French Renaissance and Neo Classical
  1. What were the two key events of the mid-sixteenth century that shaped what Howarth calls the "modern national theatre" of 17th century France (220-221)? How did they shape that modern, national theatre? Consider the tensions between secular, court control of the theatres and clerical hostility towards it, as well as the ideals of neo-classicism.
  2. What were the impacts of Italian comedy on the development of French theatre? (223-224, 232)
  3. When did actresses first appear on the French stage? (225)
  4. Describe the material conditions of 17th century French theater, including the composition and distribution of its audience, as well as the shape of the theatres and their use of sets (226, 225, 230, 246-248, 246, 247).
  5. How and why did Baroque theatre cede to the "more chastened, disciplined, and intellectualized form of [Neo-classical] dramatic composition" (226)? You should clarify what "baroque" theatre is and use this as an oppositional image. Howarth cites four main forces behind this shift (226ff).
  6. What are the "two competing theoretical views of comedy" in 17th century French theatre, and why were they important to the development of comedy in the period—specifically with reference to Moliere?
  7. What are Moliere's three chief innovations?
  8. Why were attempts made to prevent Moliere from being buried in consecrated ground (240)?
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