  This discussion  reveals  patterns of reversal, r e p e t i t i o n and o s c i l l a t i o n , the elements which give p a r t i c u l a r exuberance to h i s comic v i s i o n .  As an  actor, director and playwright he had a unique genius f o r translating h i s gestural v i s i o n into great t h e a t r i c a l works.  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS  Introduction Chapter 1.  Chapter 2.  1 The Influence of the Commedia d e l l ' A r t e and French Farce Traditions on Moliere  11  La Jalousie du Barbouille and Le Medecin volant  37  Chapter 3.  Le Medecin malgre l u i  63  Chapter 4.  Les Fourberies de Scapin  86  Conclusion  108  Bibliography  112  iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  The completion of t h i s thesis marks the end of two enjoyable, enriching years at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. I would l i k e to express my gratitude and admiration to my parents f o r t h e i r unwavering support and t h e i r b e l i e f i n the value of education. The help and understanding of my entire family has been invaluable to me; I would e s p e c i a l l y l i k e to thank my brother Dan f o r h i s help i n computer matters. I f e e l extremely fortunate and thankful to have been able to work with Dr. Harold Knutson during t h i s project. His vast knowledge of Moliere's theatre and h i s interest i n performance issues, combined with h i s kind patience, encouragement and suggestions, have made the production of t h i s thesis an enjoyable and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y p r o f i t a b l e experience.  1 INTRODUCTION  Le naturalisme et 1'academisme tuent Moliere de l a meme facon, en ne reconnaissant pas que Tartuffe, Pom Juan ou Alceste, pour atteindre leur v e r i t e , ont besoin de voir confirmee l a part du comique v i s u e l , c e l l e du geste, que l a silhouette s t a b i l i s e , que l a posture t o t a l i s e . 1 Alfred Simon's comment emphasizes the importance of performance and the v i s u a l i n the study of Moliere's theatre. Operating from t h i s perspective, the approach adopted i n t h i s thesis i s more c l o s e l y associated with the performance aspects of his theatre than with his l i t e r a r y technique.  A  sampling  of Moliere's plays w i l l be examined primarily for t h e i r v i s u a l , 'spectacular' q u a l i t i e s rather than as texts.  "As  Moliere reminds us on several occasions," observes Wadsworth, "he wrote his comedies to be performed before an audience, to be printed i n books.  not  Casting, acting, and t h e a t r i c a l  e f f e c t s took precedence over l i t e r a r y form."^ theatre, then, i s a spectator experience.  Moliere's  I t i s dependent on  the v i s u a l because much of i t s comic e f f e c t i s derived from gesture and movement. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the playwright Moliere was also an actor and d i r e c t o r .  Leon Chancerel points out: "Moliere les  voyait deja, «ces jeux», au fur et a mesure q u ' i l e c r i v a i t l e dialogue, et que, ce dialogue, i l e c r i v a i t en fonction du jeu.Therefore,  jeu i s v i t a l to Moliere's theatre; i t gives  l i f e to his texts, both i n terms of their conception and the manner i n which they are presented.  2  Gesture and movement are components of jeu. an i n t e g r a l part of the theatre experience.  Gesture i s  Alfred Simon  states that " l e geste de l'acteur est l e moteur p r i n c i p a l du comique."^  Necessarily, i t e n t a i l s movement.  I t generally  involves human beings who express their emotions and thoughts by some physical movement.  They express anger, fear, hunger,  l u s t , greed, arrogance, deceit.  I t may also be gratuitous,  and may be used s o l e l y for comic e f f e c t .  Gesture may  involve  the entire body, as i n the postures to which Simon refers i n the opening quote, or a hand gesture, or the shrug of a shoulder, or a f a c i a l expression, and frequently, a combination of d i f f e r e n t types of movement.  Gesture may  be  s i l e n t l y expressive, as i n mime, or i t may be accompanied by dialogue. There seems to be l i t t l e problem with the concept of gesture i t s e l f ; i t i s something we subconsciously witness almost every waking moment.  But when i t comes to analyzing an  already e x i s t i n g s i t u a t i o n , as i n a written text, gesture becomes f a r more complex and elusive. Le geste est f r a g i l e et e f f l e u r e a peine l ' h i s t o i r e du theatre. En 1'absence de tout document cinematographique, ou meme photographique, seules deux gravures de Chauveau et les i l l u s t r a t i o n s posthumes attestent presque a coup sur l a physionomie, mais non l a gestuelle du comedien Moliere.5 This problem would be eliminated i f one were able to observe actual seventeenth century performances of the plays rather than envisioning them with the help of only a text.  3  Obviously, t h i s i s not possible.  I t i s true that the  frontispieces of Moliere's plays are a v i s u a l l i n k with the seventeenth century.  In G. Donald Jackson's recent a r t i c l e ,  the c r i t i c points out that the engravings have some value as indications of costuming, decor, and to a lesser degree, of gesture and movement.** study.  However, their use i s limited for t h i s  By their very nature, they are s t i f f , frozen images of  one moment i n a play.  This study i s concerned with conveying  a sense of the exuberance of movement that was central to Moliere's theatre.  Luckily, we have the testimonial of  Moliere's contemporaries  to indicate how highly gestural  performance style was i n his plays. One of the major obstacles to a comprehensive study of the gestures and movement i n Moliere's plays i s their incomplete description by the playwright.  Wadsworth p a r t i a l l y  accounts for t h i s lack: "The texts of many plays provide very l i t t l e information on stage business and the interpretation of roles.  His actors did not need written instructions when they  rehearsed t h e i r l i n e s , since the author was also the d i r e c t o r . M o l i e r e made use of l a z z i , as we w i l l see i n chapter one.  These I t a l i a n - s t y l e gestures were frequently not  described i n stage directions either.  "Ses l a z z i ne sont  point tous passes dans l e texte imprime, s o i t que l e poete a i t voulu respecter l e bon gout du lecteur, s o i t q u ' i l a i t senti que 1'imprime denaturait 1'improvisation, s o i t q u ' i l a i t refuse de charger son t e x t e . F o r the modern student of  4  Moliere's gesture, then, there i s primarily the text.  Since  the dialogue and a few stage directions are the reader s 1  p r i n c i p l e clues to gesture, the importance of a very close and c a r e f u l reading of the play i s undeniable.  Such a reading i s  p r o f i t a b l e , f o r , as we have already seen, Moliere's plays were written with gesture and movement i n mind.  Gabriel Conesa  says of any text by Moliere: " i l possederait, a un niveau plus profond, une grande richesse de v i r t u a l i t e s gestuelles, imprimees dans les rythmes du langage; selon J . Copeau, l e comedien n'a pas a imaginer les gestes, mais i l doit l a i s s e r le texte l e s l u i indiquer."^ Because gesture i s d i f f i c u l t to delimit, c r i t i c s generally choose to deal only with gestures described i n e x p l i c i t stage d i r e c t i o n s , or those that can be reasonably inferred from the text.10  Therefore, the f i r s t step i n coming  to grips with describing gesture i s to divide i t into two types: e x p l i c i t and implied gesture.  E x p l i c i t gesture poses  fewer problems, although the directions given are often d i s t r e s s i n g l y c r y p t i c , as i n the famous bottle scene i n the f i r s t act of Le Medecin malgre l u i , i n which an obviously r i c h jeu de scene i s reduced to: "divers gestes qui font un grand jeu de theatre."- 1  1  Dealing with implied gesture often means  allowing the text to inform one's performance imagination. One's detective s k i l l s and sense of logic are also pressed into service. There are certain clues which help i n t h i s process of  5  i d e n t i f y i n g implied gestures.  For example, characters  refer to a gesture which has already taken place. way,  may  In t h i s  the reader i s able to discern gestures a p o s t e r i o r i .  Punctuation,  e s p e c i a l l y exclamation marks, often implies  excitement or a g i t a t i o n , emotional states that are normally accompanied by some sort of physical expression. l i k e "oh!"  and "ah!"  Also, words  are frequently a clue to some gesture.  Words that carry with them an emotion, such as "Coquin!", generally express anger or menace. that the character may a physical one,  They are a good i n d i c a t i o n  be accompanying his verbal threat with  such as the innumerable coup de baton scenes.  F i n a l l y , a change i n d i r e c t i o n or tone i n a scene may  indicate  and/or i n i t i a t e a corresponding gestural movement. While gesture concerns each i n d i v i d u a l actor, i t i s also important from the point of view of i n t e r a c t i o n . character's gestures a f f e c t another's?  Does one  Do  one  actor's  r e l a t i v e i n a c t i v i t y or hyperactivity reveal something about him?  A consideration of rhythm and frequency of movement and  gesture enters into t h i s question of i n t e r a c t i o n of characters as well as the study of i n d i v i d u a l gestures.  Sometimes the  stage becomes awhirl with movement, as the actors chase each other i n a symmetrical but dizzying pattern-^, or as one scene follows another i n rapid succession, characters  short  'flying'  on and off stage at breakneck speed. The importance of gesture l i e s i n i t s expressiveness. Gustave Attinger writes:  6 . . . l o r s g u ' i l s ' a g i t de marguer du sceau comique l e s grandes v i c e s de l a nature humaine, l e geste s e r a t o u j o u r s l a p l u s e f f i c a c e des s t y l i s a t i o n s . Une grimace de peur ou de concupiscence, un mot a 1 ' e m p o r t e - p i e c e , s t y l i s e n t davantage qu'un monologue. That i s  to say,  gesture i s e f f e c t i v e i n a v i s u a l  way.  However, t h i s v i s u a l e f f e c t of gesture a l s o t r a n s l a t e s i n t e l l e c t u a l one because i t a f f e c t s the a u d i e n c e ' s through the power of s u g g e s t i o n :  imagination  " l e geste a c q u i e r t p l u s de  f o r c e quand i l se p r o f i l e sur l e fond p l u s complexe, t r o u b l e , souvent f e e r i q u e , de  parfois  1'imagination.  The v i s u a l i n M o l i e r e goes back to the i n f l u e n c e s formed him. article,  Thus source study i s  a l l important.  " M o l i e r e and h i s s o u r c e s " , P h i l i p A.  defends t h i s k i n d of study:  In  that  his  Wadsworth  " F o r a sound a p p r e c i a t i o n of  works, one must have some knowledge of the traditions,  to an  readings,  and i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r r e n t s t h a t nourished them.  The study of s o u r c e s ,  sometimes d e c r i e d as  old-fashioned,  s u p e r f i c i a l , or o v e r - d e t e r m i n i s t i c , w i l l s u r e l y remain, Moliere's  his  in  c a s e , an i n d i s p e n s a b l e s c h o l a r l y d i s c i p l i n e . " l ^  W i t h i n h i s d e f i n i t i o n of " s o u r c e " , Wadsworth  distinguishes  between " c o n t e x t " : " i . e . the immediate, o f t e n contemporary forces etc.)  (books, p l a y s ,  persons,  s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l  questions,  t h a t h i s comedies echo or e x p l o i t " - ^ and " c e r t a i n remote  and r a t h e r broad i n f l u e n c e s , such as a r c h e t y p e s , genres,  and  t h e a t r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , without which M o l i e r e c o u l d s c a r c e l y have c r e a t e d comedies at a l l . " - ^ c o n s i d e r a t i o n of M o l i e r e ' s  As we w i l l  sources i s  see,  fundamental to the  7  present  study.  It i s well-established that Moliere's interest i n performance and physical comedy i s largely as a r e s u l t of the influence of the actors and conventions of the French farce and commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n s .  Due to h i s many talents as  an actor-author-director-^, these influences, along with several others, affected Moliere's theatre i n many ways. The plays discussed i n t h i s thesis c l e a r l y display the mark of the French and I t a l i a n tradtions and were chosen to i l l u s t r a t e the use of movement and gesture.  In Chapter 1 we  w i l l give a b r i e f overview of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e and farce t r a d i t i o n s and their relationship with Moliere i n order to provide a context f o r our subsequent chapters.  In Chapter 2  we w i l l then discuss two of Moliere's e a r l i e s t surviving oneact  farces, namely Le Medecin volant and La Jalousie du  Barbouille from the point of view of gesture and movement.  In  the remaining two chapters, we w i l l adopt the same point of view i n order to discuss Le Medecin malgre l u i and Les Fourberies de Scapin, two f u l l - l e n g t h plays exhibiting the influences discussed i n the preceding chapters. Rather than a piecemeal approach to the question, the method of examination  w i l l be to study gesture and movement as  they unfold i n each play.  This method has been chosen i n  order to convey a sense of how these elements function within a sequence and within the play as a whole.  This w i l l allow us  to see how Moliere builds a performance, sweeping up the  8  spectator i n the energy generated by v i s u a l and physical effects.  Conesa c a l l s t h i s network of gestures " l e t i s s u  gestuel" and adds that: " [ i l ] donne toute sa dimension au spectacle d r a m a t i g u e . S i n c e the v i s u a l spectacle i s central to Moliere's plays, an understanding of gesture and movement w i l l lead to a f u l l e r appreciation of h i s theatre.  9 NOTES  1.  Alfred Simon, "Les Rites elementaires de l a comedie molieresque", Cahiers de l a Compaqnie Madeleine RenaudJean-Louis Barrault, Paris: J u l l i a r d , Janvier, 1956, p. 18.  2.  P h i l i p A. Wadsworth, Moliere and the I t a l i a n Theatrical Tradition, French Literature Publications Company, 1977, p. 105.  3.  Moliere, C o l l e c t i o n "Les Metteurs en Scene", (Paris: Les Presses L i t t e r a i r e s de France, 1953), p. 19.  4.  Simon, p. 15.  5.  Simon, p. 16-17.  6.  "Les Frontispices des editions de Moliere parues au XVIIe s i e c l e : stereotypes et expressivite". Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, XIV, 26(1987).  7.  I t a l i a n Tradition , p. 105.  8.  Rene Bray, Moliere, homme de theatre, (Paris: Mercure de France, 1954), p. 258.  9.  Le Dialogue molieresque; Etude s t y l i s t i q u e et dramaturgique. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1983), p. 445. Conesa's section devoted to gesture i s valuable for t h i s study, and w i l l be mentioned i n r e l a t i o n to the plays studied i n chapters two to four.  10.  G. Donald Jackson i n "Gestes, deplacements et texte dans t r o i s pieces de Moliere", Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, XI, 20(1984), 36-59, and Barbara C. Bowen i n Les Caracteristiques e s s e n t i e l l e s de l a farce frangaise et leur survivance dans les annees 1550-1620, I l l i n o i s Studies i n Language and Literature, No. 53., (Urbana: Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1964).  11.  Moliere, Oeuvres completes, ed. Robert Jouanny, Classiques Garnier, (Paris: Garnier, 1962), v o l . 2, 1,5. Unless otherwise stated, a l l references i n t h i s thesis to Moliere's plays are to t h i s edition', and w i l l be included i n parentheses i n the body of the text.  12.  see 11,10, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.  13.  L'Esprit de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e dans l e theatre frangais, (Paris: L i b r a i r i e theatrale and Neuchatel: La Baconniere, 1950), p. 36-7.  10 14.  Attinger, p. 22.  15.  Oeuvres & Critiques VI, 1(1981), p. 74.  16.  Wadsworth, "Sources", p. 69.  17.  Wadsworth, "Sources", p. 69.  18.  Baty and Chavance refer to the influence of the I t a l i a n actors on Moliere, and they comment on h i s multidimensional r o l e : Mais i l a mieux que tout c e l a : l e don inne. Son physique..., ses s o u r c i l s noirs et f o r t s , sa voix sourde aux i n f l e c t i o n s dures, l a v o l u b i l i t e de son debit, qui se r e s o l v a i t en une maniere de hoquet spasmodique, l u i fournissaient a eux seuls des e f f e t s comiques. Sa physionomie e t a i t d'une extreme mobilite...Surout i l avait cette faculte ...de creer un personnage imaginaire en oubliant tout de l u i meme. Cette faculte, on l a v o i t s'etendre encore chez le metteur en scene. Avec l u i , c'est tout un monde qui s'anime.... ...[C]'est son genie d'acteur et de metteur en scene qui l e pousse a se f a i r e par s u r c r o i t auteur. Vie de l ' a r t theatral des origines a nos jours, (Paris: L i b r a i r e Plon, 1932), p. 188-190.  19.  p. 446.  CHAPTER 1 Gustave A t t i n g e r s L'Esprit de l a Commedia d e l l ' A r t e dans 1  le theatre frangais i s recognized  as an authoritative source  of information regarding the commedia d e l l ' a r t e and French theatre. 1 2  j  n  hj_ f i r s t chapter, Attinger refers to the s  commedia d e l l ' a r t e as the "commedia all'improvviso".^  This  descriptive term implies an emphasis on performance and, l o g i c a l l y , on the v i s u a l spectacle.^  i n h i s f i r s t two  chapters, Attinger develops the notion that " l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e cree exactement un spectacle, chose pour etre vue, non pour etre r e f l e c h i e ou vecue."  5  That i s to say, the logic  or message of the play, t r a d i t i o n a l l y conveyed by means of the plot (1'intrigue) i s subordinate to the effects"of the often spontaneous v i s u a l spectacle.^  As Attinger points out, t h i s  i s true of both the commedia erudita and the commedia all'improvviso, although the two theatres make use of 1'intrigue to diverse ends.  In the commedia erudita,  "1'intrigue n'etait pas generalement une f i n en s o i , mais l'occasion pour les auteurs de deployer leur comique verbal. As f o r the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , "1'intrigue n'est qu'une occasion donnee au jeu de s ' e x p r i m e r . H e r e Attinger introduces what he considers to be a central fact of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e ; the importance of jeu.  The p r i n c i p l e  components of jeu are p h y s i c a l / f a c i a l gesture, music, voice, props and decor.  The most elemental of these are movement and  12 gesture, our primary concern i n t h i s t h e s i s .  The jeu i s more  than just a physical representation of the text. unifying force.  I t i s also a  In his concluding chapter e n t i t l e d "Qu'est-ce  que l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e ? " , Attinger writes: Au centre de ce theatre, i l y a done l e jeu, qui n'est pas un simple interprete, mais un v e r i t a b l e createur de pensee. Le geste a l u i seul suggere beaucoup plus que l e texte q u ' i l porte. Pour atteindre ce pouvoir, i l doit etre commande par une technique, une symbolique de 1 expression, qui t i e n t a l a f o i s de l a statuaire et de l'acrobatie. Bref, l a pensee, a peine evoquee, se concretise, prend corps, muscles et nerfs. Autour du jeu, tout l e spectacle s'organise dans le meme e s p r i t . ^ 1  The jeu determines not only the p l o t but also the characters.  In his introduction to Giacomo Oreglia's book,  Evert Sprinchorn  judges types to be the e s s e n t i a l component of  the commedia d e l l ' a r t e :  "The e s s e n t i a l fact about the  Commedia i s that each troupe consisted of a c o n s t e l l a t i o n of characters who  remained the same regardless of the p l o t they  found themselves embroiled  in."-^  I t would seem that t h i s  undercuts Attinger's opinion of the importance of jeu. fact, the jeu and types are so i n t e r r e l a t e d and  In  interdependent  that they are both e s s e n t i a l facts of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e tradition.  This being the case, the tendency i s to attempt to  discuss them simultaneously.  For the sake of c l a r i t y , we  will  discuss the issue of types f i r s t , and then turn our attention again to jeu and performance s t y l e . The type, "[cet etre place a mi-chemin entre l a r e a l i t e et l e symbole,] est sans doute l a creation l a plus o r i g i n a l e et l a plus precieuse de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e . " H  There are  several types i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n ; for the purposes of subsequent chapters, we w i l l concentrate  on the  three basic types: the lovers, the o l d men and the servants. The lovers or innamorati were b e a u t i f u l and elegant, and were required to follow s t r i c t rules of play.  They never wore  masks and were not allowed to gesticulate excessively; t h e i r characters were l a r g e l y presented through r h e t o r i c .  The o l d  men and the servants, on the other hand, wore masks, and were not so r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r play, although there were s t r i c t boundaries to their r o l e s . Both Pantalone and the Dottore belonged to the category of o l d men.  Within t h e i r category, the Doctor was  characterized by h i s obesity and mincing gait-^^ and h i s verbal 'abilities'.  The Doctor's voluminous rhetoric, "dont chaque  mot," according to Moland, "est une delicieuse anerie"-^ was burdened with garbled Latin and tautologies.- 1  4  He d i d not  hesitate to impose h i s verbosity as frequently as possible, being c a r e f u l , however, not to lower himself to the l e v e l of the second zanni.  In the case of Pantalone, comic e f f e c t was  produced as a r e s u l t of h i s seriousness  and the contradictions  of s e n i l i t y : he was both avaricious and extravagant, an authoritarian yet indulgent father.  He usually made himself  r i d i c u l o u s by h i s l u s t f u l pursuit of much younger women. In t h i s a c t i v i t y he often competed with h i s son.  In the o l d men  category, Pantalone held the p r i n c i p a l r o l e , and was usually accompanied by a servant or z a n n i . ^  14 It was the function of the f i r s t zanni to keep the plot moving.  T r a d i t i o n a l l y , t h i s type was acted by B r i g h e l l a .  He  was l i v e l y , amusing, resourceful, cunning, d e c e i t f u l . Scappino was also a f i r s t zanni.  Arlecchino, the second  zanni, was a n c i l l a r y to the plot; h i s function was to maintain the rhythm of the comedy. the masks. servant.  His was the most acrobatic of a l l  He was o r i g i n a l l y a stupid, hungry, vengeful Later, h i s character evolved to embody a series of  contradictions, l i k e Pantalone;  he was lazy, yet a busybody;  cunning and ingenuous; awkward and g r a c e f u l . ^ In studying the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , i t i s often d i f f i c u l t to determine whether some aspects of i t are a cause or an effect.  We have already alluded to the use of masks.  