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L'aveuglement d'un Misanthrope : amour de l'autre ou amour de soi?

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Title: L'aveuglement d'un Misanthrope : amour de l'autre ou amour de soi?
Author: Khachehtoori, Caroline
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program French
Copyright Date: 2001
Subject Keywords Molière, 1622-1673. Misanthrope.; Love in literature.
Abstract: This thesis explores the subject of love and self-love in the Misanthrope of Moliere. The central issue is whether or not the main character, Alceste, is blinded by his own self-love. If so, does this blindness lead him to madness? My analysis shows that true love is not present in this play - and the reason for that is l'amour de I'autre. That is, both Alceste and Celimene are much too self-absorbed and preoccupied with self-love to be able to honour and cherish each other. In Alceste's case, the issue of blindness and illusion are also crucial elements that influence his ability to love. In the first chapter, I shall introduce these two elements and show how I'amour-propre causes Alceste to lose sight of reality. Then, in the second chapter, different aspects of love shall be examined, allowing me to illustrate how I'amour de I'autre is not achieved. Finally, the third chapter introduces the idea of self-love and l'amour-propre, distinguishes the two and shows how they lead the two characters of the Misanthrope to reject love. The theme of Amour-propre, as well as love mistreated or misunderstood, as subjects of literary works, are widespread during the seventeenth century. The play on illusion and reality, reason and madness, as well as the element of change and instability, as they appear in the Misanthrope, are familiar ground in Baroque theatre. Indeed, as Jean-Marie Apostolides notes in an article, the theatre is a space where new thoughts and ideologies are presented, where people, places and time are transformed and tested. This is undeniably what Moliere proposes to do in the Misanthrope and this project illustrates how this great playwright achieves that goal. In this thesis, I demonstrate how he brilliantly illustrates the social and philosophical influence of his time on individuals and its consequences. How does one react to such external forces? In Alceste's and Celimene's case, they each move in completely opposite directions in reaction to these external powers. The result of this, as well as of their forced union is what gives this play its strengths. For Moliere is able to show us the humour in such a marriage between a misanthrope and a coquette.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/11809
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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