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Sganerelle, or the Imaginary Cuckold

by Moliere

This was a quick, fun read. A verse comedy in rhyming couplets, it tells the tale of Sganerelle who mistakenly believes that his wife is cheating on him. The play comments on love and fidelity (or lack thereof). At the beginning of the play we encounter Sganerelle's neighbor and his daughter, Celie having an argument. Celie is engaged to Lelie (yes, really) but her father wants her to marry another man. "Alas!" she cries, to which her father responds:

Alas? What's that supposed to mean?
I hate alases. Don't you make a scene,
My girl, and rouse my blood, or very soon
You'll sing alas to quite a different tune.
No wonder you're obsessed by stupid fancies
When day and night you read these cheap romances,
Which fill your head with love, instead of higher
And holier matter - fling them in the fire
Before they wreck your morals.

Women throughout the history of literature are always losing themselves in novels. Maybe if guys took the hint and learned something about the men we are escaping to, women wouldn't have to dive into books to fulfill their dreams.

Through a series of misunderstandings that eventually turn out alright Sganerelle accuses his wife of adultery and then begs her forgiveness. He asks:

What man ever looked more of a cuckold than I did?
Yes, looked, for this example proves it's vain
To trust appearances, however plain.
When all the evidence as you receive it
Adds up to one conclusion: don't believe it.

Not everything is as it seems.

I would recommend this play for people who want a laugh and anyone looking for classical comedic monologues.

Tomorrow's Play: The Faith Healer by William Vaughn Moody

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Read this summary before going to Playing Moliere in world finance center today. Can't believe that I am tricked into learning the 'type of men women escape from'... lol


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