Most of  the characters wore them, "thus creating fixed types", according to Giacomo O r e g l i a . l ^  The existence of types raises  two questions of c a u s a l i t y : was i t the case, as Oreglia suggests, that types were created as a r e s u l t of the use of masks, or d i d characters wear masks because they were already fixed types, and the masks were merely a way of i d e n t i f y i n g the types and helping the actors stay i n character? problem remains to t h i s day d i f f i c u l t to solve.1^  This However,  no matter what the answer to t h i s question of c a u s a l i t y , the existence of both masks and types placed the emphasis on the jeu,  because they pointed to and allowed f o r improvisation i n  dialogue and gesture.  In fact, with the existence of stock  characters, improvisation was e s s e n t i a l .  This brings us to  15 the second, more basic question of causality: does the improvisational nature of the jeu necessitate stock characters, or did the stock characters necessitate improvised play?  Whether a cause or an e f f e c t , without improvisation  there i s a great r i s k of the theatre becoming stale very quickly, and of a l l the plays resembling each other too closely.  Indeed, the very survival of a t r a d i t i o n i n which  there are stock characters and standard plots rests on the q u a l i t y of performance on the whole, and the a b i l i t y of the troupe to maintain through improvisation the interest of an audience as f a m i l i a r with the conventions as the actors themselves.-^  As Sprinchorn indicates, when improvisation was  no longer stressed, the commedia d e l l ' a r t e eventually died out:  "With the passing of time, more reliance was placed on  stage decor and the impromptu element was reduced.  With that  the decline of the Commedia set in."20 That the plays performed i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n were largely improvised may be inferred from the form of the s c r i p t s or scenarios that we have of them.  These  s c r i p t s do not remotely resemble a modern s c r i p t i n which the dialogue i s completely provided for the actor.  In the case of  a playwright such as Tennessee Williams, for example, the text of the play i s accompanied by elaborate stage and l i g h t i n g directions for the director, as well as detailed d i r e c t i o n s of how  the characters are to be interpreted by the actor.  This  i s to ensure that the play i s presented more or less as i t s  creator conceived i t .  In contrast, the creator of a commedia  d e l l ' a r t e play would probably not have r i g i d l y envisioned his work.  I t could even be said that the r e a l creators of these  plays were the actors of each performance, and that at every performance, the play was created anew.  This does not  necessarily supplant the importance of the 'author' of these plays, since he was  frequently a member of the troupe, as  Moliere, t h e i r successor.  was  Apart from the basic p l o t , the  exits and entrances of the actors, and suggested b i t s of stage business, there are very few s p e c i f i c instructions i n the scenarios, or canevas.  These were the framework on which the  commedia d e l l ' a r t e troupe constructed t h e i r performances. was  It  the actors' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to ensure that they managed  t h e i r jeu i n such a way  that the performance continued  smoothly, keeping within the l i m i t s of the scenario.  As  mentioned e a r l i e r , c e r t a i n characters were entrusted with ensuring that the continuity of the comedy was t h i s way  a p o t e n t i a l l y unwieldy art form was  respected.  In  kept i n check  just enough to entertain the audience and maintain i t s interest. Attinger considers the advantages of improvisation: " i l s sont v i s i b l e s : c'est l a primaute donnee au geste, dans un theatre dont 1'essence est l e geste.21"  one of the best-known  performance techniques of the commedia predictably i s rooted i n gesture: the lazzo.  Loosely described as a sight gag,  lazzo i s extremely d i f f i c u l t to define, due to i t s very  the  17 nature.  Because i t belongs to the realm of performance and  improvisation, i t i s an ever-changing value that varies according to the a b i l i t i e s of the actors involved i n i t and the reaction of the audience.  Theatre scholars generally  agree that l a z z i were motivated by strong emotions and drives: hunger, fear, lust.22  Beatings, threats of physical violence,  l u s t f u l caresses and vulgar food t r i c k s are some of the most common of these l a z z i . audience laugh.  Their basic function was  to make the  Sometimes, they were used extemporaneously to  recapture the wandering attention of a restless crowd.  These  l a z z i could be embarked upon with only a l i n e or two of warning as a cue.  Mel Gordon c i t e s the example of the "Lazzo  of N i g h t f a l l " : I f , i n the middle of a performance, the Commedia manager noticed that the audience,...,was not responding well, he, i n the character of Arlecchino, could begin a monologue, such as "Time f l i e s at the pace of a s n a i l on the floodwater current that has just stopped. Why Midnight, you hourglass t h i e f . . . " This would cue his actors to s t a r t setting up the Lazzo of N i g h t f a l l , where a l l the actors suddenly pretend that darkness has descended over them.23 Gordon also makes the point that t h i s lazzo i s both contrived and improvised.  As this quote indicates, the players of the  commedia d e l l ' a r t e had a " t r a d i t i o n du geste"24 upon which to draw.  This t r a d i t i o n provided not only b i t s of play, but also  a c e r t a i n structure i n which the l a z z i had to f i t neatly and »n  emphasize or determine dialogue.25  y a done une  logique  qui preside a 1'elaboration d'un  canevas...qui... sera une pure  logique de metteur en scene."26  j  n  keeping with the semi-  18 i m p r o v i s a t i o n a l nature of many examples of t h i s t e c h n i q u e , l a z z i frequently included tailor-made allusions  i n dialogue  or  gesture to someone i n the audience, or t o some c u r r e n t event. Of the r i g o u r s  of improvised p l a y O r e g l i a  writes:  The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the s c e n a r i o , j u s t because i t was i m p r o v i s e d , demanded from the a c t o r a very a c c u r a t e study i f h i s r o l e and a v a s t knowledge of l a z z i , c o n c e i t s , q u i p s , s a l l i e s , monologues and the l i k e which formed the z i b a l d o n i (miscellaneous or 'gag b o o k s ' ) , which the comedians handed down from one g e n e r a t i o n to another. But what was most n e e d f u l to a comedian of the Improvvisa was the p e c u l i a r t h e a t r e i n t u i t i o n which enabled him to know how to support or f e e d , whether by words or by a c t i o n s , the other a c t o r s i n the drama.^7 In a d d i t i o n , the a c t o r s were r e q u i r e d to be i n very good p h y s i c a l shape, as the s t y l e of p l a y was extremely g e s t u r a l and o f t e n v e r y a c r o b a t i c .  The example i s  o f t e n c i t e d of  Scaramouche who, a t an advanced age, was s t i l l able to As t h i s  give  h i m s e l f a s l a p on the face w i t h h i s  foot.  i m p l i e s , broad, e x p r e s s i v e gestures  i n v o l v i n g the whole body  were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e .  example  Since the  s u b t l e t i e s of f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n were o f t e n d i f f i c u l t to p e r c e i v e because of the use of masks, and i n any event were f r e q u e n t l y l o s t on the m a j o r i t y of the audience due to the p h y s i c a l d i s p o s i t i o n of the s t a g e , a c t o r s were r e q u i r e d to use t h e i r whole bodies t o e n t e r t a i n t h e i r audience and p o r t r a y their character.  As A t t i n g e r s a y s , " c e m a s q u e . . . l e s  grimacer avec t o u t l e u r c o r p s . " * * 2  It  i s not s u r p r i s i n g  each type had a d i s t i n c t i v e performance s t y l e . distinctions  oblige a that  These  i n f a c t separate one type from another,  since  19 types are a l l e s s e n t i a l l y "egoistes, couards et l i b i d i n e u x " . Due i n part to the limitations of the stage, one of the conventions  of typology i s posturing.  Pantalone,  for example,  often stood i n silhouette so that h i s pointed beard and h i s bulging stomach c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d him to the audience, and were an instant source of amusement to an audience who knew what the presence of the character promised i n the way of entertainment. Pantalone,  Consequently, the lascivious expressions of  or the antic posturings of Arlecchino become  trademarks, allowing swift recognition of the various types by t h e i r audience.  Thus, the commedia d e l l ' a r t e was a theatre  that required great energy, cleverness, and d i s c i p l i n e i n order to both improvise and present a coherent performance. However, the rewards of t h i s style of acting were well worth the e f f o r t because, " . . . i n the end, by contrast to the 'premeditated  comedy' i t allowed the actor endless scope f o r  invention and a spontaneous and natural freedom both i n dialogue and mime and a wonderful sense of p a r t i c i p a t i o n with the audience."30 In t h i s discussion of the importance of the type and jeu, there i s a common denominator: the company. i s as good as the actors who interpret i t .  Generally, a play In a t h e a t r i c a l  t r a d i t i o n i n which the emphasis i s placed on improvised performance, the absolute importance of the i n d i v i d u a l a b i l i t i e s of the actors and their capacity to interact e f f e c t i v e l y i s self-evident.  2 9  20  C ' e s t l e r e g n e de l ' a c t e u r . I l e s t t o u t . E t , d " i n s t i n c t , d a n s l a d i v i n a t i o n de s o n a r t , i l met e n oeuvre tous l e s elements q u i sont a l a base du theatre. A c r o b a t e , i l e n t r e m e l e s o n d i a l o g u e de p a s , de s a u t s , de c a b r i o l e s , i l d a n s e d a n s l e s i n t e r m e d e s e t d a n s de p e t i t s b a l l e t s q u i t e r m i n e n t les actes. M u s i c i e n , i lchante en scene en s'accompagnant de l a g u i t a r e - - . . . . P e i n t r e , i l r e p a n d sur s e s costumes des c o u l e u r s q u i c h a t o i e n t . Auteur e n f i n , i l improvise son texte.-*! T h u s , a s i n modern f i l m a n d s t a g e , i n t h e commedia d e l l ' a r t e .  t h e r e were a l s o  The name o f t h e g r e a t  l i v e s on t o d a y , over t h r e e hundred y e a r s is  synonymous w i t h t h e commedia M o l i e r e knew t h e s e  I t seems r e a s o n a b l e  celebrities Scaramouche  a f t e r h i s d e a t h , and  dell'arte.  celebrities,  e s p e c i a l l y Scaramouche.  t o suggest that t h i s c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n o f  M o l i e r e and t h e I t a l i a n a c t o r s i n t h e P e t i t - B o u r b o n  theatre  and  style of  t h e P a l a i s - R o y a l gave M o l i e r e a t a s t e f o r t h i s  performance.  W a d s w o r t h w r i t e s : "The I t a l i a n p l a y e r s i n P a r i s  owe t h e i r g r e a t Fiorilli  success t o t h e i r h i s t r i o n i c  (Scaramouche) had amazing t a l e n t s f o r g e s t u r e s and  g r i m a c e s ; he a c t e d w i t h o u t scenes without "had was  a mask a n d s o m e t i m e s d i d w h o l e  saying a word"  extraordinary gifts  3 3  and l a t e r adds t h a t  e s p e c i a l l y famous f o r h i s g e s t u r e - o r i e n t e d  Neufvillaine describes  Moliere  as an a c t o r i n comic r o l e s . " 3 4  s t y l e and t h e m o b i l i t y o f h i s f a c e .  and  abilities.  as Scaramouche d i d : " s o n v i s a g e  performance  I n a note t o Sganarelle,  the expressiveness  h i s a b i l i t y t o e n t e r t a i n without  o f h i s f a c e and body  u s i n g any d i a l o g u e ,  e t ses gestes  just  expriment s i  b i e n l a j a l o u s i e , q u ' i l ne s e r a i t p a s n e c e s s a i r e p o u r p a r a i t r e l e p l u s j a l o u x de t o u s  He  qu'il parlat  l e s hommes." ^ 3  I n an  a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Ce que Moliere doit a Scaramouche", H. Gaston H a l l traces Moliere's debt to Scaramouche for the grimace.^6  "En regardant Scaramouche, Moliere, acteur et  auteur, apprit son metier."37  pierre-Louis Duchartre also  mentions the legacy of Scaramouche: "Moliere, e c r i t du Tralage, estimoit f o r t Scaramouche pour ses manieres naturelles; i l le voyait f o r t souvent et l u i a servi a former les meilleurs acteurs de sa troupe.  On l i t au bas du p o r t r a i t  de Scaramouche, grave par Vermeulen: II fut l e maitre de Moliere/ et l a nature fut l e sien."38 Moliere's indebtedness  to the I t a l i a n theatre i s widely  recognized by l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s .  Despite t h i s v i r t u a l  consensus of opinion, there have been r e l a t i v e l y few studies that deal s p e c i f i c a l l y with the links between Moliere and the I t a l i a n influence.  There are b a s i c a l l y three main texts and  various a r t i c l e s on the subject.  They span the l a s t hundred  and twenty years, with a concentration i n the l a s t few decades which suggests a possible r e v i v a l of interest i n t h i s area. Chronologically, Louis Moland's Moliere et l a comedie i t a l i e n n e i s the f i r s t major study on Moliere and the I t a l i a n tradition.  In i t , Moland states: "Moliere [doit]  principalement aux I t a l i e n s l e mouvement de son theatre. L'action dramatique ne parait pas avoir ete tres-naturelle a 1'esprit francais qui a toujours ete f o r t enclin aux discours....En I t a l i e , au c o n t r a i r e , . . . . l a parole est absolument subordonnee et compte a peine."39  i  n  his book  22  Moland stresses the importance of jeu i n Moliere's theatre, an observation upon which most c r i t i c s agree.  Since the I t a l i a n  t r a d i t i o n i s characterized by the primacy of movement and  the  v i s u a l spectacle, which i s not so much the French tendency according to Moland^, we do not hesitate to give great importance to the I t a l i a n influence, f o r , i n Attinger's opinion, "Ce gout de 1'action, du mouvement, q u ' i l a appris des I t a l i e n s , a revolutionne l a scene f r a n c a i s e . W e have already c i t e d Attinger several times i n our discussion of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e .  His study also includes a section on  Moliere and the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , where he demonstrates that Moliere was  formed to a c e r t a i n extent by the s p i r i t of the  commedia d e l l ' a r t e , which he sums up with a sort of motto: " l e jeu d'abord".^2  j _ his estimation, the Moliere shaped by t h i s n  t r a d i t i o n had a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on the h i s t o r y of French theatre: "C'est avec Moliere, en Moliere, que l a comedie i t a l i e n n e , plus specialement l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , a servi l a cause du theatre comique en France, l u i a en quelque sorte donne son  envoi."^3  There are numerous examples of the influence of the I t a l i a n improvised  theatre.  As mentioned, the dialogue  was  usually written down, although there are instances i n the text where "etc." and "en faisant divers gestes p l a i s a n t s " imply the necessity to improvise;  Moliere had a very  lively  performance s t y l e and valued the importance of movement; the structure of some of his plays were i n the I t a l i a n style of  23  three acts; he frequently used conventional plots and characters; i n some cases, the names of characters are also derived from I t a l i a n characters; for example Scappino became Moliere's famous rascal Scapin.  P h i l i p A. Wadsworth traces  the evolution of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e character to Moliere's scheming valet i n his Moliere and the I t a l i a n T h e a t r i c a l Tradition , the most recent of the three main texts on t h i s subject.  He emphasizes that t h i s evolution from the commedia  d e l l ' a r t e to Moliere's theatre was  not l i n e a r , and perhaps not  so much an evolution as a p a r a l l e l development with Moliere's a b i l i t i e s as a 'purely' French playwright.^4 to his genius that Moliere was  I t was  a tribute  able to work with both the  I t a l i a n s t y l e plays and the French s t y l e plays throughout his career.  Accordingly, Le Misanthrope, a f i v e - a c t s o c i a l s a t i r e  i n verse, i s far more r e l i a n t on discourse than Les Fourberies de Scapin, a t y p i c a l l y I t a l i a n three-act prose comedy or farce, which i s dependent largely on gesture for i t s comic effect. As we have seen, c r i t i c s writing about the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n generally emphasize jeu and  types.  Moliere stepped into t h i s jeu/type-oriented t r a d i t i o n and the e f f e c t s of his acquaintance  with these aspects are evident i n  the performance s t y l e and l i t e r a r y , s t r u c t u r a l q u a l i t i e s of both his early plays and farces as well as his l a t e r plays.  Although Moliere was greatly influenced by the I t a l i a n s ,  he was  a French playwright,  and i t i s only natural that he  would also be influenced by what has been referred to as the "national genre of France".  Therefore,  any discussion of  influences on Moliere would be incomplete without reference  to  the French farce t r a d i t i o n . ^ 4  Farce l i e s not merely chronologically at the origins of Moliere's t h e a t e r . T h e choice of t h i s genre for his e a r l i e s t dramatic attempts would indicate that Moliere f e l t an a f f i n i t y for i t s techniques and perceived therein a c e r t a i n compatability with his own comic v i s i o n . . . . i t was to remain hidden behind many of the situations of the more serious plays only to burst forth where least expected. Gustave Lanson's "Moliere et l a farce" i s constantly quoted on t h i s subject. ^ 4  Much l a t e r , Raymond Lebegue wrote  an a r t i c l e of the same t i t l e i n which he reproaches Lanson for having treated the I t a l i a n influence and French farce as influence.  Lebegue takes exception  one  to the f a c t that Lanson  refers to both influences as 'farce', when a d i s t i n c t i o n should be made between ' I t a l i a n farce' and  'French farce'.  However, he says that Lanson "est encore p r o f i t a b l e "  4 8  and  admits that "...1'exemple de Lanson qui mele a 1'influence  de  l a farce c e l l e de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , prouve q u ' i l est impossible  de f a i r e entre l'une et 1'autre une d i s t i n c t i o n  bien tranchee."  49  This question of separating the e f f e c t s of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e from those of French farce i s not an easy one  to  sort out, e s p e c i a l l y since the c r i t i c s do not seem to have come to a general consensus of opinion on t h i s issue.  For  example, Barbara Bowen appears to believe that, to a c e r t a i n  degree, the d i s t i n c t i o n i s chronological, farce l o s i n g i n popularity as the I t a l i a n s won  the attentions of the audiences  of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries^O,  whereas  Lebegue seems to believe that the commedia d e l l ' a r t e repopularized French farce.  In Le Theatre comique en France  de Pathelin a Melite, Lebegue writes: . . . l a Commedia d e l l ' a r t e , dont le succes en France fut immediat, revela aux Francais un rythme rapide et un comique de gestes et de mots qui n'etait pas ' r a f f i n e , mais qui dechainait les r i r e s . Elle contribua a l a vogue grandissante de notre farce.^1 The sense one gets from both Lebegue and Bowen i s that these two t h e a t r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s entered into a pattern of increasing and diminishing popularity, which i n turn determined the degree of influence each genre exercised on the other. complexity of t h i s question becomes apparent.  The two genres  cannot be treated as e n t i r e l y d i s t i n c t from each other there was  The  a c e r t a i n amount of t r a f f i c between the two.  since In  addition, the two theatres made use of s i m i l a r materials.^2 Further, the two theatres had the same basic goal, which, as we have seen, was  achieved l a r g e l y by means of gesture and  movement. [La commedia d e l l ' a r t e ] r e i n t r o d u i s a i t ce qui avait f a i t l e succes de l a f a r c e . . . : l e mouvement continu, l a r a p i d i t e du rythme, les jeux de scene burlesques, les coups, les cabrioles, les gags, l e gros comique. Aucun probleme s o c i a l et moral n'etait pose: c ' e t a i t un theatre d'evasion, et. comme l a Reine Mere, on r i a i t de tout son saoul.->3 This touches on the s o c i o l o g i c a l reasons for the popularity of t h i s type of theatre; i t was  a means of escape.  "Pour  o u b l i e r l e s malheurs p u b l i c s e t p r i v e s de c e t t e epoque, i l r e c o u r a i t a ces moyens d'evasion:... l a f a n t a i s i e debridee de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , quand l e s a c t e u r s  i t a l i e n s e t a i e n t en  France, e t l e comique v i s u e l e t v e r b a l des f a r c e s e t des comedies f a r c e s q u e s . " ^ 4  The d i s t i n c t i o n , then, between the  commedia d e l l ' a r t e and French f a r c e l i e s p a r t l y i n the 'escape route'  t h a t each o f these genres o f f e r s .  The commedia  d e l l ' a r t e r e s o r t s t o the world o f f a n t a s y ;  French f a r c e  operates i n the realm o f r e a l i t y . ^ 5 Bowen p e r c e i v e s  another fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between  the I t a l i a n and French t r a d i t i o n s : M. A t t i n g e r a d i t que l a f a r c e r e p r e s e n t e l e courant r e a l i s t e e t t e r r e - a - t e r r e de l a pensee f r a n g a i s e , e t q u ' e l l e e s t a 1'inverse du baroque e t du f a n t a i s i s t e de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e . Cette a f f i r m a t i o n me semble d'une importance c a p i t a l e . Car l e s deux genres t r a i t e n t en un sens de l a meme matiere, s i t u a t i o n s conjugales e t rapports serviteurs-maitres s u r t o u t , mais i l s sont pourtant t r e s d i f f e r e n t s . Les personnages de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , a cause meme de l e u r aspect f i g e e t s t e r e o t y p e , ne se r a t t a c h e n t guere au monde r e e l , a l o r s que l e s personnages de l a f a r c e ont tous l e u r nom, l e u r m e t i e r , l e u r femme, e t l e u r foyer....De l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e nous retenons s u r t o u t l e s types, t a n d i s que nous nous souvenons des personnages de l a f a r c e . . . . ^ 6 T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between c h a r a c t e r s  i n the French f a r c e  t r a d i t i o n and types i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e i s not shared by all critics.  However, i t i s the b a s i s o f her a s s e r t i o n t h a t  "dans l e s f a r c e s . . . l e cote humain e s t souligne."57 When c r i t i c s d i s c u s s how the two t r a d i t i o n s i n f l u e n c e d each other,  they g e n e r a l l y mention o n l y what French f a r c e  borrowed from the commedia d e l l ' a r t e . 5 8  "[Au] moins dans l e  costume des farceurs et dans les jeux de scene, e l l e f i t des emprunts a l a commedia dell'arte."59  Later i n his book,  Lebegue says that i t i s indisputable that the I t a l i a n theatre gave French farce female actors, masks, gesture, and lazzi.60 This i s s i g n i f i c a n t for our study, since i t would appear that farce borrowed from, or had i n common with the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , a l l elements relevant to t h i s thesis.  However,  Bernadette Rey-Flaud contradicts Lebegue when she asserts that "[ces] prouesses sceniques,  qui f a i s a i e n t l e succes de  Scaramouche et des mimes i t a l i e n s . . . e t a i e n t . . . d e j a realisees par les interpretes frangais au Moyen Age,  prouvant a i n s i  que,  bien avant 1'arrivee des troupes i t a l i e n n e s . . . l e s comediens frangais exploitaient l ' a r t mimique sans l a contrainte texte."61  d'un  Rather than becoming entangled i n the b a t t l e  between these two theatres, l e t us turn our attention to a b r i e f study of the elements of farce relevant to t h i s thesis. Barbara Bowen defines farces as "de petites pieces  d'un  comique s u p e r f i c i e l qui t i r e ses e f f e t s surtout de gros jeux de scene et de rebondissements saugrenus de 1'action."62  of  her description of farce, what interests us p a r t i c u l a r l y i s her section on the jeux de scene which she defines as les jeux comiques physiques qui sont, ou specifiquement mentionnes dans une i n d i c a t i o n de scene (ce qui est assez rare), ou bien clairement entendus dans l e texte (ce qui est tres souvent l e cas pour l e lecteur avise). Bien entendu, les acteurs ajoutaient de leur cru et a qui mieux mieux bourrades, coups de pied, renversements de chaises, gestes obscenes, etc., sans trop se soucier du rapport entre l e geste et l e texte.63  28  As we have seen, the commedia d e l l ' a r t e gave many of i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to French farce, so i t i s not surprising that t h i s description could just as e a s i l y apply to gesture i n the I t a l i a n theatre.  Lebegue describes movement i n French farce:  because the farces were very short, the action was simple and compact; "chaque sketch possede mouvement scenique et l a verve burlesque d'une farce ou d'une commedia dell'arte."64  i t is  not d i f f i c u l t to see why Lanson considered these two theatres as one. At the end of h i s a r t i c l e , Lebegue r h e t o r i c a l l y asks why Moliere borrowed so often from farce, and he answers: "[La farce] l u i fournissaient quantite de types et de procedes prets a s e r v i r de nouveau.  Acteur, i l a imite l e jeu  expressif et 1'action des farceurs frangais et des comediens italiens."65  That i s to say, Moliere borrowed the same thing  from both t r a d i t i o n s , which i s not surprising, since apparently they had approximately  the same things to o f f e r .  Anne G i l l points out that "[the] f i r s t task of the farceur was to present a d i v e r t i n g outward show of gesture, attitude, f a c i a l expression, and manner of speech, and i t was c h i e f l y from the I t a l i a n actors of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e that Moliere learned how to do t h i s . "  6 6  Therefore Moliere, l i k e French  farceurs before him (Tabarin and Bruscambille), inherited h i s technique from the I t a l i a n s , and h i s attitude from French farce.  6 7  Whichever t r a d i t i o n t e c h n i c a l l y gave him each  element of h i s theatre i s impossible to say.  Fortunately,  29 t h i s lack of certainty, while i n t r i g u i n g , i s not c r u c i a l to t h i s discussion since we are not wholly concerned with his sources, but also the p r a c t i c a l application of what he borrowed to some of his plays.  To sum up the confusion of  influences, Lebegue writes: ...de Jodelle a Moliere, l ' h i s t o i r e de l a comedie frangaise, l o i n d'etre r e c t i l i g n e , est f a i t e d'apports successifs et de croisements. Tradition nationale de l a farce, imitation de l a comedie l a t i n e et de l a comedie i t a l i e n n e adaptees aux moeurs frangaises, emprunts a l a comedia espagnole, tout cela aboutira a Moliere. Sur ces elements heterogenes i l mettra sa marque personnelle, et i l saura c o n c i l i e r ensemble l a v e r i t e des moeurs et des caracteres et l a v i s comica.68 In the preceding  quotation, Lebegue touches on the issue  of the evolution of genres which i s evident i n Moliere's theatre.  In the "Notice" to Sganarelle, Couton writes:  "...tous les personnages sont en t r a i n d'echapper au  type;  c'est-a-dire que l a comedie est en t r a i n de se degager de l a farce. "*>9  j  n  t h i s case, the comentator does not  consider  farce characters as such, but as types, and he sets up an equation between type and farce, and between "personnage" and "comedie".70  This evolution and equation i s analogous to that  of Moliere's use of gesture and Attinger's equation of l a z z i and I t a l i a n theatre, and of s i g n i f i c a n t , meaningful gesture and Moliere's comedies: Le l a z z i pur, g r a t u i t , qui ne revele pas vraiment un caractere, qui n'est qu'une espece d'exaltation du comique, ne l'interesse pas...Les modifications operees par Moliere visent, en resume, a concentrer tout l ' i n t e r e t sur l e jeu et sur une g e s t i c u l a t i o n traduisant des c a r a c t e r e s . . . . i l s'attache...a transformer des l a z z i parfois sans consequence en  30  t r a i t s de c a r a c t e r e .  1L  For a l l the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the theatre of the actor-director-playwright Moliere and e x i s t i n g influences, Moliere had his own  originality.  Marie-Odile Sweetser speaks  for many c r i t i c s when she writes: "[On envisage] l a creation molieresque dans une perspective organique: ce qui l u i a donne naissance,  l ' a nourrie et comment e l l e est devenue e l l e -  meme."  Attinger speaks of the genius of Moliere i n  72  r e l a t i o n to the commedia d e l l ' a r t e : Son genie ne pouvait demeurer longtemps dans l e cadre e t r o i t de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e . II l ' a done e l a r g i , parfois demesurement, sans jamais l e b r i s e r vraiment....il accomplit l'union, impossible j u s q u ' i c i dans son pays, entre l a r e a l i t e et les conventions du theatre. II en t i r e un spectacle bien d i f f e r e n t de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , . . , frangais en somme, mais tempere par les plus saines traditions italiennes. ^ 7  Moliere also gives farce his own  stamp: " i l est o r i g i n a l , en  augmentant 1'interet psychologique et en donnant une morale...ses personnages ont plus d'epaisseur, que ceux des f a r c e s . "  7 4  legon  de complexite  I t i s the mark of a true genius to be  able to take old materials, to renew them, and i n so doing, to change the d i r e c t i o n of a nation's theatre. It i s appropriate to end t h i s chapter with a quote from Lanson's "Moliere et l a farce", since the following chapter w i l l deal with two farces attributed to Moliere which exemplify many of the ways i n which both the I t a l i a n and French farce influences manifested  themselves i n his theatre:  31 . . . l e v r a i Moliere est c e l u i qu'un tableau de l a Comedie-Frangaise nous montre au milieu de tous l e s farceurs i l l u s t r e s , i t a l i e n s et frangais....Moliere figure en compagnie d'Arlequin et de Gros-Guillaume, de Scaramouche et de Guillot-Gorju. V o i l a ses maitres; et v o i l a d'ou i l sort. I I est assez grand pour ne pas rougir de ses origines.^5  32 NOTES 1.  I t i s "the standard work on i t s influence i n France" according to P h i l i p A. Wadsworth i n h i s a r t i c l e "Studies of Moliere and h i s sources", Oeuvres & Critiques, VI, I (1981), p. 72.  2.  I wish to acknowledge my debt to Attinger for much of the material i n t h i s f i r s t chapter, as well as the following c r i t i c s : Oreglia, Mic, Wadsworth f o r the commedia d e l l ' a r t e section, and Bowen, Lebegue, Lanson f o r French farce.  3.  p. 13  4.  Attinger describes the commedia d e l l ' a r t e as "un spectacle ou 1'element v i s u e l egale et depasse 1'element verbal", p. 36. He stresses that i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n gesture i s not used to express psychological nuances of the characters. "Ce refus de l a commedia d'entrer plus avant dans 1'ame des hommes, pour y toucher l a profondeur de leurs vices, permet a l a passion de s'epanouir autour d'eux; a t e l point que ce ne sont plus meme les hommes en proie a l a passion, qui s'agitent devant nous, mais l e s passions elles-memes,...on se rend compte du role que l ' a r t a joue pour unir, au moyen du geste, l e symbole et l a v i e . Le type est l a p a r f a i t e expression de cette union." (p. 37). Types w i l l be discussed l a t e r i n t h i s chapter.  5.  p. 21  6.  "Auteur et acteurs ne cherchent qu'a f a i r e r i r e ; i l s visent au gros comique...." Lebegue, Le Theatre comique, p. 136.  7.  p. 28  8.  p. 29  9.  p. 433.  10.  The Commedia d e l l ' A r t e , trans, by Lovett F. Edwards, (London: Methuen, 1968), p. x i .  11.  Attinger, p. 434.  12.  Oreglia, p. 86.  13.  Moliere et l a comedie i t a l i e n n e , (Paris: Didier, 1867), p. 12.  33 14.  Oreglia, p.  84.  15.  Oreglia, pp. 78-80.  16.  Oreglia, Chapters 4 and 5.  17.  Oreglia, p. 1.  18.  Although an i n t e r e s t i n g problem, i t i s not s t r i c t l y relevant to our thesis, and therefore we w i l l have to forego any further inquiry into t h i s question at present.  19.  In his book, Lebegue comments: " . . . l e s pieces les plus nombreuses et qui ont f a i t 1'impression l a plus durable, ce sont les comedies improvisees." Le theatre comique en France de Pathelin a Melite, Connaissance des l e t t r e s , (Paris: Hatier, 1972), p. 139.  20.  i n Oreglia, p. x i i .  21.  Attinger, p.  57.  22.  Attinger, p.  49.  23.  L a z z i : The Comic Routines of the Commedia d e l l ' A r t e , Performing Arts Journal Publications: New York, 1983, p. 5.  24.  Attinger, p.  47.  25.  Attinger, p.  47.  26.  Attinger, p.  29.  27.  p.  12.  28.  p.  37.  29.  Attinger, p.  30.  Oreglia, p.  31.  Baty et Chavance, p.  33.  I t a l i a n Influence, p.  104.  34.  I t a l i a n Influence, p.  104.  35.  Moliere, Oeuvres completes, ed. Georges Couton, Bibliotheque de l a Pleiade, (Paris: Gallimard, 1971), n. b, p. 1229.  39. 13. 179.  34 36.  H. Gaston H a l l , i n Melanges a l a memoire de Franco Simone, (Geneve: Slatkine, 1981), 257-269.  37.  Attinger, p. 434.  38.  La Commedia d e l l ' A r t e , rev. ed., (Paris: Editions d'Art et Industrie, 1955), p. 26.  39.  Moland, p. 5-6. Alfred Simon supplies an explanation for the superior a b i l i t y of the I t a l i a n actors i n Paris for mime: Since they did not speak French, they were forced to make themselves understood by means of gesture. "Les Rites elementaires de l a comedie molieresque", Cahiers de l a Compagnie Madeleine Renaud-Jean-Louis-Barrault, 13 (1956), p. 19.  40.  Duchartre concurs: "...les I t a l i e n s apportent en France le mouvement, l'euberance, 1'expression intense, l a v i e , alors que notre comedie tend a se f i g e r dans des s u b t i l i t e s psychologiques en verre e t i r e , des beaux sentiments en stuc, des h i s t o i r e s de point d'honneur gonflees comme des vessies et souvent helas, aussi vides qu'elles", La Commedia dell'Arte p. 26.  41.  p. 45.  42.  p. 114.  43.  p. 114.  44.  Ch. VI, "From Scappino to Scapin". It i s perhaps inaccurate ever to speak of Moliere as a 'purely' French playwright. Wadsworth believes that "[in] many instances i t i s better to speak of an inheritance than of influences and sources. The motifs, the techniques, the stagecraft of the I t a l i a n theater were part of Moliere's accumulated c u l t u r a l and professional experience, a sort of foundation for his genius to b u i l d on" (p. 24). No doubt Wadsworth would agree that t h i s would also apply to the influence of French farce, had his study included a consideration of that source. I t would no doubt be more prudent to say that the influences which affected him manifested themselves to varying degrees from play to play, and therefore the 'flavour' of his theatre varied accordingly.  45.  Raymond Lebegue says that i n 1660, Somaize dubs Moliere " l e premier farceur de France", and i n 1670 Moliere i s pictured i n the famous tableau of I t a l i a n and French comedians and farceurs. He writes that "...les petites comedies, et meme les grandes, qui sont dues a Moliere  35 auteur, presentent de nombreuses ressemblances avec l e s farces". "Moliere et l a farce", Etudes sur l e theatre frangais I I , (Paris: Nizet, 1978), pp. 55-6. 46.  Anthony A. Ciccone, The Comedy of Language, Four Farces by Moliere, (Studia Humanitatis, Potomac: Jose Porrua Turanzas, 1980), pp. 61-2.  47.  La Revue de Paris, Paris, 1901, pp. 129-153.  48.  Moliere, p. 50.  49.  p. 55  50.  p. 3.  51.  p. 134.  52.  see Barbara C. Bowen, Les Caracteristiques e s s e n t i e l l e s de l a farce frangaise et leur survivance dans les annees 1550-1620, (Urbana: University of I l l i n o i s Press, 1964), p. 81-2.  53.  Lebegue, Le Theatre comique, pp. 142-4.  54.  Lebegue, Le Theatre comique, p. 134.  55.  Bowen q u a l i f i e s t h i s association of farce with r e a l i t y : "Mais pouvons-nous dire pour autant que les farces sont r e a l i s t e s ? Ou ne f a u d r a i t - i l pas plutot parler de vraisemblance? Nous savons que ce mot n ' e x i s t a i t n i pour les farceurs n i pour leur public, mais n'exprime-t-il pas tout de meme leur pensee? Les uns et les autres exigent une representation de l a vie qui se rattache suffisarament a l a r e a l i t e pour q u ' i l s s'y reconnaissent, mais s'en ecarte suffisamment pour s a t i s f a i r e leur besoin d'evasion." (p. 82).  56.  Bowen, pp. 81-2.  57.  p. 26.  58.  In the case of Barbara Bowen, she mentions what French farce d i d not borrow from the I t a l i a n s : " i l est...plus qu'injuste de parler d'obscenite comme caracteristique des farces; e l l e l ' e s t bien moins que des comedies italiennes du XVIeme s i e c l e , qui font parade de d e t a i l s erotiques ou stercoraires, avec une complaisance fastidieuse sinon desagreable." (p. 15). Judging from a study of Moliere's plays, he does not seem to have adopted t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the I t a l i a n performance t r a d i t i o n to any great extent.  36 59.  Lebegue, Le Theatre comique, p. 169.  60.  pp. 144-6.  61.  La Farce, ou La Machine a r i r e , Theorie d'un genre dramatique 1450-1550, (Geneve: Droz, 1984), p. 198.  62.  p. 3.  63.  p. 35.  64.  Le Theatre comique, p. 56.  65.  p. 67.  66.  "'The Doctor i n the Farce' and Moliere", French Studies, I I , 2(1948), p. 125.  67.  Bowen says of these French farceurs: "...dans leur attitude ces hommes paraissent aussi pres de leurs devanciers frangais, que par leurs procedes i l s se rapprochent des I t a l i e n s . " (p. 188).  68.  Lebegue, Le Theatre comique, p. 179.  69.  Moliere, Oeuvres completes, La Pleiade, v o l . 1, pp. 2956. This implies that farce was a forerunner to 'comedie', a plausible notion, although some c r i t i c s disagree with i t ; see Rey-Flaud, p. 295.  70.  Anne G i l l i s primarily concerned with Moliere-farceur i n her a r t i c l e "'The Doctor i n the Farce' and Moliere", French Studies, I I , 2(1948), 101-25. However, she also alludes to Moliere the transformer of farce into comedie, when she talks about how his characters have richer relevance and human impulses, p. 125.  71.  Attinger, pp. 122-137.  72.  "Domaines de l a c r i t i q u e molieresque", Oeuvres & Critiques VI, I (1981), p. 9.  73.  p. 163.  74.  Lebegue, "Moliere et l a farce", pp. 66-7. The author c i t e s the example of Sganarelle i n Le Medecin malgre l u i .  75.  Lanson, p. 153.  CHAPTER 2 In Moliere, homme de theatre, Rene Bray discusses the playwright's use of farce, and the success that Moliere's troupe experienced  when i t presented  farces as opposed to i t s  r e l a t i v e f a i l u r e as a group of serious tragedians.  He points  out that Moliere's farces were very well-received i n the provinces and that two of his farces--Le Docteur amoureux and Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s — p r o v i d e d his f i r s t successes i n Paris.  F i n a l l y recognizing his a b i l i t i e s as a comic actor and  playwright, he abandoned tragedy and concentrated popular comedies and farces.-'-  The two farces examined i n t h i s  chapter are thought to have been part of Moliere's before he came to Paris.  on the more  repertory  They were also performed i n Paris  after f u l l - l e n g t h plays i n order to end the programme of entertainment on a light-hearted note. Le Medecin volant and La Jalousie du Barbouille are the e a r l i e s t farces usually attributed to Moliere.  Although the  authorship of these two one-act farces i s often disputed, there seems to be enough evidence of s i m i l a r i t i e s between them and the more developed, three-act Le Medecin malgre l u i and George Dandin to warrant a place for them i n Moliere's comic theatre.  As Anthony A. Ciccone points out, "Le Medecin volant  and La Jalousie du Barbouille were Moliere's f i r s t attempts at farce and as such present important material for a study of the o r i g i n s and rudiments of his future comic s i t u a t i o n s . "  2  L o g i c a l l y , as early works these plays should bear many marks  38  of the I t a l i a n theatre and French farce, which so strongly influenced Moliere's theatre. One obvious c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of both plays i s the spareness of the text.  Indeed, many have c r i t i c i z e d the decision to  include these plays i n the corpus of Moliere's works because they judge them to be of i n f e r i o r l i t e r a r y merit.  However,  Robert Jouanny r i g h t l y praises La Jalousie du Barbouille: " . . . l e mecanisme du comique se deroule avec souplesse, rigueur, dans une sorte de purete que souligne encore l e caractere depouille du texte...C'est une demonstration parfaitement i n t e l l i g i b l e d'un Peacock observes:  jeu de t h e a t r e . N . A.  "Avant 1 ' a r t i c l e de Lanson [1901], les  c r i t i q u e s dedaignaient  les simples jeux de theatre qui avaient  occupe une place considerable pendant toute l a c a r r i e r e de Moliere."  4  These c r i t i c s did not have the benefit of an •  appreciation of the importance of performance i n Moliere's theatre which c r i t i c s subsequent to Lanson enjoy. Dismissively, the early c r i t i c s likened these plays to the canvasses of the I t a l i a n theatre.^  They were correct i n t h e i r  comparison, but they missed the significance of t h e i r remark. As i n the I t a l i a n t r a d i t i o n , the use of a canvas indicated improvisation.  Moliere refused to publish these two plays  because "les repliques trouvees dans l a chaleur du jeu ne furent fixees qu'ensuite, apres l'epreuve du p u b l i c . "  6  That  i s to say, the manuscripts of these plays, prepared for publication by observers, were intended as performance texts  39 r a t h e r than l i t e r a r y ones.  Indeed, A t t i n g e r q u a l i f i e s  La  J a l o u s i e du B a r b o u i l l e as " c e t t e p i e c e t t e e c r i t e toute pour l a g e s t i c u l a t i o n . "  7  The  entiere  value of these e a r l y f a r c e s i s  t h a t they a l l o w us to glimpse M o l i e r e ' s  performance technique  without having to contend w i t h such a d d i t i o n a l aspects of h i s f u l l - l e n g t h comedies as complex c h a r a c t e r s ,  a more i n v o l v e d  p l o t , w e l l - d e v e l o p e d s o c i a l s a t i r e , a moral context, on.  8  They c l e a r l y demonstrate t h a t he p l a c e d great  on gesture and movement, which, as we  and  so  importance  have seen, r e l a t e s to  the v i s u a l s p e c t a c l e : "...on trouve chez M o l i e r e ,  s u r t o u t dans  ses oeuvres du debut, c e r t a i n s procedes q u i prouvent que  la  n o t i o n de s p e c t a c l e r e s t e au premier p l a n : l e s mouvements de masses dans La J a l o u s i e , au m i l i e u et a l a f i n de l a p i e c e ; l a conduite  du Medecin v o l a n t , ou 1'element v i s u e l e s t  preponderant, et dont l e t e x t e , du moins dans l a seconde partie...n'a quasi point  d'importance."  9  In a d d i t i o n to the s t o r y l i n e f o r La J a l o u s i e  du  B a r b o u i l l e , the I t a l i a n t h e a t r e gave to the p l a y  the  t r a d i t i o n a l costume of the Doctor, the s c a n t i n e s s  of  i n t r i g u e , such gestures scene 6,^-0  arK  }  as the l a z z o of the Doctor's e x i t i n  the c h a r a c t e r  item i s p r o b l e m a t i c :  the  of the B a r b o u i l l e .  This  Jouanny i s convinced t h a t t h i s  i s a descendant of P e d r o l i n o  last character  i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e  t r a d i t i o n , H whereas Peacock says t h a t " [ l e ] B a r b o u i l l e , c ' e s t l ' E n f a r i n e des  f a r c e u r s de 1'Hotel de Bourgogne, l e b o u f f o n  f r a n g a i s tache non  pas  de blanc mais de fumee ou b i e n de l i e  de vin."  lz  He also says that " l e Barbouille...jaloux et  trompe"!^ i s the t y p i c a l "mari confondu" of French farce.  In  keeping with the mixture of the I t a l i a n and French influences on Moliere, La Jalousie du Barbouille borrows i t s theme of marital c o n f l i c t from the l a t t e r , and the strategy of the locked door from the former. In the opening scene of the farce, there are both implied gestures and planned ones.  The Barbouille delivers a  monologue i n which he paints a picture of his discontent with his wife, and he proposes a number of violent ways of getting r i d of her.  These are the projected gestures.  However, he no  doubt accompanies them with expressions of anger at the thought of his wife, and pure rapture at the many ways i n which he could be free of her.  Depending on whether the  character i s masked or wearing white make-up, many of these gestures would probably be f a c i a l .  The punctuation of t h i s  passage gives a clue to i t s movement: there are several exclamation marks and points of suspension which indicate the caracter's agitation.  The use of the pronouns " j e " and "tu"  to address himself suggest that the Barbouille may quite l i t e r a l l y be having a conversation with himself, a device which could provide ample opportunity for comic e f f e c t .  We  w i l l see t h i s technique of one character playing two or more roles v i r t u a l l y simultaneously i n both Le Medecin volant and Les Fourberies de Scapin. In his despair, the Barbouille asks the advice of the  Doctor, a stock character who i s considered wise but i s more pompous than anything else.  His opening remark relates to  gesture, or rather, the absence of gesture: "II faut que tu sois bien mal appris, bien lourdaud, et bien mal morigene, mon ami, puisque tu m'abordes sans oter ton chapeau" (scene 2 ) . One assumes that the Barbouille hastens to r e c t i f y the s i t u a t i o n as he explains his d i s t r a c t i o n .  Instead of helping,  the Doctor launches into an etymology of "galant homme". One imagines perplexed f a c i a l expressions from the Barbouille and various pedantic gestures such as eyes raised to the c e i l i n g and s t r u t t i n g as the Doctor lectures his ignorant interlocutor.  These pedantic gestures continue as the Doctor  counts off the ten proofs of his 'doctorness'.  Jouanny notes  that " [ l e ] Docteur etend ses doigts pour compter, un peu comme dans ce jeu i t a l i e n ou deux partenaires jettent simultanement leur poing en partie ferme et criant l e c h i f f r e des doigts q u ' i l s supposent que l a main adverse l a i s s e leves."-^  During  t h i s lengthy harangue the Barbouille repeatedly t r i e s to interrupt, to bring the Doctor back to the question of what he should do with his wife, but the Doctor pays no attention. The Barbouille eventually quits, exasperation and growing consternation apparent i n his every move. This game of interruption i s a frequent technique i n Moliere's plays.  I t i s sometimes used consciously as a way  for one character to i n f u r i a t e the other, as i n the case of Dorine and Orgon i n Tartuffe (11,2); sometimes one character  unwittingly cuts another short by pursuing an idea without noticing the other character's attempts to contribute. both cases, the r e s u l t i s humorous.  In  Conesa categorizes the  play of the impatient l i s t e n e r , i n t h i s case the Barbouille, as "[des] geste[s] de remplacement" and points out the significance of these gestures: "Ses mimiques sont indispensables, car e l l e s permettent au spectateur de suivre son evolution psychologique tout au long de l a tirade; les diverses attitudes du locuteur, suggerees par l a structure thematique, rythmique ou tonale de l'enonce, impliquent,  en  regard, diverses attitudes de 1'interlocuteur."l^ When the Doctor f i n a l l y f i n i s h e s his lesson, the Barbouille unleashes the anger that has been building during t h i s scene.  We w i l l see t h i s process of gathering energy  which culminates  i n an 'explosion', or release of tension,  frequently i n t h i s t h e s i s .  Rather than physical movement,  t h i s i s a more s t r u c t u r a l , l i t e r a r y form of movement: the movement or shape of a scene, and, on a larger scale, of the play, i n which there i s the energy of building c o n f l i c t , the f i n a l release of the denouement.  and  Naturally, the type and  frequency of gesture i s linked to t h i s pattern. R e p e t i t i o n — t h e ten proofs of d o c t o r a l n e s s — i s a constant comic technique and i t assumes many forms.  Garapon refers to  the e f f e c t produced by the r e p e t i t i o n of words, and the same e f f e c t i s achieved by repeated gesture: "La r e p e t i t i o n des memes mots dans deux ou plusieurs repliques successives est  drole en elle-meme; mais e l l e est aussi l e signe de 1'opposition que manifeste un personnage a l'idee ou a l a decision qu'on l u i propose, en bref l a marque de l a resistance au mouvement."^^  In the case of the second scene of La  Jalousie du Barbouille, the Doctor doggedly reveals h i s ten points, r e s i s t i n g a l l of the Barbouille's attempts to move him out of h i s self-involved pedantry.  He introduces and  concludes h i s lecture with the statement: "je suis une, deux, t r o i s , quatre, cinq, s i x , sept, huit, neuf, et dix f o i s docteur".  Coupled with his f a u l t y logic and tautologies, t h i s  accumulation creates an overwhelming impression of redundance and stagnation which i s stronger than the Barbouille's repeated attempts to move forward by discussing his problem with the Doctor.  As we have just seen, t h i s serves to enrage  the Barbouille, who expresses h i s anger by c r i t i c i z i n g the Doctor, and mimicking his gesture of counting on his fingers: "Un, deux, t r o i s , quatre".  This i s punctuated by "ha, ha,  ha!" which expresses h i s anger and contempt, and i s perhaps accompanied by the Barbouille shaking his f i s t i n the Doctor's face. Another comic technique we see i n t h i s play i s that of reversal.  As with r e p e t i t i o n , i t also assumes many forms.  Reversal implies movement, either l i t e r a l or f i g u r a t i v e ; movement i n turn implies d i r e c t i o n , and a change of d i r e c t i o n leads to reversal.  In t h i s scene, the Barbouille stops i n  mid-tirade, presumably as the r e s u l t of a move to leave the  stage or some other gesture of indifference or offense taken by the Doctor, and his tone changes r a d i c a l l y from aggressive to apologetic.  As a gesture of good w i l l and encouragement,  the Barbouille offers the Doctor money, which offends him further.  A stage d i r e c t i o n indicates that he expresses h i s  indignation i n a f a r c i c a l l y coarse way "[en] troussant sa robe derriere son c u l " (scene 2 ) . another drawn-out speech.  The Doctor then launches into  The element of r e p e t i t i o n i n the  form of accumulation i s exploited to the f u l l e s t i n t h i s speech.  S t r u c t u r a l l y , t h i s reversal sequence puts the  Barbouille back i n his i n i t i a l position of frustrated listener.  This speech marks the resumption of the r e p e t i t i o n  routine and i t halts the movement the Barbouille hoped to instigate by paying the Doctor.  Before he can attempt to  recoup, the Doctor escapes by stalking o f f stage. f i r s t of many exits i n the play.  This i s the  Determined to motivate the  Doctor to help him, the Barbouille announces "Je m'en vais courir apres l u i " a decision which clears the stage for the next scene. The exits and entrances of the characters are frequently announced by a statement such as the Barbouille's i n scene 2 and often i n s t i g a t e a change i n tone.  This i s the case i n  scene 3 when the Barbouille s untimely return prompts Cathau's 1  warning to Angelique and Valere: "Ah! changez de discours: voyez porte-guignon qui a r r i v e " (scene 3 ) .  Due to the  prospect of discovery by the Barbouille, Angelique and Valere  d e m o n s t r a t e f e a r by  such  p l a c e t o h i d e and  facial  Unable to escape,  they  g e s t u r e s as q u i c k l y  looking for a  expressions of alarm  s w i t c h from  lovers'  and  talk  t o more n e u t r a l g r o u n d i n o r d e r t o d e c e i v e h e r Barbouille  i s n o t d e c e i v e d , however, and  panic.  and  husband.  the b a t t l e  A f t e r V a l e r e has  s e r v e d h i s u s e f u l n e s s as c a t a l y s t ,  disappears.  other players a r r i v e  attempt  The  to s e t t l e  t o t h e n o i s e and in  activity  quel desordre!  Messieurs?  to p i c t u r e calm  The  him  quel differend!  Qu'y  running  F a r from  a-t-il? from  and  characteristics  he  the comic technique energy  of the p l a y .  begs the D o c t o r  perseveres point,  with:  expresses  a-t-il?..."  to person, and  "Qu'est  quel  2.  It is  attempting  t o him,  who  easy to  i s supposed  The  to  the  pedantic repetition  of  but  the  "J'enrage"  Doctor  d i t Ciceron". out e n t i r e l y  At  and,  calembour which u n d e r l i n e s h i s ignorance chaos r e i g n s :  Qu'y  serves to e s c a l a t e the  "Audi, quaeso, a u r a i t  h i s rage,  speech  movement d e f e a t h i s  t h e same a n n o y i n g  the B a r b o u i l l e ' s p a t i e n c e runs  an u n c o n s c i o u s  exclamations:  B a r b o u i l l e even announces  to l i s t e n  first  q u e l l e combustion!  d i s p l a y e d i n scene  The  6 to  i n contributing  Doctor's  the Doctor,  of i n t e r r u p t i o n  he  5 and  o n c e a g a i n manages t o e n r a g e  t h e o t h e r s by  The  begins.  q u e l grabuge!  Qu'y  person  succeeding,  the wise mediator,  Barbouille  and  stage.  them, a l t h o u g h h i s e x c l a m a t i o n s  purpose. be  on  o n l y succeed  quelle querelle!  vacarme! q u e l b r u i t ! a-t-il,  but  i n scenes  6 i s r i d d l e d w i t h q u e s t i o n s and  scene  ceci?  the f i g h t ,  gestures  this with and  46 Oh! ma f o i , s i se rompt, se casse, ou s i se brise, je ne m'en mets guere en peine; mais tu m'ecouteras, ou je te vais casser ton museau doctoral; et qui diable done est ceci? (Le Barbouille, Angelique, Gorgibus, Cathau, V i l l e b r e q u i n parlent tous a l a f o i s , voulant dire l a cause de l a querelle, et l e Docteur aussi, disant que l a paix est une b e l l e chose, et font un b r u i t confus de leur voix; et pendant tout l e b r u i t , le Barbouille attache l e Docteur par le pied, et l e f a i t tomber; le Docteur se doit l a i s s e r tomber sur le dos; l e Barbouille l'entraine par l a corde q u ' i l l u i a attachee au pied, et, en 1'entrainant, l e Docteur doit toujours parler, et compter par ses doigts toutes ses raisons, comme s i l n'etait point a terre, alors q u ' i l ne paroit plus.) (scene 6) This type of extensive stage d i r e c t i o n i s extremely rare and precious to a student of gesture because i t demonstrates the degree of movement c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s type of theatre, and consequently of Moliere's early theatre.  I t gives a f u l l  description of the lazzo of the Doctor's departure, including such e x p l i c i t directions to the actor as " l e Docteur doit se l a i s s e r tomber" and " [ i l ] doit toujours parler". c a l l s for much improvised dialogue.  I t also  This scene i s i n f i n i t e l y  more amusing because the Doctor persists with his pedantic ways, once again repeating the jeu of the ridiculous proof even as he i s l i t e r a l l y dragged o f f stage.  One's c u r i o s i t y i s  piqued: how many other stage d i r e c t i o n s , i f they had been more e x p l i c i t , would have revealed the wealth of comic play evident i n t h i s unusually descriptive one? After the t o t a l confusion of scene 6, there are four short scenes which lead into the locked door sequence.  In  scene 9, the Barbouille returns home shortly after his wife has stolen away to a dance.  He enters his house.  Off stage,  47 he d i s c o v e r s h e r a b s e n c e and l o c k s t h e d o o r . p o t e n t i a l here hear  the b o l t  Barbouille  fear  the audience can  b e i n g t h r o w n i n t o p l a c e , and c a n s e e t h e  i n t h e window w a i t i n g f o r A n g e l i q u e ' s  the f o l l o w i n g of  f o r some s t a g e p l a y : p e r h a p s  There i s  scene  s h e d o e s come b a c k .  a t the prospect of discovery,  t h e n pounds on i t ,  calling  f o r Cathau.  t h e window above h e r , h i s p o s i t i o n  return.  Again with she r a t t l e s  In  gestures the door,  Her h u s b a n d a p p e a r s i n  on s t a g e a v i s u a l  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f h i s h a v i n g t h e u p p e r hand a t t h e moment. This  i s a feature of farce,  and i n h e r s t u d y , B a r b a r a  Bowen  d i s c u s s e s more g e n e r a l l y t h e power s t r u g g l e between h u s b a n d and  wife: Le menage e s t un c o n f l i t e t e r n e l p o u r d e c i d e r q u i est l e plus f o r t , q u i sera l e maitre et q u i sera l e s e r v i t e u r . . . . L a v i e i n t i m e e s t done un b a l a n c e m e n t p e r p e t u e l e n t r e deux p o s i t i o n s : 1'homme-maitre ou l a femme-maitre....La s t r u c t u r e g e n e r a l e des f a r c e s e s t d i c t e e p a r une t o u r n u r e d ' e s p r i t q u i v o i t l e s c h o s e s "en g r a n d " , e t q u i remarque s u r t o u t dans l a v i e c e b a l a n c e m e n t e n t r e l a p o s i t i o n , l a s i t u a t i o n , de deux personnages.^  I n t h e weaker p o s i t i o n , let  her i n , showering  no d o u b t by c o n t r i t e , Barbouille  says:  Angelique  him w i t h terms o f endearment tender gestures.  "Ah, c r o c o d i l e !  c a r e s s e s p o u r me t r a h i r " he u s e s  the verb  describes  p l e a d s w i t h h e r husband t o  (scene  accompanied  Unmoved, t h e  ah, s e r p e n t d a n g e r e u x ! t u me 11).  I t i s interesting  that  " c a r e s s e r " , a verb which i n i t s l i t e r a l  a gesture.  a gestural quality  T h i s i m p l i e s t h a t d i a l o g u e may a l s o  to i t ,  choice of vocabulary.  achieved through  sense have  t o n e o f v o i c e and  48  When A n g e l i q u e s f i r s t t a c t i c f a i l s , 1  t h r e a t e n i n g to commit s u i c i d e .  she r e s o r t s  to  When the B a r b o u i l l e does not  b e l i e v e h e r , she c a r r i e s her t h r e a t f u r t h e r by showing him a k n i f e , but he c a u t i o n s h e r : "Prends garde, v o i l a q u i e s t b i e n p o i n t u " , and r e f u s e s to descend from h i s s u p e r i o r p o s i t i o n .  A  stage d i r e c t i o n informs the reader t h a t Angelique pretends to stab h e r s e l f .  T h i s i s a c o n v e n t i o n a l gag i n French f a r c e , and  i s used by M o l i e r e l a t e r i n George Dandin. sure whether or not she i s  Her husband i s  not  shamming, and h i s f a c e and a c t i o n s  s u c c e s s i v e l y express u n c e r t a i n t y , s u r p r i s e , and perhaps growing c o n c e r n , or f e a r . of t h i s prop i s  He descends w i t h a c a n d l e .  The use  important because i t enables Angelique t o  by the B a r b o u i l l e i n the dark, o u t s i d e the c i r c l e of  slip  light  c a s t by the c a n d l e , to e n t e r the house and b o l t the door.  By  means of her movement of d e c e p t i o n , she i s a b l e to trade p l a c e s w i t h her husband.  T h i s r e v e r s a l p l a c e s her i n a  s u p e r i o r p o s i t i o n to her husband, and the beginning of the scene i s c o m i c a l l y r e p l a y e d .  He t h r e a t e n s her w i t h p h y s i c a l  v i o l e n c e , and i n r e t u r n , she t h r e a t e n s him on b e h a l f of her f a t h e r Gorgibus. beatings  In t h i s f a r c e , a c t s of v i o l e n c e such as  are t h r e a t e n e d r a t h e r than performed.  a c t u a l beatings  We w i l l see  i n Le Medecin malgre l u i and Les F o u r b e r i e s de  Scapin. The r e s o l u t i o n of the p l a y i s achieved w i t h some difficulty.  V i l l e b r e q u i n and Gorgibus  insist  t h a t the  B a r b o u i l l e and Angelique make up, and Gorgibus urges h i s  49 d a u g h t e r " A l l o n s , ma f i l l e , bons amis"  (scene 12).  embrassez v o t r e m a r i ,  This k i s s i s a v i s u a l  o f t h e r e s o l u t i o n ; t h e c o u p l e were a p a r t are u n i t e d a t t h e end. has  reached a s t a s i s .  grudgingly,  e t soyez  representation  a t the beginning,  and  The " b a l a n c e m e n t " r e f e r r e d t o e a r l i e r H o w e v e r , t h i s k i s s was  the couple's  given  c o n f l i c t unresolved.  The a u d i e n c e  r e a l i z e s t h a t t h i s c e a s e f i r e i s temporary; t h i s awareness i s satisfying, spectators All  s i n c e i t approaches r e a l l i f e ready f o r a  that i s l e f t  reappearance.  This  direction describes camisole" occupies  and i t l e a v e s t h e  sequel. t o conclude the farce i s the Doctor's  t i m e he i s t h e one i n t h e window. hisattire:  (scene 13).  A stage  "en b o n n e t de n u i t e t e n  I r o n i c a l l y , although  he p h y s i c a l l y  t h e s u p e r i o r p o s i t i o n , he h a s no s o c i a l  status  b e c a u s e he no l o n g e r w e a r s t h e h a t t h a t d e n o t e s h i s a u t h o r i t y . The  D o c t o r i s no l o n g e r  sought a f t e r f o r h i s o p i n i o n , and i s  i n f o r m e d t h a t " t o u t l e monde e s t d ' a c c o r d " . and  He i s l e f t  t h e p l a y e r s a r e c a l l e d t o a meal: "Allons-nous-en  ensemble, nous a u t r e s " to a f a r c e .  1 9  (scene 13).  This  i s a typical  Such p l a y s were f r e q u e n t l y p l a c e d  alone,  souper ending  a f t e r a more  s e r i o u s , f u l l - l e n g t h d r a m a , a n d t h i s c a l l t o f e a s t a n d make m e r r y was e x t e n d e d n o t o n l y t o t h e p l a y e r s w i t h i n t h e p l a y , but  also t o the spectators, since the dramatic  was  u s u a l l y f o l l o w e d by p r i v a t e banquets.  The  entertainment  p r e m i s e o f Le Medecin v o l a n t i s e n t i r e l y  conventional  50  i n the I t a l i a n farce t r a d i t i o n ^ : the obdurate, avaricious father i n s i s t s that his daughter marry a wealthy old man soon as possible.  as  In love with a desirable s u i t o r , the  daughter refuses, and feigns i l l n e s s to avoid the impending marriage.  Assisted by a servant disguised as a doctor,  lovers manage to get together,  and outwit the father.  the The  father i s enraged, but quickly i s appeased by the pleasing  and  prosperous appearance of the young couple. In addition to the t r a d i t i o n a l plot and l i s t of characters, there are several f a r c i c a l elements i n t h i s play which are  strongly linked to the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , such as  the use of the couple of the t r i c k s t e r and the dupe, a frequent occurence i n Moliere's plays.  Lebegue points out  that "ce couple e x i s t a i t deja dans l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e (le Zanni malin et Pantalon) et dans l a farce (par exemple, Pathelin et l e d r a p i e r ) . " ! 2  Other elements traced to the  two  influences include: r e p e t i t i o n , reversals, disguise, t r i c k e r y , puns, acrobatic scenes, types and vulgarity.  We have already  seen some of these elements i n connection with La Jalousie du Barbouille.  However, i n Le Medecin volant disguise,  acrobatics and v u l g a r i t y play a large r o l e . In his "Notice", Robert Jouanny gives us a sense of movement i n Le Medecin volant: Cette farce est un curieux exercice de v o l t i g e par quoi un acteur peut apprendre a connaitre les dimensions d'un plateau de theatre, les entrees et les s o r t i e s rapides, les deguisements multiples et presque simultanes, les jeux de scene les plus extravagants. La piece est entrainee a une cadence  51 qui va s'accelerant et s'ecarte de plus en plus du v r a i , pour nous arreter devant cette maison dont les fenetres l a i s s e n t j a i l l i r de droles de c o r p s . 22  We w i l l analyse Moliere's techniques how  i n order to demonstrate  he managed to create such a vibrant, fast-paced farce. As i t s t i t l e indicates, Le Medecin volant i s i n part a  farce of medicine.  In the exposition scene, the elements of  disguise and t r i c k e r y promise just such a farce, since one expects an ignorant valet to make a r i d i c u l o u s doctor. Sganarelle confirms the audience's suspicion i n the second scene with his promise: "je f e r a i aussi bien mourir une personne qu'aucun medecin qui s o i t dans l a v i l l e " .  This scene  c a l l s for gestures of secrecy, as well as mockery.  Valere  describes Sganarelle's role as t r i c k s t e r and his dupe as t y p i c a l Dottore and Pantalone characters: "Gorgibus est un homme simple, grossier, qui se l a i s s e r a etourdir de ton discours, pourvu que tu paries d'Hippocrate et de Galien, et que tu sois un peu e f f r o n t e . " ^ 2  They e x i t together,  Sganarelle asking for the appropriate costume, words and gestures for his r o l e . In the following scene, we see Gorgibus and Gros-Rene, a famous farceur, who  plays his valet.  The word " e t c . "  2 4  i n the  text and the stage d i r e c t i o n "Galimatias" suggest that his role involves improvisation and i s similar to the gestural role of the zanni from the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n . Given the subject of Gros-Rene's galimatias, we can assume that his play includes bawdiness.  25  Another proof of his  52  connection with the zanni t r a d i t i o n i s that he complains about having to do his master's bidding because he was hoping to " r e f a i r e [son] ventre d'une bonne carrelure" (scene 3 ) , a wish that r e c a l l s the ever-hungry second zanni. Scene 4 brings us Sganarelle disguised as the Doctor. His entrance i s b u i l t up by a laudatory introduction by Sabine, who i s aware of the t r i c k s t e r ' s r e a l i d e n t i t y . Gorgibus greets him r e s p e c t f u l l y , and Sganarelle responds with nonsensical arguments and gibberish i n many languages.  This  scene i s highly comical because of his portrayal of what he thinks i s a convincing doctor, and because he mistakes his patient, taking Gorgibus' pulse.  His gestures betray his  ineptitude as a doctor, but because of his costume and his introduction, he i s able to deceive Gorgibus. The l a t t e r part of t h i s scene has drawn much comment: Sganarelle requests a urine sample from L u c i l e , and Sabine i s sent for i t .  The scene gathers momentum as Sabine pops on and  off stage several times.  A l l t h i s a c t i v i t y i s as a r e s u l t of  Sganarelle's use of the urine to display his 'professionalism' and make his 'diagnosis'.  When he receives the f i r s t sample,  he analyses i t by looking at i t , and then, to the surprise of Gorgibus, he drinks i t .  This gesture i s unexpected, and has a  c e r t a i n vulgar shock value.  I t provokes a reaction of disgust  both on the part of Geronte and the audience.  Sganarelle's  remark that he i s "un medecin hors du commun" i s d e l i g h t f u l l y understated.  Drinking urine once i s e f f e c t i v e ; heaping  53  v u l g a r i t y on v u l g a r i t y by sending for more and incessantly using such untechnical and impolite terms as "pisser" leads to a ludicrous scene whose energy builds u n t i l the "pisseuse" i s summoned.  Comic e f f e c t i s thus achieved by the use of  r e p e t i t i o n , the blatant impropriety of his behaviour, the invention and incessant use of coarse expressions based on "pisser", the reversal of expectation caused by the fact that Sganarelle not only partakes of urine but appears to r e l i s h i t , and by the medical a i r he adopts through i t a l l . In scene 5, the farce of medicine continues, with Sganarelle f a b r i c a t i n g r i d i c u l o u s excuses which allow him to hide his gaffes and narrowly escape exposing his i d e n t i t y . F a c i a l gestures revealing moments of panic and fear, followed by r e l i e f when he i s not discovered are i n order i n t h i s scene.  Sganarelle prescribes a stay i n the country for  L u c i l e , to which Gorgibus agrees.  Having delivered Lucile to  Valere, the 'Doctor' i s about to disappear when a r i v a l learned man—a l a w y e r — a r r i v e s on the s c e n e .  26  The v i s u a l  e f f e c t of seeing one r e a l Dottore character and one impersonator drives the dramatic energy skyward.  The audience  expects Sganarelle's deception to be discovered and a sound beating to ensue.  He attempts to beat a hasty retreat, but  the lawyer i s eager to meet him. Sganarelle i s trapped.  He  displays fear for an instant, and then he i s more pedantic than ever, speaking b r i e f l y i n L a t i n to Gorgibus and maintaining i n silence an intensely erudite posture u n t i l the  54  lawyer leaves.  Rather than exposing the t r i c k s t e r , he proves  to be as ignorant as Sganarelle, and his presence contributes to the farce by emphasizing Gorgibus' g u l l i b i l i t y and by r i d i c u l i n g 'learned' men.  This reverses the audience's  expectation, sustaining i t s interest, and increasing suspense and scenic energy. In contrast to the Doctor's disdain of payment i n La Jalousie -du Barbouille, Sganarelle, although surprised when Gorgibus gives him money, accepts i t .  There i s a humorous  contradiction i n t h i s scene between gesture and word: "Vous vous moquez, monsieur Gorgibus. suis pas un homme mercenaire.  Je n'en prendrai pas, je ne (II prend 1'argent)" (scene 8).  Sganarelle's entrance on stage i n his regular clothes triggers the f i n a l , frenzied scenes.  He describes to Valere  how he deceived Gorgibus, an account which prompts Valere to rush to be with his beloved.  Sganarelle i s l e f t alone on  stage to contemplate his successful deception when he sees Gorgibus: "(Apercevant Gorgibus) Ah! ma f o i , tout est perdu: c'est a ce coup que v o i l a l a medecine renversee, mais i l que je l e trompe"(scene 10).  faut  Sganarelle knows that i f he i s  discovered he w i l l be severely beaten, at the very least. Just as Valere and Angelique i n La Jalousie du Barbouille when faced with imminent discovery by the Barbouille, Sganarelle no doubt expresses panic and fear by means of f a c i a l expressions and a f r a n t i c search for a place to hide.  Like Angelique and  her lover, he i s unable to escape p h y s i c a l l y .  Therefore he  55  resolves to elude punishment with a further deception: he develops another i d e n t i t y , Narcisse, his drunken twin brother. Thus, his clothing i s no longer incriminating.  This i s  v i s u a l l y confusing for Gorgibus, who sees the face of the Doctor, but the clothes and gestures of a valet.  He would  express his confusion with perplexed, q u i z z i c a l f a c i a l expressions, and perhaps discreet, sidelong glances at him, or blatant, open-mouthed, dumbfounded stares.  Sensing Gorgibus'  uncertainty, Sganarelle explains his r e l a t i o n to the Doctor and says that they are often mistaken for each other. Gorgibus admits: "Je [me] dedonne au diable s i je n'y a i ete trompe.  Et comme vous nommez-vous?" (scene 11).  This i s  wonderfully i r o n i c , because he thought that Narcisse was the Doctor, and he thinks that i n t h i s he was tricked by appearances.  In fact, Narcisse i s the Doctor, so he i s not  actually deceived by appearances.  However, he i s only aware  of the f i r s t l e v e l of deception; he does not r e a l i z e that he was o r i g i n a l l y tricked by the valet Sganarelle i n the costume of a Doctor.  Gorgibus i s fooled both by Sganarelle's r e a l  clothes and his Doctor's garb, and by the d i f f e r e n t play that Sganarelle adopts for each of his a l t e r egos.  This scene i s  intensely comical because Gorgibus and Sganarelle are discussing appearances and the p o s s i b i l i t y of being tricked by them, and Gorgibus, "un v r a i lourdaud" (scene 10), does not r e a l i z e that he i s a victim of just such t r i c k e r y . Sganarelle i s caught i n his own deception, and i s forced  to play both of his assumed roles, and at an increasingly harried pace.  Numerous stage d i r e c t i o n s describe Sganarelle's  exits and entrances disguised either as the Doctor or Narcisse.  At f i r s t , he i s successful, but his deception  becomes increasingly d i f f i c u l t as Gorgibus becomes more i n s i s t e n t and locks one of him i n an upstairs room.  Imagine  the struggle as Gorgibus drags an unwilling Narcisse into the house.  Sganarelle thinks he i s defeated, and speculates on  his fate: " i l n'y a plus moyen de m'en  echapper.  Le nuage est  f o r t epais, et j ' a i bien peur que, s ' i l vient a crever, i l ne grele sur mon  dos force coups de baton, ou que, par quelque  ordonnance plus forte que toutes c e l l e s des medecins, on m'applique tout au moins un cautere royal sur les epaules" (scene 14).  Sganarelle fears physical punishment, but, as i n  e a r l i e r scenes, his cunning enables him to turn panic and fear into greater t r i c k e r y , proving that "Sganarelle est l e r o i des fourbes" (scene 14).  The movement i s obliged to become even  more acrobatic, as Sganarelle jumps i n and out of the window to continue the charade. Gros-Rene, who  27  Unfortunately he i s watched by  i s intent on exposing  him.  As the pace accelerates, the dramatic  tension increases  with the a n t i c i p a t i o n of Sganarelle's inevitable discovery. The space of time between the appearance of each Sganarelle diminishes u n t i l Narcisse and the Doctor are i n the same room together, and appear i n the window, one after the other. stage d i r e c t i o n s indicate the r a p i d i t y of Sganarelle's  The  movements: "(Apres avoir disparu un moment, i l se remontre en habit de valet).--Monsieur Gorgibus, je suis votre oblige.-( I l d i s p a r a i t encore, et reparait aussitot en robe de medecin)"  (scene 15).  Urged by Gros-Rene, Gorgibus i n s i s t s  that he see the two characters together, thereby eliminating the temporal space separating them.  The consummate t r i c k s t e r ,  Sganarelle ingeniously plays two roles before our very e y e s : 28  "(II embrasse son chapeau et sa f r a i s e q u ' i l a mis au bout de son coude)" (scene 15). This pattern of alternating between two roles u n t i l they merge into one i s analogous to the "balancement" or o s c i l l a t i o n and s t a s i s referred to e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter. The o s c i l l a t i o n between the Doctor and Narcisse i s intended to prove the existence of both i n order to avoid physical punishment.  Stasis i s achieved when Gorgibus i s convinced.  In t h i s ' f l y i n g ' sequence, movement i s of paramount importance because i t v i s u a l l y expresses what i s happening on the structural level.  The spectators understand t h i s movement  because they are presented with i t as a v i s u a l event as well as an i n t e l l e c t u a l one.  The audience watches as the Doctor  and Narcisse gather speed and eventually careen into each other, s i g n a l l i n g the end of the o s c i l l a t i o n between the Doctor and his a l t e r ego. But, as i n the La Jalousie du Barbouille, the audience knows that t h i s balance i s temporary, because i t i s based on something which has not been t r u l y resolved.  In the case of Le Medecin volant, the equilibrium  58 i s disturbed before the end of the farce.  In order to dispose  of the Doctor, Sganarelle must play the two roles again. f l y i n g motion i s resumed.  The  In an entertaining, improvised  manner, implied by the word "etc." (scene 15), Sganarelle pretends to go away, but only removes his costume, and jumps back into the window to greet Gorgibus as Narcisse. Sganarelle has almost succeeded i n duping Gorgibus, when GrosRene brings the Doctor costume to his master, announcing: "Cependant q u ' i l vous trompe et joue l a farce chez vous, Valere et votre f i l l e sont ensemble, qui s'en vont a tous les diables" (scene 15).  To the audience's s a t i s f a c t i o n ,  Sganarelle's t r i c k i s f i n a l l y discovered.  It i s i r o n i c that  Gros-Rene excaims i n indignation that a farce has been played on them, since that i s p r e c i s e l y what the spectator expects from a farce. Gorgibus i s understandably  enraged, and threatens to hang  the t r i c k s t e r , whose grimace indicates that t h i s i s a worse punishment than he had envisioned for himself.  Ever the  audacious valet, Sganarelle adopts another approach; he i s e n t i r e l y d i r e c t with Gorgibus.  His master and L u c i l e enter,  and V a l e r e ^ says: "Nous nous jetons a vos pieds" 2  scene). may  This plea for forgiveness may  (final  be s o l e l y verbal or i t  be an example of a technique employed i n farce, or as  Bowen puts i t , "1'expression et mise en action."30  idiomatique prise litteralement  Gorgibus i s convinced by Sganarelle's  speech and the young lovers' humble posture  (and wealthy  appearance), and he forgives them.  The farce ends  t r a d i t i o n a l l y with a c a l l to make merry and celebrate their engagement. Jouanny writes that Moliere learned "[un] rythme inimitable, [une] cadence aisee, [un] j a i l l i s s e m e n t lumineux du comique"31 i n these early farces. i s shaped by movement, gesture,  This rhythm shapes and  the grimace, acrobatics.  As  i s obvious from our discussion of La Jalousie du Barbouille and Le Medecin volant, these elements figure prominently i n his early theatre.  The plays considered  i n the remainder of  t h i s study demonstrate h i s continued b e l i e f i n the importance of movement and gesture throughout his career.  60 NOTES  1.  pp. 309-14.  2.  The Comedy of Language, Four Farces by Moliere, Studia Humanitatis s e r i e s , Ediciones Jose Porrua Turanzas, S.A., 1980, p. 96.  3.  Moliere, Oeuvres completes, p. 3.  4.  "Introduction" i n "La Jalousie du Barbouille" et "George Dandin", p. V.  5.  In fact, Moliere seems to have adapted these farces from I t a l i a n sources: Le Medecin volant i s said to be inspired by II Medico volante; La Jalousie du Barbouille stems from a story by Boccacio. I t i s important to note that although Moliere borrowed from other playwrights he could never be accused of plagiarism, for as Guichemerre writes: "meme lorsque Moliere imite, meme l o r s q u ' i l conserve l a s i t u a t i o n , le personnage, l a p l a i s a n t e r i e q u ' i l a p r i s a l a farce frangaise ou i t a l i e n n e , i l s a i t les renouveler, en t i r e r tout le comique, les transfigurer par son invention verbale et gestuelle. C'est peut-etre dans cette metamorphose que parait le mieux son genie createur", p. 120.  6.  Leon Chancerel, Moliere, C o l l e c t i o n "les Metteurs en scene", Paris: Les Presses L i t t e r a i r e s de France, 1953, p. 14.  7.  L'Esprit de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , p. 117.  8.  I t should be noted, however, that even Moliere's grandes comedies display signs of his i n t e r e s t i n farce; see Chapter One, n. 45. See also Bray, pp. 316-7.  9.  Attinger, p. 149.  10.  Peacock, p. XI.  11.  v o l . 1, n. 2, p. 879.  12.  p. XI. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Bray traces the use of white makeup to a v a r i a t i o n on the mask introduced to the French by the I t a l i a n s , p. 94.  13.  p. 20.  14.  v o l . 1, n.9,  p. 879.  61 15.  p.  451.  16.  Le Dernier Moliere, des "Fourberies de Scapin" au "Malade Imaginaire", (Paris: Societe d'edition d'enseignement superieur, 1977), p. 78.  17.  In theatre, e s p e c i a l l y improvised theatre, these announced exits and entrances are important cues for the other characters waiting i n the wings.  18.  pp. 17-18.  19.  Peacock, p. XVII.  20.  Roger Guichemerre, "Moliere et l a farce", Oeuvres & Critiques, VI, 1(1981), p. 113.  21.  p.  22.  p. 4.  23.  This description indicates the character t r a i t s which d i c t a t e the gestures the actors w i l l use to interpret their r o l e .  24.  This "etc." reappears i n scenes 7 and 8, allowing for improvisation for Gorgibus and "l'Avocat".  25.  He says i t i s the prospect of being wed to an old man rather than to her young lover that i s making her i l l : "pourquoi vouloir donner votre f i l l e a un v i e i l l a r d ? Croyez-vous que ce ne s o i t pas l e desir qu'elle a d'avoir un jeune homme qui l a t r a v a i l l e ? Voyez-vous dans l a connexite q u ' i l y a, etc. (Galimatias)." There i s great latitude for vulgar gestures and v i s u a l sexual innuendo.  26.  The Doctor type may also be a lawyer i n the commedia dell'arte tradition.  27.  The swift and acrobatic Sganarelle has enough time to jump i n and out of the window because Gorgibus, i n humorous contrast, plays the old man who climbs the s t a i r s slowly. Therefore, Sganarelle i s always able to arrive before Gorgibus, although Gorgibus i s at the door before Sganarelle can move towards the window.  28.  The consummate actor, Moliere plays three roles simultaneously for his admiring audience: Sganarelle, Narcisse and the Doctor.  59.  62 29.  In the Jouanny edition, t h i s l i n e i s attributed to Sganarelle. However, i n the Nouveaux Classiques Larousse edition, (Paris: L i b r a i r i e Larousse, 1965), i t i s attributed to Valere, which seems more l o g i c a l , given Gorgibus' reply: "Je vous pardonne, et suis heureusement trompe par Sganarelle, ayant un s i brave gendre" ( f i n a l scene).  30.  Bowen, p. 47 (Emphasized i n t e x t ) .  31.  v o l . 1, p. 3.  63 CHAPTER 3  As La Jalousie du Barbouille and Le Medecin volant, Le Medecin malgre l u i has t i e s with the I t a l i a n and French farce traditions: L'annee 1666, ou i l cree le Misanthrope, Moliere f a i t jouer l e Medecin malgre l u i C e t t e comedie en t r o i s actes est tout a f a i t dans l a t r a d i t i o n farcesque. Batie sur un canevas de commedia d e l l ' a r t e - - l e faux medecin aide un galant, deguise en apothicaire, a seduire une b e l l e en trompant l e pere--, e l l e s'inspire aussi de motifs caracteristiques de l a farce francaise: l ' e t e r n e l l e querelle de menage et,..., le racommodement de deux contestants contre un t i e r s . ^ The play opens explosively with Sganarelle and Martine bursting onto stage, f i g h t i n g , hurling i n s u l t s and threats, and shouting, their hand and f a c i a l gestures expressing rage, impatience,  aggression and contempt.  Note that the f i r s t  event of the play i s one of movement: "SGANARELLE, MARTINE, paroissant sur le theatre en se querellant." (1,1).  This  i n i t i a l movement and i t s accompanying gestures s t r i k e the note of marital discord.  Thus, the audience already has a v i s u a l  and aural sense of t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l farce theme when Sganarelle d e l i v e r s his f i r s t l i n e : "Non,  je te dis que je  n'en veux r i e n f a i r e , et que c'est a moi de parler et d'etre le maitre" for  (1,1).  Martine's retort establishes the struggle  power: "Et je te d i s , moi, que je veux que tu vives a ma  f a n t a i s i e , et que je ne suis point mariee avec t o i pour s o u f f r i r tes fredaines" (1,1).  The "balancement" referred to  i n Chapter 2 i s i n motion, i t s pattern of o s c i l l a t i o n shaping  64  the comedy as Sganarelle and Martine's desire f o r power manifests i t s e l f i n the form of threats, physical violence and deceit. O s c i l l a t i o n i s presented i n a condensed way i n t h i s scene; the p o s i t i o n of power passes back and f o r t h between Sganarelle and Martine.  The f i r s t part of the scene consists  i n voicing p a r a l l e l complaints from opposite ends of the stage.  As one rejoinder cancels another, they are on neutral  ground i n the power struggle u n t i l Martine verbally attacks Sganarelle, forcing him into a defensive p o s i t i o n . responds with a r i d i c u l o u s rebuttal to Martine's creating a thrust/parry rhythm.  Sganarelle  complaints,  This new sequence c a l l s f o r a  change i n the gestural pattern; as the aggressor, Martine would probably advance as she made her complaint, forcing her husband to retreat.  Sganarelle would halt b r i e f l y after each  reply, l i t e r a l l y and f i g u r a t i v e l y 'standing up' to h i s wife. In t h i s way, t h e i r physical i n t e r a c t i o n v i s u a l l y displays t h e i r positions i n the dispute. Repetition, a basic element of comedy, i s used extensively i n t h i s thrust/parry sequence. scene i s high at the outset; i t continues Martine's gestures  The energy of the to escalate as  and the l e v e l and tone of her voice grow  more and more angry with each of Sganarelle's eight retorts u n t i l she i s on the verge of a v i o l e n t release of her anger, which i n French farce i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a beating, or a bastonnade.  Sganarelle i s aware of the l e v e l of h i s wife's  anger and he abandons his quick, i n f u r i a t i n g  responses.  Rather than being on the defensive, he takes an active r o l e . He t r i e s to calm her, using soothing gestures and softening his  imperative statements by speaking i n the f i r s t  p l u r a l : "Ma  person  femme, allons tout doucement, s ' i l vous p l a i t " and  "Ne nous emportons point, ma femme" (1,1).  Martine refuses  to acquiesce and Sganarelle resorts to threats mixed with tender expressions: "Doux objet de mes voeux, je vous f r o t t e r a i les o r e i l l e s . "  As i s t y p i c a l of any menace, they  are stated i n the future tense: "je vous b a t t e r a i " , "je vous rosserai", "je vous e t r i l l e r a i " . threats.  Martine trades jeers for h i s  The scene reaches a climax when Martine f l i n g s a  s t r i n g of i n s u l t s at her husband: " T r a i t r e , insolent, trompeur, lache, coquin, pendard, gueux, b e l i t r e , fripon, maraud, voleur...!" (1,1).  Sganarelle c u r t a i l s the l i s t : "II  prend un baton et l u i en donne" (1,1).  His action i n the  present brings an end to the f i r s t scene: Martine cannot i n s u l t him further because she i s howling i n pain. The opening scene confirms the importance of the v i s u a l to reinforce the s t r u c t u r a l and thematic development of the play.  The dramatic tension i s maintained by aggressive  gestures and stances; Sganarelle and Martine are constantly on the edge of physical combat.  This scene also establishes a  pattern which w i l l repeat i t s e l f  several times i n the play:  a character threatens another, moving him around the stage with h i s aggression, thereby forcing the other character to  retreat.  The pattern concludes with a physical gesture such  as a slap, or a beating.  Conesa c l a s s i f i e s t h i s beating as  "un geste de prolongement", which he says functions i n the following way: " i l  joue frequemment un role structurant sur l e  message verbal, en marquant l a f i n d'un mouvement de dialogue: l a bastonnade,...,qui se situe au terme d'un groupe de repliques homogenes en constitue l a cloture; cela est particulierement net dans l e s scenes a structure r e p e t i t i v e . " This beating prompts their neighbour M. Robert to intervene.  Rather than appreciating being rescued, Martine  turns on M. Robert, and pushes him around the stage as she has done e a r l i e r with Sganarelle.  The sequence i s concluded with  a beating, but t h i s time Martine has the s a t i s f a c t i o n of bestowing the s o u f f l e t .  Here the technique of reversal of  audience expectation i s e f f e c t i v e .  This i s amusing, but i t  also underlines the fact that domestic d i f f i c u l t i e s are part of r e a l i t y , and that complaining about them i s just the way of the world.  This i s a t y p i c a l farce theme, and therefore, as  seen i n Chapter 1, i t i s based on r e a l - l i f e relationships. Many c r i t i c s have likened the movement i n t h i s play to a ballet.  This i s an appropriate analogy since b a l l e t i s based  on the v i s u a l , on gesture and movement, and e s p e c i a l l y on patterns.  One has only to think of the movement of a pas de  deux to recognize the b a l l e t i c symmetry of Martine and Sganarelle's treatment of t h e i r neighbour.  The same  advance/retreat sequence i s repeated, and the audience  2  67  experiences  another r e v e r s a l when S g a n a r e l l e a g g r e s s i v e l y  t e l l s M. Robert t h a t he does not want t o beat h i s w i f e .  What  we are w i t n e s s i n g i n t h i s scene i s a change i n d i r e c t i o n . Martine  and S g a n a r e l l e a r e w e l l matched; they can h o l d  own i n an argument.  their  When M. Robert i n t e r v e n e s , he i s not  t h e i r e q u a l , and i s f o r c e d t o r e t r a c t h i s statements: " J ' a i tort",  "Vous avez r a i s o n " , "Je me r e t r a c t e " ( 1 , 2 ) .  They j o i n  f o r c e s a g a i n s t t h e i r neighbour, and they channel t h e i r a g g r e s s i v e gestures unfortunate  away from each other and towards the  M. Robert.  Because they support Sganarelle mistakenly reconciled. Martine's  each other a g a i n s t M. Robert,  t h i n k s t h i s means t h a t they are  As a gesture o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , he takes  hand, but she r e f u s e s t o be m o l l i f i e d .  Conesa  proposes t h a t a gesture of punishment such as a b e a t i n g " e s t , l e p l u s souvent, generateur  de d i a l o g u e : t a n t o t , l e personnage  commente p l u s ou moins longuement 1 ' a g r e s s i o n victime."-^  i n t h i s case, the end o f scene 2 and t h a t o f  scene 3 are f u e l l e d by Martine's S g a n a r e l l e f o r having beaten her. f o r g i v e s him and over. qui  dont i l e s t  i n s i s t e n c e on an apology from Martine  says t h a t she  S g a n a r e l l e b e l i e v e s t h a t the d i s p u t e i s  He t e l l s h e r : " c i n q ou s i x coups de baton, e n t r e gens  s'aiment, ne f o n t que r a g a i l l a r d i r 1 ' a f f e c t i o n " ( 1 , 2 ) .  an a s i d e she has s a i d : "mais t u l e payeras"  (1,2);  i n the  f o l l o w i n g scene she i s alone on stage, and vows t o get retribution.  T h i s s e t s up the main a c t i o n of the p l a y .  4  In  68 Martine  i s preoccupied  bumps i n t o V a l e r e and Lucas. of f a t e , " l e C i e l "  with revenge when she l i t e r a l l y This i s a v i s u a l  representation  (1,4) or M o l i e r e b r i n g i n g them  together.  On a s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l , t h i s bumping i n t o each other s i g n a l s the i n t e r s e c t i o n of the two s e t s of c h a r a c t e r s and the two s t o r y l i n e s of the p l a y .  She r e c o g n i z e s her o p p o r t u n i t y t o  r e t a l i a t e , and she s e i z e s i t . She c l e v e r l y c o n s t r u c t s the ruse so t h a t S g a n a r e l l e i s sure t o be beaten: "La f o l i e de...[Sganarelle]  e s t p l u s grande qu'on ne peut c r o i r e , c a r  e l l e va p a r f o i s jusqu'a d'accord  v o u l o i r e t r e b a t t u pour demeurer  de sa c a p a c i t e ; e t j e vous donne a v i s . . . q u ' i l  n'avouera jamais q u ' i l e s t medecin,..., que vous ne p r e n i e z chacun un baton, e t l e r e d u i s i e z , a f o r c e de coups, a vous c o n f e s s e r a l a f i n ce q u ' i l vous cachera can w e l l imagine gestures  of subterfuge  d'abord" (1,4). as Martine  One  s e t s up her  husband f o r a b e a t i n g , i n case he should f i n d them i n c o n v e r s a t i o n , and d i s c o v e r the ruse. The  famous b o t t l e scene begins with the stage  "SGANARELLE e n t r e s u r l e t h e a t r e en chantant bouteille"  (1,5).  direction  e t tenant une  The b o t t l e prop i s very important  i n this  scene, as the candle was s i g n i f i c a n t i n La J a l o u s i e du Barbouille.  While S g a n a r e l l e i s alone on stage, i t s presence  g i v e s r i s e t o puns, songs, dances and g e s t u r e s .  When  S g a n a r e l l e sees V a l e r e and Lucas, he c l u t c h e s h i s b o t t l e t o him  i n a motion of d i s t r u s t and p r o t e c t i v e n e s s .  punctuation  The  of the l i n e of the song he s i n g s i n d i c a t e s t h a t he  i s watching both of them warily: "SGANARELLE, les  apercevant,  les regarde, en se tournant vers l'un et puis vers 1'autre, et, abaissant l a voix, d i t : Ah! ma petite friponne! que je t'aime, mon  p e t i t bouchon!...Mon s o r t . . • f e r o i t  des...jaloux, S i . . . " (1,5).  bien  When Valere and Lucas come  forward, their bows and Sganarelle's "divers gestes qui font un grand jeu de theatre" a l l r e l y on the same object.  By  centering the gesture and movement i n t h i s scene around the bottle, Moliere establishes Sganarelle as a drunken buffoon.^ This c r y p t i c stage d i r e c t i o n poses a problem: i t i s either meant to be a cue for improvisation, or i t i s an example of an inadequate stage d i r e c t i o n for a fixed scene. There are arguments for both p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  7  Influenced by the  I t a l i a n s , i t i s p e r f e c t l y possible that Moliere meant t h i s to be a scene i n which the imagination of the actor could dictate his play. himself.  However, Moliere wrote the role of Sganarelle for Since he created the scene, he did not need to give  himself instructions on how  to play i t .  I t i s unfortunate for  the modern reader that t h i s stage d i r e c t i o n i s not more e x p l i c i t , because Moliere was very precise about jeu i n his plays.  Bray gives the example of L'Ecole des femmes, written  four years before Le Medecin malgre l u i : "les mouvements, le nombre de pas a f a i r e dans t e l ou t e l sens, les gestes, les attitudes, les expressions, jusqu'aux o e i l l a d e s , tout e t a i t prevu.  De cette precision du jeu, l e texte o r i g i n a l ne nous  donne qu'une f a i b l e et rare idee; l a traditon orale seule  70 conservait...les instructions necesaires a 1'interpretation. Despite the inadequacy of some of the stage directions i n Le Medecin malgre l u i , t h i s play has a number of e x p l i c i t stage d i r e c t i o n s . Wadsworth points out that they were necessary i n order to make i t i n t e l l i g i b l e to the reader.^ The necessity of e x p l i c i t d i r e c t i o n s stems from the large place gesture occupies i n t h i s play. Conesa comments on the fact that t h i s jeu de scene of the meeting of Sganarelle with Valere and Lucas i s conducted i n silence, which i s rare.  Normally, silence disrupts the  continuity of the dialogue, but i n t h i s case, " l e jeu de scene se situe a une a r t i c u l a t i o n de l a scene, apres une phase d'observation mutuelle des personnages et avant 1'engagement de leur conversation; de sorte que l a temporisation que provoque l e jeu de scene ne met pas l e mouvement dramatique en peril."10  In t h i s play, the importance of gesture i s not  subordinate to that of dialogue.  Therefore, silence i s not  disruptive because gesture alone maintains the play.  the continuity of  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , Sganarelle's gestures ensure  continuity because he i s on stage approximately eighty-five per cent of the time.H Sganarelle's gestures continue to demonstrate h i s d i s t r u s t of the strangers u n t i l they make their introductions. I t i s implied that Sganarelle motions h i s respect by l i f t i n g his hat. This i s apparent when Valere s o l i c i t o u s l y begs him to put on h i s hat. As i n the early farces, the hat i s a sign  of authority and s o c i a l status.  Sganarelle does not r e a l i z e  that the two men think that he i s a doctor, and therefore supposedly of a higher s o c i a l ranking than they.  Ironically,  they defer to the authority of the woodsman's hat.  They  refuse to acknowledge that the a t t i r e and coarse gestures of the haggling woodsman reveal that he i s no doctor.  As  Sganarelle denies that he practices medicine his gestures and grimaces at f i r s t indicate his confusion and his b e l i e f that are out of their minds.  When they p e r s i s t , he grows impatient  and his anger surfaces as i t did i n the f i r s t scene.  Rather  than beating them as a release to his mounting anger, Valere and Lucas have also become impatient, and they beat him for his  'game' of imposture. Conesa c i t e s t h i s bastonnade as an example of "[les]  gestes de prolongement a fonction exhortative...qui tendent a influencer l e comportement de 1 ' i n t e r l o c u t e u r . S g a n a r e l l e i s beaten for t e l l i n g the truth, so he agrees to be whatever they want him to be. ^ 1  Thus, une violence coupled with his  cowardice force Sganarelle into an imposture.  I t i s his fear  that persuades him to pose as a doctor. When Valere and Lucas praise him for a l l his successes, Sganarelle i s as impressed  as they are, since t h i s i s the  f i r s t he has heard of his talents. for  There i s l a t t i t u d e here  comical gestures expressing Sganarelle's confusion,  surprise and pride.  When Sganarelle r e a l i z e s that he w i l l be  able to p r o f i t from the deception, he says: "Ah! je suis  72  medecin, sans contredit: je l'avois oublie: mais je ressouviens" (1,5).  This r e c a l l s his predecessor  m'en  i n Le  Medecin volant whose greed alone persuades him to pose as a doctor. Sganarelle's gestures at the end of t h i s scene r e f l e c t his new-found status.  Far from his e a r l i e r gestures of  d i s t r u s t , he entrusts Valere to carry his b o t t l e .  Giving his  f i r s t order as a doctor, he starts to take advantage of the authority vested i n him by his wife and Geronte's servants. These gestures r e f l e c t what has happened i n t h i s scene; there has been a t o t a l reversal.  The men  for whom Sganarelle took  off his hat have become his servingmen.  By his gestures and  his bearing, Sganarelle indicates that he has assumed the role forced upon him. The audience eagerly awaits Sganarelle's appearance disguised as a doctor.  As i n Le Medecin volant, his entrance  i s prepared with high praises and tales of his b r i l l i a n c e , but i n Le Medecin malgre l u i , Valere and Lucas are as g u l l i b l e as their master.  Jacqueline, the nourrice, objects to the  impending a r r i v a l of the doctor.  She t e l l s Geronte, the  Pantalone character, that i f he allows his daughter to marry young Leandre she w i l l not need a d o c t o r .  14  The technique of  using the outspoken servant allows for an exposition scene i n which the t r a d i t i o n a l theme of Le Medecin volant i s established.  Lucas, her husband, attempts to punish her for  her impertinence:  "(En disant c e c i , i l frappe sur l a p o i t r i n e  a Geronte)" (11,2).  One can well imagine Jacqueline ducking  as Geronte receives the blows destined for her, and the wideeyed expression of horror and fear as i t dawns on him that he has just h i t his master. in force, and Geronte's  This violent gesture does not lack "Tout doux! ohI tout doux!" (11,1)  indicates that Lucas probably continues f o r a while before he r e a l i z e s his mistake.  Lucas says that he i s beating her to  teach her the proper respect f o r him, but as the recipient of these violent gestures, Geronte does not think they are necessary.  This echoes the f i r s t scene i n which Martine i s  beaten, and prepares Sganarelle's entrance, reminding the audience of the reason for h i s presence. Sganarelle's appearance i n a doctor's robe and i n "un chapeau des plus pointus" signals the beginning of the farce of medicine i n t h i s play.  Sganarelle's gestures and speech  caricature those of a r e a l d o c t o r .  15  Sganarelle feels that  i t i s appropriate to quote Hippocrates: "Hippocrate dit...que nous nous couvrions tous deux" (11,2).  This implies that  Sganarelle and Geronte have greeted each other with a p o l i t e l i f t i n g of the hat.  This issue of hats has already appeared  several times i n the play, and the sheer r e p e t i t i o n i s comical.  The change i n hats from his woodsman's hat to a  pointed doctor's hat serves to 'transform' Sganarelle into a doctor.  16  Another case of r e p e t i t i o n occurs when Sganarelle baits Geronte into denying that he i s a doctor so that he may beat  74  him.  This i s the second time Geronte has been beaten i n the  space of a few minutes.  As Mel Gordon says, Panatalone i s  usually the victim of violent l a z z i .  1 7  When Sganarelle  r e a l i z e s that a beating does not make one a doctor, and Geronte takes exception to i t , Sganarelle quickly apologizes, no doubt r e a l i z i n g that i f h i s deception i s discovered he w i l l receive not money but punishment. Sganarelle soon spots the nourrice and a l l her charms. He makes bawdy comments and gestures, caressing her appreciatively.  Knutson writes: "Moliere's theatre i s not  generally r i b a l d ; sex belongs to word, not action. exception to t h i s rule i s Le Medecin malgre l u i .  The one Sganarelle  embodies sex i n i t s crudest, most spontaneous form; h i s i n s t i n c t springs into l i f e with animal-like immediacy and automatism."  18  Lucas requests that the doctor not touch h i s  wife, but not to be dissuaded, Sganarelle plays a t r i c k which incorporates the elements of r e p e t i t i o n and reversal: "SGANARELLE, ( I l f a i t semblant d'embrasser Lucas, et se tournant du cote de l a Nourrice, i l l'embrasse.)  Ah!  vraiment, je ne savois pas cela, et je m'en rejouis pour 1'amour de l'un et de 1'autre.  LUCAS, en l e t i r a n t .  doucement, s ' i l vous p l a i t " (11,2). twice more, r e s u l t i n g i n heightened dramatic energy. the next scene.  Tout  This gag i s repeated comic e f f e c t and increased  This same kind of gesture i s continued i n Sganarelle's lascivious impulses cause Lucas  to be very jealous and aggressively p u l l him away from h i s  75  wife: "LUCAS, le t i r a n t , en l u i faisant f a i r e l a pirouette." (11.3) .  Note the use of a b a l l e t term to descibe t h i s  movement.  A stage d i r e c t i o n indicates that Jacqueline turns  on her husband, "prenant Lucas par l e bras et l u i faisant aussi f a i r e l a pirouette" (11,3).  The gesture i s thus  repeated. The f i r s t scenes of the second act echo the opening scenes of the play. party.  There i s marital discord, and a t h i r d  This time, however, the t h i r d party, Sganarelle, does  not attempt to reconcile Jacqueline and Lucas.  Visually,  we  see the libidinous Sganarelle, disguised as a doctor, s t i r  up  more trouble, keeping the stage i n constant movement. Moliere c l e a r l y chose to make t h i s a play of movement. Scenes that could have been treated d i f f e r e n t l y are done i n a gestural way.  For example, Lucinde could have pretended to  have any number of i l l n e s s e s , but she has l o s t her v o i c e .  1 9  This necessitates mime: "LUCINDE, repond par signes, en portant sa main a sa bouche, a sa tete et sous son menton" (11.4) .  Sganarelle mimics her, and asks what kind of language  she i s speaking.  As t h i s action indicates, he i s not very  astute as a doctor at f i r s t . As the scene progresses, Sganarelle enters more f u l l y into his role as doctor, taking Lucinde's pulse, making s e l f evident statements, and adopting t y p i c a l gestures of the pedant. 0 2  Points of suspension  indicate Sganarelle's  hesitancy: "les vapeurs formees par les exhalaisons  des  76  influences qui s'elevent dans l a region des maladies, venant... pour a i n s i d i r e . . . a..." (11,4).  Realizing that his  imposture lacks weight, Sganarelle asks i f Geronte knows Latin.  When Geronte admits that he does not, Sganarelle  expresses his surprise and proceeds to e x p l o i t his advantage, making a jeu de scene out of his nonsensical Latin, "en faisant diverses plaisantes postures."  His l i s t e n e r s express  t h e i r admiration and envy at his learnedness.  This gives  Sganarelle confidence, and he launches into a medical lecture, complete with anatomical parts of the body.  i l l u s t r a t i o n s as he points to various  Momentum gathers as comic  techniques  overlap; Sganarelle adds to the jeu de scene of anatomy the game of interruption described i n Chapter 2.  Normally, i n  t h i s game someone else would interrupt him, but Sganarelle dominates the scene and interrupts himself, demanding attentiveness.  Geronte questions Sganarelle's placement of  the heart and l i v e r , and he r i d i c u l o u s l y j u s t i f i e s i t by saying that they have changed anatomy i n favour of the new medecine.  Geronte comically excuses himself for his  ignorance.  The scene continues i n t h i s way, one gag following  on another.  The accumulation  of comic e f f e c t s i s staggering,  and Moliere i s relentless i n his application of them.  As Bray  says of Le Medecin malgre l u i : E l l e a pour objet p r i n c i p a l l a production du r i r e . E l l e est toute agencee pour des e f f e t s de gaiete. C'est l e grand triomphe du Moliere comique. Tous les procedes y trouvent place: les gestes, les mots, l a s a t i r e , 1'observation, tout concourt au resultat cherche....La parodie des moeurs et du langage des  77 m e d e c i n s t i e n t une p l a c e c o n s i d e r a b l e . . . . C ' e s t un c h e f - d ' o e u v r e e t q u i f u t a c c u e i l l i comme t e l . L a f a r c e y p r e n d de l ' a m p l e u r . Le p o e t e p r o u v e q u ' i l a p l e i n e c o n s c i e n c e de l a f o n c t i o n comique d u g e n r e . 1 2  This  long scene,  play, all  situated  i n approximately  i s a p r i m e example o f what M o l i e r e i s t r y i n g  t h e e l e m e n t s m e n t i o n e d by B r a y  simultaneously. a symphonic  attempts  are present,  This play i s truly  S g a n a r e l l e makes g e s t u r e s  obstinately  t o r e f u s e t h e money, b u t t h e n  F o r example,  i n this  refuses t o accept  scene,  he a c c e p t s , he a s k s  scene  ends w i t h S g a n a r e l l e i n s i s t i n g In the next  forcing  Geronte t o  T h i s makes h i s n e x t move more  scene,  "Cela e s t - i l  de p o i d s ? "  a stage d i r e c t i o n  "SGANARELLE, r e g a r d a n t  v a p a s m a l ; p o u r v u que..."  cuts short h i s sentence,  complete  i t : he t a k e s  Leandre's  scene  (11,4).  indicates  that i t i s  Although  Ma f o i l  cela  Leandre's  Sganarelle's gestures  pulse.  Sganarelle  continues  o f d o c t o r b e c a u s e i t h a s become v e r y  When L e a n d r e i n t r o d u c e s h i m s e l f and a s k s  t o see Lucinde,  The  that reveal h i s  son argent.  (11,5).  entrance  laughable;  he i s n o t m e r c e n a r y .  indeed h i s gestures of the preceding  to play the role  Sganarelle  the purse,  after  lucrative.  takes  I n L e M e d e c i n m a l g r e l u i more i s made o f t h e  i t repeatedly.  ne  and Geronte  As i n Le M e d e c i n v o l a n t ,  offer  true nature:  o f movement,  t h e r e i s a c o n t r a d i c t i o n between t h e v i s u a l and  the g e s t u r a l . money g a g s .  t o achieve;  and o c c u r r i n g  a masterpiece  h i s role well,  t o r e w a r d h i m w i t h money.  Again,  of the  ballet.  S g a n a r e l l e has performed  it.  the middle  Sganarelle i s incensed.  2 2  f o r help  In a gesture  78  reminiscent of the f i r s t scenes of the play, Sganarelle advances on Leandre, abusing him and forcing him to retreat u n t i l Leandre offers him money: "SGANARELLE, Je vous apprendrai que je ne suis point homme a cela, et que c'est une insolence extreme... LEANDRE, t i r a n t une bourse q u ' i l l u i donne.  Monsieur... SGANARELLE, tenant l a bourse.  De vouloir  m'employer... Je ne parle pas pour vous, car vous etes honnete homme, et je serois r a v i de vous rendre service" (11,5). Money e f f e c t s a change i n d i r e c t i o n of Sganarelle's energies, and the audience witnesses a comic reversal of h i s posture, gestures, and tone of voice. In the t h i r d act, there i s another money scene.  Assuming  Sganarelle i s a r e a l doctor, some peasants approach him to cure someone who i s a c t u a l l y i l l .  This time, he does not wait  to be offered money, and gestures impatiently: "SGANARELLE, tendant toujours l a main et l a branlant, comme pour siqne q u ' i l demande de 1'argent." (111,2).  In t h i s scene,  Sganarelle refuses to l i s t e n without payment.  In each  subsequent money scene, Sganarelle i s more and more aggressive about money. motivated  His gestures and continued imposture are  by greed.  The audience eagerly anticipates the  moment when Sganarelle i s discovered and punished. Sganarelle l a s c i v i o u s l y approaches Jacqueline yet again. Jacqueline p l a y f u l l y demures as he lavishes compliments on her shamelessly.  Knutson points out that " [ t h i s ] rhythm of  desire, coyness, and jealousy i s a dominant one i n the play  79  and i s repeatedly underscored by gesture."23  j  n  order to win  her over, he h y p o c r i t i c a l l y commiserates with her about Lucas, even though he i s g u i l t y of the same type of treatment of Martine.  They are moving towards each other, playing into  each others arms, and are about to k i s s , when the stage d i r e c t i o n indicates that t h i s movement i s stopped by Lucas, who has been there a l l along, observing and l i s t e n i n g , drawing closer to the two to them as they draw closer to each other. "(En cet endroit, tous deux apercevant Lucas qui e t o i t derriere eux et entendoit leur dialogue, chacun se r e t i r e de son cote, mais l e Medecin d'une maniere f o r t plaisante.)" (111,3).  Knutson comments on t h i s scene: "These gestures and  movements impart to the play a b a l l e t - l i k e atmosphere of fancy and a i r i n e s s , even i n the most f a r c i c a l situations."24 Due to the transformation of Sganarelle into a confident imposter, he i s able to give Leandre and L u c i l e a chance to confer by d i s t r a c t i n g Geronte's attention with gestures and a lecture on the r e l a t i v e success of curing women and men: (En cet endroit, i l t i r e Geronte a un bout du theatre, et, l u i passant un bras sur les epaules, l u i rabat l a main sous l e menton, avec laquelle i l le f a i t retourner vers l u i , l o r s q u ' i l veut regarder ce que sa f i l l e et 1'apothicaire font ensemble, l u i tenant cependant l e discours suivant pour l'amuser:) Monsieur, c'est une grande et s u b t i l e question entre les doctes, de savoir s i les femmes sont plus f a c i l e s a guerir que les hommes. Je vous prie d'ecouter c e c i , s ' i l vous p l a i t . Les uns disent que non, les autres disent que oui; et moi je dis que oui et non....(III,6) Although the stage d i r e c t i o n does not indicate the moments when Geronte turns his head, the rhythm of Sganarelle's speech  80  suggests that Sganarelle p u l l s Geronte's attention away from the young lovers at the moment when he asks him to pay attention, and when he says "non" and "oui".  This i s repeated  double-time when he says "oui et non". In t h i s play, "[the] d i a l e c t i c between lovers and obstacle i s c l e a r l y subdued i n order that Sganarelle may remain always i n the foreground."  25  Act I I I , scene 6 i s  v i s u a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t because i t places Sganarelle i n the foreground while the lovers occupy the background.  Moliere  envisioned t h i s play from the perspective of jeu and he embodied i t i n his role as Sganarelle.  Just as b a l l e t s are  created for outstanding b a l l e r i n a s to showcase t h e i r a b i l i t i e s , Moliere, as a talented acrobatic actor, a comic virtuoso, created the role of Sganarelle for himself.  As we  w i l l see i n the next chapter, t h i s i s also true for S c a p i n .  26  When Geronte hears his daughter he praises Sganarelle, who mops his brow, saying "Voila une maladie qui m'a bien donne de l a peine!" (1,6).  No doubt the actor i s glad for a  chance to stop and wipe the perspitation from his face.  This  i s an extremely acrobatic play, one that i s extremely taxing for the buffoon who i s on stage i n v i r t u a l l y every s c e n e .  27  Once Lucinde begins to talk, the game of interruption i s humorously replayed, and Geronte i s not able to get more than a monosyllable  i n as his formerly mute daughter f i n a l l y  expresses v i r t u a l l y everything that she i s f e e l i n g .  The  energy builds as before, u n t i l Lucide speaks "d'un ton de voix  81 a etourdir" (111,6) and Geronte, exasperated, doctor restore her muteness.  In mock medical  demands that the terminology  Sganarelle prescribes that Leandre take Lucinde and s e t t l e the dispute with her father by married.  This p r e s c r i p t i o n sets up  the resolution, and i s his l a s t o f f i c i a l action as a doctor. Lucas runs to inform Geronte of the apothecary's i d e n t i t y and the elopement of the young couple. empeche q u ' i l ne sorte" (111,8).  Geronte orders "qu'on  At t h i s , Sganarelle runs  around the stage, trying to escape.  Lucas detains  him,  r e j o i c i n g : "Ah! par ma f i ! Monsieu le Medecin, vous serez pendu". Sganarelle has been discovered, and his deceit i s about to be punished when his wife enters.  The audience assumes  that she i s here to explain the ruse and off,  ' c a l l the whole thing  but i t s expectations are reversed once again.  Far from  pleading for Geronte's mercy, she laments the fact that Sganarelle did not have a chance to f i n i s h cutting the wood for the winter.  Sganarelle t e l l s her to go away, but she says  that she won't u n t i l she sees him dangling from a rope. Sganarelle's c o n t r i t i o n i s described by the stage d i r e c t i o n " l e chapeau a l a main" (111,10).  Sganarelle i s  l i t e r a l l y hat i n hand, begging for a beating rather than being turned over to the Commissaire.  This i s yet another example  of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of objects or props i n r e l a t i o n to gesture and movement. The whole play rests on the i n i t i a l aggressive gesture of  82  Sganarelle beating Martine.  This violence engenders, revenge,  and the revenge takes the form of the i n i t i a l violence. Sganarelle says: "Oui, c'est t o i qui m'as combien de coups de baton" (111,11).  procure je ne sais  The sentence i s  prorogued because Leandre has inherited his money. Sganarelle i s urged not to bear a grudge.  He answers: "Soit: je te  pardonne ces coups de baton en faveur de l a dignite ou tu  m'as  eleve; mais prepare-toi, desormais a vivre dans un grand respect avec un homme de ma consequence, et songe que l a colere d'un medecin est plus a craindre qu'on ne peut c r o i r e " . They are right back where they started; Sganarelle w i l l continue to beat Martine.  We have reached the equilibre  acceptable for a married couple i n French farce: a tenuous one, that w i l l soon t i p i n favour of one or the other. Of Moliere's production of comedies strongly influenced by farce Rene Bray writes: "Dans cette importante production, on peut discerner deux tendances, dont l e Medecin malgre l u i et  les Fourberies fournissent les meilleurs exemples.  Ce sont  deux pieces en t r o i s actes, en prose, mais d i f f e r e n t aussi bien par l a technique que par l e s u j e t . " ^ 2  It i s true that Le Medecin malgre l u i i s a s a t i r e of medecine, but more importantly, i t i s a play i n which the comic function of farce i s explored.  Medecine i s mainly used  as a pretext for f a r c i c a l situations i n which exuberent jeux de scene and comic play occupy f i r s t place. to make the audience laugh.  Its main goal i s  That i s why Moliere includes the  83  lascivious scenes with Sganarelle and Jacqueline.  They are  not s t r i c t l y necessary to the development of the play but they are a source of much entertainment.  I t i s the f a r c i c a l tone  of lightness and the symphonic movement of Le Medecin malgre l u i that d i s t i n g u i s h i t from Les Fourberies de Scapin.  84 NOTES  1.  Guichemerre, 115.  2.  p.  453.  3.  p.  453.  4.  These f i r s t two scenes have been analysed i n d e t a i l i n order to demonstrate that the early farces provide many of the comic procedures that Moliere uses i n his later plays. Obviously, i t i s not within the scope of the present paper to study every scene t h i s c l o s e l y .  5.  In his Moliere: An Archetypal Approach, Harold Knutson includes both Sganarelle i n Le Medecin malgre l u i and Scapin i n Les Fourberies de Scapin i n the category of buffoon. Univ. of Toronto romance series. (Toronto and Buffalo: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1976).  6.  Chancerel says that Sganarelle's costume, which prompts Lucas to ask: "C'est done le medecin des perroquets?" (1,4), i s associated with the buffoon: "A remarquer que le jaune et l e vert etaient les couleurs t r a d i t i o n n e l l e s des bouffons de cour", p. 53.  7.  see Introduction, p.3.  8.  p. 89.  9.  I t a l i a n Influence, p.  10.  p.  11.  Bray, p.  12.  p.  13.  This r e c a l l s Maitre Jacques i n L'Avare who for l y i n g and t e l l i n g the truth.  14.  This r e c a l l s Gros-Rene i n scene 3 of Le Medecin volant.  15.  Bray makes the point that " [ l e ] comique de caractere n'est...pas reserve a l a grande comedie: l a farce en f a i t usage. Sganarelle, dans Le Medecin malgre l u i , est un fantoche divertissant....Le r i r e nait i c i de 1'outrance des t r a i t s , de l a caricature. II n'est pas d'une autre sorte que c e l u i que provoquent les caracteres d'Orgon ou d'Argante", (p. 364).  105.  462. 196.  452. i s beaten  both  85 16.  In the f i r s t scene of Act I I I , Leandre i s disguised as an apothecary. The newcomer to deception asks the master for advice, but Sganarelle t e l l s him: " A l l e z , a l l e z , tout cela n'est pas necessaire: i l s u f f i t de l'habit, et je n'en sais pas plus que vous". Sganarelle reveals that he believes that the costume makes the man.  17.  p. 14.  18.  p. 29.  19.  In I I I , 5 t h i s technique i s repeated when Sganarelle mimes that Leandre i s an apothecary rather than simply stating i t .  20.  An example of a pedantic posture i s described: "levant l e bras depuis l e coude" (11,4).  21.  p. 311.  22.  This resembles the Lazzo of Anger employed i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n . Gordon, p. 18. Gordon describes the obscene d e t a i l s that normally accompany t h i s lazzo. I t i s interesting that Moliere d i d not use them i n t h i s scene, although he uses them f r e e l y i n the scenes between Sganarelle and Jacqueline.  23.  p. 30.  24.  p. 30.  25.  Knutson, p. 32.  26.  I t i s also true f o r a host of other characters i n h i s theatre with physically demanding roles.  27.  Sganarelle i s on stage f o r seventeen of the play's t h i r t y - f i v e scenes. Bray, p. 196.  28.  p. 311.  86  C H A P T E R  4  As opposed to the symphonic movement of Le Medecin malgre l u i , "les Fourberies,...,cavalcadent d'un mouvement l i n e a i r e vers leur f i n . "  1  The difference i n movement i n these  plays stems from the d i s t i n c t i o n between the buffoons and Sganarelle: "Sganarelle i s a lumbering  Scapin  2  clown driven by  l i b i d i n a l energy and thrust into circumstances adjusts w i l l y n i l l y .  two  to which he  Scapin, on the other hand, embodies one  of Moliere's most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c types, the resourceful valet (or  servante) whose self-confidence and imagination are put to  the service of youthful a f f e c t i o n and the society which w i l l emerge from i t . " 3 Predictably, both the French farce and commedia d e l l ' a r t e played a part i n influencing Moliere when he wrote Les Fourberies de Scapin.  However, i t i s the I t a l i a n t r a d i t i o n  which seems to e l i c i t highest praise: "Apotheose de l'acteur et du jeu, les Fourberies sont une sorte d'hommage de Moliere, deja e l u par l a mort, a l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e , deja venue a son d e c l i n .  II faut bien s a i s i r l a portee de ce  ceremonial  d ' a f f i l i a t i o n du plus grand poete comique de tous les temps a l a plus haute t r a d i t i o n comique."  4  According to Guichemerre,  i t i s the commedia d e l l ' a r t e that influenced the elements discussed i n t h i s chapter: "C'est a e l l e que Moliere est redevable quand i l met en scene ses deux v i e i l l a r d s coleriques et quinteux, ses deux couples d'amoureux et l e valet ruse qui  87  les  sert; et c'est 1'influence de l a comedie i t a l i e n n e qui  explique 1'importance du jeu gestuel et de l a mimique dans l e s Fourberies."  5  The play opens with considerably less movement than does Le Medecin malgre l u i .  While i t i s true that Octave's  despairing and panicky gestures constitute movement, i t i s undirected movement that expresses Octave's emotional state and does nothing to move the intrigue forward. The f i r s t two scenes are exposition scenes, i n which the two sets of lovers are dismayed to hear of the early return of the fathers of the young men.  The exposition scenes  frequently pose problems for the d i r e c t o r because he has to inform the audience without boring i t and without them to appear a r t i f i c i a l .  allowing  Frequently, there are no stage  directions to a s s i s t him. This i s the case i n Les Fourberies de Scapin.  Jouanny describes two ways of i n t e r p r e t i n g these  f i r s t scenes.  6  What becomes apparent when studying t h i s play  i s that a number of scenes could and have been interpreted i n many ways; much depends on t h e a t r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , and also the a b i l i t i e s of the actors.  For example, the question/answer  sequence of 1,1 i n which Silvestre's answer i s a reprise of the l a s t phrase of his master's question stands alone as a jeu verbal, or i t can be developed into a jeu de scene. The exposition scenes set up the c o n f l i c t of the play. Scapin i s present i n the second scene, but i t i s not u n t i l the t h i r d that the meneur de jeu decides to take an active r o l e :  88  " A l l e z , je veux m'employer pour vous."  Scapin thus sets i n  motion the workings of the intrigue that w i l l lead to i t s resolution. Scapin's acceptance of h i s role as director i s expressed v i s u a l l y by his gestures. The r e l a t i v e i n a c t i v i t y of the f i r s t scenes i s supplanted by the assured movements of an experienced t r i c k s t e r .  F i r s t , he places himself between  Octave and Hyacinte and puts an end to t h e i r lovers' t a l k : "Chut! (A Hyacinte.) (A Octave.)  Allez-vous-en, vous, et soyez en repos.  Et vous, preparez-vous a soutenir avec fermete  l'abord de votre pere" (1,3).  Next, Scapin attempts to coach  Leandre i n how to handle h i s father.  He starts by t e l l i n g him  "II faut paroitre ferme au premier choc" and Jouanny notes: " I c i , Scapin martele comme un danseur les planches de l a scene."  7  The stage i s now abounding i n directed movement.  Scapin t r i e s to teach Octave the posture of a brave man, hoping that with the posture w i l l come courage: "Allons. mine resolue, l a tete haute, l e s regards assures. Comme cela? (1,3).  SCAPIN: Encore un peu davantage.  Scapin assumes the role of Argante,  8  La  OCTAVE:  OCTAVE: Ainsi?" and Octave  pretends that he i s facing his father.  Moliere's talents as a  mimic and impressionist are legendary.  Indeed, he i s so  successful i n his interpretation that he frightens Octave: "C'est que je m'imagine que c'est mon pere que j'entends" (1,3).  He promises Scapin that he w i l l stand firm with h i s  father, but no sooner does he say t h i s than his father's  89  a r r i v a l prompts him to f l e e the stage.  In t h i s play, one  character's a r r i v a l frequently causes another's departure.  In  contrast, Scapin i s never nonplussed and always holds his ground. The f i r s t part of 1,4 consists of Argante thinking aloud. The stage directions indicate that he believes he i s alone. This technique of the unobserved observer i s often used i n Les Fourberies de Scapin; i t allows Scapin to assess his victim, determine his weaknesses, and exploit them.  In asides, the  cunning Scapin answers Argante's r h e t o r i c a l questions and takes note of his resolutions, and warns him.  The rhythm of  the f i r s t part of t h i s scene i s similar to that of a ping-pong match, no character's l i n e l a s t i n g longer than a short sentence.  In fact, the spectator would f e e l a b i t l i k e the  spectator at a ping-pong match, as he follows the dialogue as i t passes from one side of the stage to the other.  This jeu  has the e f f e c t of mesmerizing the audience and producing a sense of contest between the two c h a r a c t e r s — w i l l Argante be duped? i f so, w i l l Scapin be  punished?  Argante f i n a l l y notices S i l v e s t r e , his son's valet.  He  would gladly beat him for allowing his son to marry without his  consent, but Scapin continually intervenes i n order to  d i f f u s e the o l d man's anger.  By means of t h i s interruption  technique, he manages to spare S i l v e s t r e a beating, and at the same time to lay the groundwork for the t r i c k that w i l l be played i n scenes 5 and 6 of the second act.  Scapin already  90  reveals himself as a consummate t r i c k s t e r .  In an aside  S i l v e s t r e says admiringly: "L'habile fourbe que v o i l a ! " (1,4). The ping-pong rhythm returns at the end of t h i s scene when Scapin attempts to dissuade Argante from ending Octave's marriage and d i s i n h e r i t i n g his son.  This rhythm and the  movement of the scene establishes the contest of w i l l s between Scapin and those he wishes to manipulate. In the f i n a l scene of t h i s act, we see Scapin, the meneur de jeu, swing into f u l l action; " l a machine est trouvee" (1,5).  Scapin the director decides to use S i l v e s t r e i n the  coming t r i c k and he instructs him i n the gestures and postures of his r o l e .  He says: "J'ai  visage et ta voix" (1,5). of  des secrets pour deguiser ton  We have already seen t h i s technique  adapting the voice to s u i t the disguise and gestures of an  assumed i d e n t i t y i n Le Medecin volant and Le Medecin malgre lui.  We w i l l witness an excellent example of i t i n the sack  scene. The f i r s t scene of II i s between the v i s u a l l y humorous Geronte and Argante, two sparring Pantalone characters who play masked.  Their acting i s affected by the use of the mask;  these characters would use broad comic gestures and postures. However, f a c i a l expression i s not ruled out, because the way in which the actor moves his head while wearing a mask with a fixed grimace can actually change t h i s grimace.  Dynamic  f a c i a l gesture i s e s p e c i a l l y possible i f a half-mask i s worn rather than a f u l l mask.  9  91 Jouanny mentions the p o s s i b i l i t y of Geronte playing t h i s scene with a parasol i n hand, r a i s i n g and lowering i t at approriate times.  The use of props i n a scene where there  are no s p e c i f i c stage directions o u t l i n i n g t h e i r use i s at the d i s c r e t i o n of the d i r e c t o r , and r e l i e s on h i s imagination and on t h e a t r i c a l t r a d i t i o n .  Props are used for the purpose of  rendering a scene more comic, usually by making the character r i d i c u l o u s , or by being the source of irony based on a contradiction between the v i s u a l and what i s implied or stated, and sometimes both. In the following scene Leandre rushes to show h i s a f f e c t i o n for h i s father, but h i s father repels him.  Leandre  does not r e a l i z e that h i s father suspects that he has been up to something i n h i s absence.  The characters' positions i n  r e l a t i o n to each other are revealing.  Their gestures also  convey aspects of t h e i r character: Geronte i s a humourless o l d man who does not appreciate misbehaviour; Leandre i s an opportunist, pretending to f e e l a f f e c t i o n for h i s father i n order to lessen h i s father's wrath when he discovers he i s i n love with Zerbinette.  Geronte i s not impressed by h i s son's  affectionate gestures and orders more appropriate ones: "Tenez-vous, que je vous voye en face" and "Regardez-moi entre deux yeux" (11,2).  Geronte i s demanding that h i s son be 'up  front' with him, l i t e r a l l y and f i g u r a t i v e l y .  Because he i s  p h y s i c a l l y unable to evade h i s father, Leandre attempts to do so verbally.  Leandre pretends to know less than he does.  In  92 opposed symmetry, Geronte alludes to more than he knows. c u r t a i l s his son's deceit by mentioning Scapin's name.  He He  gets a reaction, and that i s what he wants: "Ah! ah! ce mot vous f a i t rougir" (11,2).  When Leandre asks him what he  knows, i t i s Geronte's turn to evade his son.  Storming o f f  stage he says that they should discuss t h i s at home and threatens to disown his son.  This scene leaves with the  audience an impression of opposition and symmetry. Leandre i s understandably incensed, and curses Scapin. His angry, threatening gestures contrast with Octave's, enters j o y f u l l y with Scapin.  who  The postures and gestures of the  characters indicate the roles each one plays i n t h i s scene. Leandre, the aggressor, draws his sword and threatens his valet: "LEANDRE, en mettant 1'epee a l a main. mechant plaisant.  Vous f a i t e s l e  Ah! je vous apprendrai..." (11,3).  Scapin  assumes the posture of the victim or the defendant pleading for his l i f e : "SCAPIN, se mettant a genoux.  Monsieur."  Octave i s the mediator, l i t e r a l l y the person i n the middle: "OCTAVE, se mettant entre-deux pour empecher Leandre de l e frapper.  Ah!  Leandre."  The energy of t h i s scene edges  upward as Leandre's aggression repeatedly manifests i t s e l f i n his  attacks on Scapin which are quickly restrained by Octave. Leandre's threats of physical violence frighten Scapin  into confessing, but, comically, to indiscretions of which his master i s unaware u n t i l t h i s moment.  Rather than calming his  master, the confession of his roguery only serves to i n f u r i a t e  93 him further.  The l a s t of these confessions i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  s i g n i f i c a n t because i t reveals the sort of fourberie of which Scapin i s capable, and i t prepares the sack scene: "He bien! oui, Monsieur: vous vous souvenez de ce loup-garou, i l y a s i x mois, qui vous donna tant de coups de baton l a nuit, et vous pensa f a i r e rompre l e cou dans une cave ou vous tombates en fuyant.  LEANDRE.  He bien!  SCAPIN.  qui f a i s o i s l e loup-garou." (11,4).  C'etait moi, Monsieur, The elements of disguise  and multiple i d e n t i t i e s are the foundation of t h i s t r i c k and Scapin's masterpiece of deceit. The end of t h i s scene echoes the end of 1,4, i n which Scapin d i s t r a c t s Argante so that he does not beat S i l v e s t r e . In the case of 11,3, Octave and Scapin manage to put o f f Leandre so long that the a r r i v a l of another character enables the valet to escape a beating.  These incidents i n which  characters narrowly escape physical violence increase the dramatic tension of the play.  They also show Scapin's a b i l i t y  to wriggle h i s way out of uncomfortable situations. The a r r i v a l of a messenger reverses the positions of the master and servant, and i t i s Scapin who i s i n the p o s i t i o n of strength: "SCAPIN, passant devant l u i avec un a i r f i e r . mon pauvre Scapin.»  «Ah!  Je suis «mon pauvre Scapin» a cette heure  qu'on a besoin de moi" (11,4).  Although t h i s i s not a marital  c o n f l i c t farce, the same p r i n c i p l e of the power struggle applies, no doubt because t h i s "balancement" r e f l e c t s the movement of the balangoire perenne that for Montaigne,  94 symbolizes the human condition.  I t i s Leandre who i s i n the  humbled p o s i t i o n now, pleading with Scapin to help him. Scapin reverses his plea and begs for punishment, knowing that his  master i s at his mercy.  Scapin plays t h i s s i t u a t i o n for  a l l i t i s worth u n t i l he has l i t e r a l l y his  brought his master to  knees, which repeats Scapin's e a r l i e r humble posture.  This exchange of postures expresses v i s u a l l y the reversal of t h e i r positions. Les Fourberies de Scapin i s f u l l of reversals of expectation, of the pursuer and the pursued, and of postures. Reversals are frequently brought about by t r i c k e r y . also be a feature of the t r i c k .  They may  The frequency of reversals i n  t h i s play r e f l e c t s the atmosphere of t r i c k e r y which dominates i t , as i t s t i t l e implies. The t i t l e also points to the structure of the play: i t i s a coherent series of t r i c k s orchestrated by the maestro of trickery.  In 11,4, he magnanimously pardons his master and  bids him to stand up.  Scapin agrees to use his talents to  extract from their fathers the money the young men desperately need.  Having set i t up already, he announces that he has  already decided on the t r i c k he i s going to play Argante. for  As  Leandre's father, Scapin i s confident that he w i l l e a s i l y  think of a ruse to deceive the g u l l i b l e , avaricious old man. Scapin i s surprised that his master i s insulted: "Bon, bon, on fait  scrupule de cela: vous moquez-vous?" (11,4).  Once again,  a p o t e n t i a l l y tense s i t u a t i o n i s averted by the a r r i v a l of  95  another character. As Argante enters, the young men leave the t r i c k s t e r to his work. Argante i s agitated, moving around the stage i n short, e r r a t i c bursts.  Scapin i s e n t i r e l y s o l i c i t o u s .  He makes  several speeches which are noticeably longer than any that he has pronounced  so far i n the play.  old man's confidence. verbally.  He i s t r y i n g to gain the  The fourbe f i r s t t r i e s to coax him  If he i s unsuccessful, the verbal w i l l set up the  gestural t r i c k he has planned. In the f i r s t , verbal stage of the t r i c k , Scapin emphasizes a l l the trouble and expense of taking the people who  supposedly forced his son into marriage to court.  Scapin  emphasizes the cost and bother of l i t i g a t i o n and minimizes the cost of s e t t l i n g out of court. meaning.  His gestures match his  For example, a note t e l l s us that when he says that  the brother of the bride i s demanding a mule i n p a r t i a l payment, Scapin says i t i s a l i t t l e mule, and lowers his hand to the ground to indicate t h i s .  With t h i s gesture he i s  attempting to diminish the demands i n the mind of Argante. When he does not seem convinced, Scapin launches into a long l i s t of a l l the hidden costs of legal action, underlining them by using the technique of accumulation and gestures expressing the enormity of the expense.  This c a r e f u l l y balanced process  of setting o f f one alternative by playing up the disadvantages of the opposite extreme i s almost successful.  Argante i s  about to concede, and Scapin makes his p i t c h for the two  96 hundred p i s t o l e s .  Argante i s angry. According to a stage  d i r e c t i o n , he paces the length of the stage, declaring they w i l l go to court after a l l .  Scapin i s persistent and repeats  the process of accumulation, but to no a v a i l . Scapin s h i f t s t a c t i c s from coaxing to coercion.  He  beckons to S i l v e s t r e , who enters as a spadassin, brandishing his sword and making aggressive, p u g i l i s t i c gestures: "Par l a mort! par l a tete! par l e ventre! s i je l e trouve, je l e veux echiner, dusse-je etre roue tout v i f " (11,6).  The presence of  someone intent on doing Argante bodily harm transforms Argante's defiant, angry postures into cowardly, shrinking ones: "(Argante, pour n'etre point vu, se t i e n t , en tremblant, couvert de Scapin.)" (11,6).  Scapin provides S i l v e s t r e with  every opportunity to intimidate Argante, and at the same time attack his master and vent any resentment he might have towards him. This scene i s f u l l of v i s u a l irony. For example, S i l v e s t r e roughly seizes Argante's hand and says: "Touchez l a , touchez.  Je vous donne ma parole, et vous jure  sur mon honneur, par l'epee que je porte, par tous l e s serments que je saurois f a i r e , qu'avant l a f i n du jour je vous deferai ce maraud f i e f f e , de ce faquin d'Argante. vous sur moi" (11,6).  Reposez-  Scapin has t r i e d t a l k i n g , and he i s now  using the threat of physical violence to convince  Argante.  Scapin threatens the spadassin with the show of force that Argante w i l l o f f e r .  S i l v e s t r e incessantly brandishes h i s  sword and displays h i s physical prowess, ending with a  97 demonstration of how he w i l l attack Argante when he finds him. S i l v e s t r e storms away, leaving Scapin to f i n i s h the t r i c k . The physical threat created by Silvestre's show of force has the desired e f f e c t .  Trembling, he timidly t e l l s Scapin that  he i s going to pay the demanded sum. One jeu de scene follows upon another as Argante hesitates to give his purse to Scapin.  Annoyed, the valet  s t i f f l y challenges him: "Parbleu, Monsieur, je suis un fourbe, ou je suis honnete homme: c'est l'un des deux" (11,6).  The  d i r e c t i o n of t h i s scene changes as Scapin plays hard to get, as he did with Leandre i n 11,4.  Again, the roles are  reversed, as Scapin no longer chases the money, and i t i s Argante's turn to convince him to take i t .  Rather than  refusing to give i t to Scapin, he has to force i t on him. The t r a n s i t i o n between t h i s t r i c k and the next i s extremely b r i e f , but Scapin, the past master, i s equal to i t . He switches into mock despair: "O C i e l ! 6 miserable pere! His  6 disgrace imprevue!  Pauvre Gerontre, que feras-tu?" (11,7).  f i r s t strategy i s to pretend he doesn't see Geronte, even  though he seems to be desperately searching for him.  Rather  than being the unobserved observer of his e a r l i e r meeting with Argante (1,4), Scapin now plays the unobserving observer.  In  the f i r s t part of t h i s scene, Scapin runs from one end of the stage to the other, ostensibly looking for Geronte, but he i s actually forcing him to chase him, his obvious despair increasing Geronte's sense of alarm.  When he addresses  98 Geronte, w i t h the h e l p of hand g e s t u r e s e s p e c i a l l y , he i s a b l e t o c o n j u r e up a v i v i d p i c t u r e of the imaginary abduction of Leandre.  When S c a p i n f i n i s h e s h i s account by s t a t i n g the  amount of the ransom, Geronte's f i r s t comment b e t r a y s h i s a v a r i c e , because he d e p a i r s mostly at the amount, r a t h e r than the f a c t t h a t h i s son i s i n danger. diable a l l a i t - i l  Geronte's famous  "Que  f a i r e dans c e t t e g a l e r e ? " r e f r a i n , born of  avarice, indicates his o b s e s s i o n .  1 1  As w i t h Argante, Scapin must work t o convince Geronte. E v e n t u a l l y he succeeds, but t h e r e i s an e x p l i c i t j e u de c e n t e r e d around the money.  scene  Conesa d i s c u s s e s the g e s t u r a l  s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s sequence:  "Le rythme meme qu'implique l a  s u c c e s s i o n [des] r e p l i q u e s c o u r t e s donne de p r e c i e u s e s i n d i c a t i o n s sur l e s gestes symetriques du barbon e t du v a l e t . On peut penser que Geronte ponctue d'un geste de bras chacune de ses i n t e r v e n t i o n s , s i b i e n que l e j e u de scene epouse l e mouvement du d i a l o g u e e t que l e passage y gagne une u n i t e p l u s p a r f a i t e , sur l e p l a n  dramatique."  12  The audience's a t t e n t i o n i s f o c u s s e d on the purse as Scapin s c u r r i e s from s i d e t o s i d e .  In c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o h i s  t i r a d e about what Scapin i s t o say when he d e l i v e r s the money t o the Turks, Geronte pockets the money and t e l l s the v a l e t t o be on h i s way.  Conesa c i t e s t h i s t o u r as an example of the  c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the g e s t u r a l and the v e r b a l .  It i s  always the c h a r a c t e r ' s g e s t u r e s t h a t r e v e a l h i s t r u e c h a r a c t e r , because they r e v e a l the impulses he has  trouble  99 suppressing. The of text  1 3  t r i c k p l a y e d on G e r o n t e t o a c h i e v e , and  required  to perform  it.  Argante's  and  text.  sack scene w i l l  the r o l e  required  these t r i c k s  a device to further t h e p l a y and The extort  two  fill  spanning  five  the i n t r i g u e ,  e i g h t pages o f  pages.  The  importance  Rather  than  being  are c e n t r a l  to  their  S c a p i n has managed t o fathers.  When he  u n s u c c e s s f u l w i t h Geronte,  Leandre  is  i n s t a n t l y d e f e a t e d and  goes away t o mourn t h e l o s s o f h i s  beloved.  Octave's  This recalls  men's l a c k o f c o u r a g e contrast Leandre allez him, his note  back: "Hola, h o l a !  vite!"  (11,8).  He  indicates  that  s u c c e s s as a The  stands  tells  him  fourbe.  p r e c e d i n g ones.  calls nous  t h e money f o r trick  they e x i t .  on A  b i t of stage p l a y  them o f f s t a g e , b e c a u s e  of  1 4  scene w i t h the v a l e t s  w h i c h opens the f i n a l  Scapin  allowed to p l a y another  leading  young  Comme d i a n t r e  t h a t he has  there i s a t r a d i t i o n a l on  The  i n stark  resourcefulness.  P e r m i s s i o n i s g l a d l y g r a n t e d and  i n which Scapin i n s i s t s his  i n 1,3.  t o u t doucement.  on c o n d i t i o n t h a t he be father.  behaviour  and p e r s e v e r e n c e  to Scapin's i n f i n i t e  of  t h e o r g a n i z i n g framework.  enter, hopeful that  t h a t he was  e v e n more  the t r i c k s  i s merely  t h e money t h e y need f r o m  pretends  t r i c k was  scenes  pages  l e n g t h of stage time i s  p l a y i s unmistakable.  the i n t r i g u e  y o u n g men  taken s i x p r i n t e d  a significant  elaborate, The  has  and  t h e i r masters'  a c t i s markedly  This i s a transition  less  active  scene.  l o v e d ones than  the  Hyacinte  and  100 Z e r b i n e t t e are young females i n l o v e , and as such do not gesticulate excessively.  Scapin i s r e l a t i v e l y i n a c t i v e  because he i s not p e r p e t r a t i n g an imposture; he i s  gathering  h i s s t r e n g t h f o r the t o u r de f o r c e planned f o r Geronte. S i l v e s t r e t r i e s to dissuade h i s f e l l o w servant form t a k i n g advantage of Geronte, warning him of the bastonnade he w i l l receive.  Scapin i s r e s o l u t e .  He s t i l l holds a grudge  against  Geronte f o r g e t t i n g him i n t r o u b l e w i t h h i s master, a f a c t which f o r c e d him to r e v e a l h i s s t r a t e g i e s pressed him i n t o the s e r v i c e of the two  as a t r i c k s t e r and  swains.  The sack scene i s d e r i v e d from both French f a r c e and the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n s .  Lebegue says t h a t t h i s  scene  i s made up of two gags from French f a r c e : the sack, and the f o u r b e ' s changing v o i c e which makes i t seem l i k e t h e r e are s e v e r a l people b e a t i n g the ensache. !5  jyjel Gordon g i v e s a  d e s c r i p t i o n of t h r e e v a r i a t i o n s of t h i s popular r o u t i n e i n h i s s e c t i o n on "Comic V i o l e n c e / S a d i s t i c B e h a v i o r . "  1 6  i  the  n  i n t r o d u c t i o n to h i s chapter he comments: "Set i n a world of masters and s e r v a n t s ,  the Commedia f e d upon the comic  s u b j u g a t i o n and punishment of the innocent or  defenseless(...)  The v i c t i m s of the v i o l e n t l a z z i are u s u a l l y Pantalone and the Captain."  1 V  Scapin employs the same s c a r e t a c t i c s w i t h Geronte t h a t he d i d when he used S i l v e s t r e t o t h r e a t e n Argante. of t h i s t r i c k d i s p l a y s  Scapin's  ingenuity.  The d e s i g n  He says t h a t  H y a c i n t e ' s b r o t h e r and s e v e r a l s o l d i e r s are seeking him out  in  101  order to stop him from ousting Hyacinte i n favour of his own daughter.  He i s using the threat of a physical attack to whip  Geronte into a state of panic so that he w i l l v o l u n t a r i l y jump into the ruse planned for him. Scapin i s so successful i n creating a climate of danger that Geronte becomes paranoid: "GERONTE, croyant voir quelqu'un.  Ah!"  Geronte i s ripe for boing  (111,2).  manoeuvered into the sack, and he w i l l i n g l y goes along with Scapin's plan i n order to evade a beating, an i n s t i n c t which we have already seen i s at the base of most characters' impostures.  In an aside, Scapin says that Geronte w i l l pay  for what he did to him.  This i s reminiscent of Martine's  aparte i n Le Medecin malgre l u i , before Sganarelle's beating i n the woods. As i n the Le Medecin malgre l u i revenge takes the form of a beating.  As i n Le Medecin volant, the t r i c k s t e r  additional i d e n t i t i e s to further his t r i c k .  develops  When Scapin has  the trembling Geronte safely inside the sack he adopts the accent of a spadassin from Gascony.  Stage directions explain  the alternation between Scapin's normal voice when he i s addressing Geronte or defending him and the spadassin's voice when he i s threatening him.  I r o n i c a l l y , Scapin says  "Monsieur, les coups de baton ne se donnent point a des gens comme l u i , et ce n'est pas un homme a etre t r a i t e de l a sorte" (111,2),  and then beats the sack, pretending that the  spadassin i s h i t t i n g him: "Ah! diable s o i t l e Gascon.  Ah!  (En  102 se plaignant et remuant l e dos, comme s ' i l avoit regu les coups de baton.).  GERONTE, mettant l a tete hors du sac.  Ah!  Scapin, je n'en puis plus!" (111,2). The changes i n his tone of voice, his use of dialogue and d i a l e c t , the energy with which he executes his t r i c k a l l demonstrate his mastery of fourberie.  The r e p e t i t i o n of t h i s  jeu sends the energy of the scene soaring.  Simon says of the  fourbe: "Scapin seul o f f r e d'un bout a 1'autre de l a comedie ce visage extatique du jeu corporel pousse a ses l i m i t e s . l a scene II de l'acte III en est l e paroxysme."  18  Et  Simon's  comment refers e s p e c i a l l y to the t h i r d r e p e t i t i o n of the t r i c k : "SCAPIN, l u i remettant sa tete dans l e sac.  Prends  garde, v o i c i une demi-douzaine de soldats tout ensemble. c o n t r e f a i t plusieurs personnes ensemble.)" (111,2).  (II  Pushing  his deceit to the l i m i t , Scapin does not assume one additional i d e n t i t y , but s i x .  1 9  This i s v i s u a l l y impressive. overwhelming.  Scapin's s k i l l i s  Knutson extols the merits of the sack scene:  "This i s unalloyed v i r t u o s i t y , play for the sake of play." Scapin has already exacted h i s punishment when he beats Geronte with the strength of one man.  By beating him twice  and preparing to beat him again as s i x men would, Scapin i s indulging his love for play.  Although comic, the violence  with which he treats Geronte reveals a f e r o c i t y which i s f a r from the spontaneous lightness of Le Medecin malgre l u i . Although there are more beatings i n the e a r l i e r play, hey are  103 not planned and c a r r i e d out with the degree of malicious forethought  of which t h i s meneur de jeu shows himself  capable.  Geronte i s s t i l l smarting from his second beating when Zerbinette comes along, laughing out loud.  Geronte  thinks she i s laughing at him; neither of them knows that she actually i s . This laughter contrasts with the howls of the preceding scene.  Zerbinette t e l l s him what i s making her  laugh, and he becomes more and more disturbed, fuming s i l e n t l y as she t e l l s the story of his foolishness.  Insult i s  l i t e r a l l y added to i n j u r y when he discovers that he has been duped twice i n the course of a few hours. seen, the  As we have already  l i s t e n e r ' s jeu expresses his psychological state.  Geronte's agitated gestures and his impatient,  erratic  movement around the stage r e f l e c t his rage and  discomfort.  His angry demeanor eventually informs Zerbinette that he i s not enjoying her story.  The scene ends as his barely  contained rage explodes i n an abusive speech condemning Scapin to the  gallows.  The two old men are beaten men.  come together again, but t h i s time, they  They resolve to punish their servants.  The  deus ex machina scene follows as the nurse reveals a l l . Jouanny alludes to the two r i d i c u l o u s characters' posture of t r a d i t i o n a l farce i n which they both throw their arms i n the a i r as an expression of their surprise at how arranged t h i n g s .  2 0  fate has  Unaware of what has transpired, Octave  makes a grand entrance,  and f i n a l l y stands up to his father  104 once i t i s no longer necessary.  Zerbinette and Geronte are  also reconciled. The same sort of scene i s repeated with Leandre.  The play i s moving towards an equilibrium as the  resolution i s takes shape. Scapin enters i n bandages, pleading f o r forgiveness before he dies.  "Each t r i c k i s more ingenious and complex  than the preceding one and at the end success i s l i t e r a l l y a matter of l i f e and death."21  i n order to avoid death or a  severe beating, Scapin shrewdly employs the imposture of injury and dying.  Scapin plays h i s f i n a l t r i c k with a l l the  v i r t u o s i t y displayed i n the sack scene, and i s acquitted f o r a l l the roguish things that he has done.  Ever the miser,  Geronte wants to get h i s money's worth out of h i s concession, and makes h i s pardon conditional on Scapin's death. manipulates  Scapin  him by alluding to the sack scene, which prompts  Geronte to forgive him because he wants to suppress the story of h i s g u l l i b i l i t y .  When he agrees to make h i s pardon  unconditional, there i s a t r a d i t o n a l c a l l to feast, with Scapin occupying the place of honour as a successful fourbe. Jouanny maintains: "Le rideau tombera quand Scapin jugera bon de clore l e divertissement, ou plutot l a demonstration."22 He i s alluding to Scapin's role as meneur de jeu, whose fourberies create the play. Garapon captures the essence of our discussion of the v i s u a l and s t r u c t u r a l patterns of gesture and movement i n Les Fourberies de Scapin when he observes:  105 La symetrie et l e s oppositions des gestes et des postures s'accordent a merveille, dans l e s Fourberies, avec 1 ' a r t i f i c i e u s e organisation du dialogue. L'ensemble aboutit a une comedie-ballet d'un genre superieur, puisque l a choreographie, l e s figures et l e s a i r s ne sont pas relegues dans l e s entractes, mais font p a r t i e integrante de 1'action. En somme, v o i l a r e a l i s e l e programme qu'enongait naguere l e Maitre a danser du Bourgeois gentilhomme: «La musique et l a danse...La musique et l a danse, c'est l a tout ce q u ' i l faut». De l a sorte, l e s Fourberies constituent pour Moliere un exercice de v i r t u o s i t e tres p r o f i t a b l e : i l s'entraine avec un p l a i s i r a unir plus etroitement l e s paroles et l e mouvement scenique en un tout harmonieux. 3 2  106 NOTES 1.  Jouanny, v o l . 2, p.  589.  2.  As with Le Medecin malgre l u i , Moliere created the role of Scapin for himself.  3.  Knutson, p. 33.  4.  Simon, p. 27.  5.  p.  6.  v o l . 2, n. 1673,  7.  v o l . 2, n. 1685, p.  8.  This impersonation scene gives us a preview of the repetitious, cranky old man that appears i n the following scene.  9.  Duchartre provides an excellent discussion of masks i n La Commedia d e l l ' a r t e , rev. ed., (Paris: Editions d'Art et Industrie, 1955).  10.  v o l . 2, n. 1690, p.  11.  Lagarde and Michard discuss t h i s type of r e f r a i n and i t links farce and r e a l i t y :  116. pp. 919-20. 920.  921. how  Les «mots de nature» nous permettent de mieux s a i s i r . . . l e rapport entre l e cote mecanique de l a farce et l a vie reelle....Quand ces mots sont repetes jusqu'a quatre f o i s , nous quittons l a vraisemblance pour tomber dans l a farce. S i l a r e p e t i t i o n n'est pas vraisemblable, e l l e t r a h i t neanmoins une v e r i t e profonde: dans l a v i e , Orgon ne d i t qu'une f o i s «Le pauvre homme!», mais i l pense sans cesse a Tartuffe et l e mele a toutes ses actions. On pourra etudier de meme l a «scene de l a galere» des Fourberies de Scapin. XVIIe s i e c l e , les grands auteurs franqais du programme, C o l l e c t i o n L i t t e r a i r e Lagarde et Michard, (Paris: Bordas, 1970), p. 181. 12.  p.  464.  13.  Conesa, p.  459.  107 14.  v o l . 2, n. 1713, p. 922.  15.  "Moliere et l a farce", p. 62.  16.  p. 14.  17.  p. 14.  18.  p. 28.  19.  The fact that Moliere created such a scene f o r himself indicates how extraordinary h i s acrobatic acting s k i l l s must have been.  20.  v o l . 2, n. 1726, p. 923.  21.  Knutson, p. 33.  22.  p. 588.  23.  Garapon, pp. 84-5.  108 CONCLUSION In t h i s discussion, the emphasis has been placed on Moliere's farces and farce-inspired comedies, or comedies bouffonnes.  Referring to the I t a l i a n and French influences,  Guichemerre defends the value of these plays i n r e l a t i o n to the grandes comedies: Moliere n'a jamais renie ce q u ' i l devait a l a farce; son influence parait jusque dans ses plus hautes creations. Mais, l o r s q u ' i l a r e p r i s les motifs ou les p l a i s a n t e r i e s de l a farce t r a d i t i o n n e l l e , l a v i r t u o s i t e du dramaturge et son sens du comique les ont tellement metamorphoses que ses propres farces ou ses comedies bouffonnes, l o i n d'etre inferieures aux «grandes comedies», manifestent avec autant d'eclat son genie createur. 1  This examination of gesture could well be extended to include a l l of Moliere's plays.  More than just a study of  performance technique, i t would lead to a f u l l e r understanding of Moliere's purpose or 'message', i f P h i l i p A. Wadsworth i s correct i n saying: " C r i t i c s who philosophy way  search for Moliere's  or moral purpose should pay more attention to the  his comedies were acted i n the seventeenth century and to  the way  the performances were received.  plays i t was  In the controversial  the acting, as much as the words, that delighted  and sometimes shocked the t h e a t r i c a l p u b l i c . " L'Impromptu de V e r s a i l l e s that Moliere was  We know from  2  keenly interested  i n the manner i n which his plays were performed.  Regrettably,  the modern reader i s deprived the p r i v i l e g e of attending plays directed and performed by their author.  the  However,  through the richness and the rhythm of the texts one can  use  109 one's imagination and conjure up images of the exuberant, s p i r i t e d performances that entertained his seventeenth  century  audience. Moliere's love of movement pervades h i s theatre.  Having  c l o s e l y examined two short farces and two f u l l - l e n g t h farces or comedies from the perspective of indicated or implied gesture, i t i s apparent that gestures are very frequent. As Conesa says, they constitute "un t i s s u gestuel" which provides the framework for these plays.  They are used for d i f f e r e n t  purposes, although underlying p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of them i s irony and comic e f f e c t .  As we have seen, there are several  d i f f e r e n t types of gestures and movement.  They are frequently  conveyed by v i s u a l devices such as r e p e t i t i o n , reversal and oscillation.  There are gestures which display physical  violence for punishment, threats, or r i d i c u l e .  Some draw  t h e i r comic e f f e c t from mimicry and may v i s u a l l y represent a s t r u c t u r a l or thematic aspect.  Others reveal character t r a i t s  such as cowardice or weakness.  Then there are those which are  meant simply to delight. The gestures of the i n d i v i d u a l actors are interdependent on those of t h e i r fellow actors.  The r e l a t i v e placement of  the characters on the stage frequently dictates a certain type of movement, and at the same time expresses their r e l a t i v e postions i n the development of the intrigue.  The accumulation  of these gestures and movement i s also s i g n i f i c a n t .  Their  rhythm and pacing are largely responsible f o r the audience's  110 reaction. Bray emphasizes the importance of performance i n the study of Moliere's theatre: "Tout ce theatre est compose en vue d'une seduction a operer....Une comedie est f a i t e pour etre jouee: l e texte ne prend forme que dans l a representation et l a representation l i e l e spectateur a l'acteur dans l'allegresse de l a creation.  Tout y est apparence, tout y  cherche a plaire....Un monde prend naissance, dans lequel l e spectateur s'integre sans e f f o r t et ou i l trouve l e plaisir."-* Throughout t h i s study, we have stressed the importance of performance, which necessarily implicates the audience, without whom performance would have l i t t l e value.  Bray  stresses t h i s i n the quote above, and he also discusses the audience and laughter, which expresses the pleasure derived from Moliere's performances. the  Laughter i s produced largely as  r e s u l t of comic gestures and movement.  This movement  created by t h e a t r i c a l effects extends i n turn to the spectator: " S i Moliere est moral, s i son theatre a quelque vertu, c'est parce q u ' i l f a i t r i r e et non parce q u ' i l f a i t r i r e de quelque chose de condamnable. l'homme.  Le r i r e est naturel a  Nous avons besoin de cette detente.  I l est bon  d'aiguiser notre talent de moquerie, i l est meilleur encore de nous agiter l e corps et l'ame dans l a mysterieuse secousse qui s'appelle l e r i r e " .  4  Ill NOTES  1.  p.  121.  2.  Moliere and the I t a l i a n Theatrical Tradition, p.  3.  p.  372.  4.  p.  371.  106.  112 B I B L I O G R A P H Y  Abirached, Robert. "Moliere et l a Commedia d e l l ' a r t e : l e detournement du jeu". Revue d'histoire du theatre, 3 (1974), 223-228. Attinger, Gustave. L'Esprit de l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e dans l e theatre frangais. Paris: L i b r a i r i e theatrale and Neuchatel: La Baconniere, 1950. Baty, Gaston and Rene Chavance. Vie de l ' a r t theatral des origines a nos jours. Paris: L i b r a i r i e Pion, 1932. Bowen, Barbara C. Les Caracteristiques e s s e n t i e l l e s de l a farce frangaise et leur survivance dans les annees 15501620. I l l i n o i s Studies i n Language and Literature, No. 53. Urbana: Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1964. Bray, Rene. Moliere, homme de theatre. France, 1954.  Paris: Mercure de  Caldicott, C.E.J. "L'inspiration i t a l i e n n e ou l a permanence du jeu dans Le Malade Imaginaire" i n Melanges a l a memoire de Franco Simone. Geneve: Slatkine, 1981, I I , pp. 271-278. Chancerel, Leon. "Le Comedien Moliere et ses camarades i t a l i e n s " . Theatre, Dec. 1945: 11-40. Moliere. Collection "Les Metteurs en scene". Les Presses L i t t e r a i r e s de France, 1953.  Paris:  Ciccone, Anthony A. The Comedy of Language; Four Farces by Moliere. Studia Humanitatis. Potomac: Jose Porriia Turanzas S. A., 1980. Conesa, Gabriel. Le Dialogue molieresque; Etude s t y l i s t i q u e et dramaturgique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1983. Duchartre, Pierre-Louis. La Commedia d e l l ' a r t e . Paris: Editions d'Art et Industrie, 1955.  Rev. ed.  Garapon, Robert. Le Dernier Moliere, des "Fourberies de Scapin" au "Malade Imaginaire". Paris: Societe d'edition d'enseignement superieur, 1977. G i l l , A. '"The Doctor i n the Farce' and Moliere". Studies, I I , 2(1948), 101-28.  French  113  Gordon, Mel. Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1983. Gross, Nathan. From Gesture to Idea: Esthetics and Ethics i n Moliere's Comedy. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1982. Guichemerre, Roger. "Moliere et l a farce". Critiques, VI, 1(1981), 111-124.  Oeuvres &  Gundolf, Cordelia. "Moliere and the Commedia d e l l ' a r t e " . Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, 39-40 (1973), 22-34. H a l l , H. Gaston. "Ce que Moliere doit a Scaramouche", i n Melanges a l a memoire de Franco Simone. Geneve: Slatkine, 1981, I I , pp. 257-269. Jackson, G. Donald. "Les Frontispices des editions de Moliere parues au XVIIe s i e c l e : stereotypes et expressivite". Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, XIV, 26(1987), 3760. "Gestes, deplacements et texte dans t r o i s pieces de Moliere". Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, XI, 20(1984), 36-59. Knutson, Harold C. Moliere: An Archetypal Approach. Univ. of Toronto romance series. Toronto and Buffalo: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1976. Lacour, Leopold.  Moliere acteur.  Paris: F e l i x Alcan, 1928.  Lagarde, Andre and Laurent Michard. XVIIe s i e c l e , les grands auteurs frangais du programme. C o l l e c t i o n L i t t e r a i r e Lagarde et Michard. Paris: Bordas, 1970. Lanson, Gustave. "Moliere et l a farce". (1901), 129-153.  La Revue de Paris, 3  Lebegue, Raymond. "Moliere et l a farce", i n Etudes sur l e theatre frangais I I . Paris: Nizet, 1978, pp. 50-68. Le theatre comique en France de Pathelin a Melite. Connaissance des l e t t r e s . Paris: Hatier, 1972. Livingston, Paisley N. "Comic Treatment: Moliere and the Farce of Medicine". Modern Language Notes. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 94(1979), 676-87.  114 Mic, Constant. La Commedia d e l l ' A r t e , ou l e theatre des comediens i t a l i e n s des XVIe, XVIIe, et XVIIIe s i e c l e s . Paris: J . S c h i f f r i n , 1927. Moland, Louis. Moliere et l a comedie i t a l i e n n e . Didier, 1867.  Paris:  Moliere. Le Medecin malgre l u i ; Le Medecin volant. Nouveaux Classiques Larousse. Paris: L i b r a i r i e Larousse, 1965. Oeuvres completes• Ed. Georges Couton. Bibliotheque de l a Pleiade. 2 vols. Paris: Gallimard, 1971. Oeuvres completes. Ed. Robert Jouanny. Garnier. 2 vols. Paris: Garnier, 1962.  Classiques  N i c o l l , Allardyce. Masks, Mimes and Miracles: Studies i n the Popular Theatre. 1st ed., 1931, rpt. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1963. The World of Harlequin: A C r i t i c a l Study of the Commedia d e l l ' A r t e . Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1963. Oreglia, Giacomo. The Commedia d e l l ' A r t e. F. Edwards. London: Methuen, 1968. Pavis, Patrice. Dictionnaire du theatre. sociales, 1980.  Trans, by Lovett Paris: Editions  Peacock, N. A., ed. La Jalousie du Barbouille et George Dandin ou l e Mary confondu. By Moliere. Exeter: A. Wheaton & Co. Ltd., 1984. Rey-Flaud, Bernadette. La Farce, ou l a machine a r i r e ; Theorie d'un genre dramatique 1450-1550. Geneve: Droz, 1984. Scherer, Jacques. Structures de Tartuffe. d'enseignement superieur, 1966.  Paris: Societe  Schwartz, I.A. "Moliere and the Commedia d e l l ' a r t e " , i n The Commedia d e l l ' a r t e and i t s influence on French Comedy i n the Seventeenth Century. Paris: L i b r a i r i e Samuel, 1933, pp. 79-108. Simon, A l f r e d . "Les Rites elementaires de l a comedie molieresque". Cahiers de l a Compagnie Madeleine RenaudJean-Louis Barrault, 13 (1956), 14-28. Sweetser, Marie-Odile. "Domaines de l a c r i t i q u e Oeuvres & Critiques, VI, 1(1981), 9-28.  molieresque".  115  T o n e l l i , Franco. "Moliere's Pom Juan and The Space of the Commedia d e l l ' A r t e " . Theatre Journal, 37(1985), 440-64. Wadsworth, P h i l i p A. Moliere and the I t a l i a n Theatrical Tradition. French Literature Publications Company, 1977. "Studies of Moliere and h i s sources". Critiques, VI, 1(1981), 69-76.  Oeuvres &  

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