Tuesday, 3 November 1998

Molière: L'amour Médecin (1665)

Translation: As Love's The Best Doctor by John Wood, 1953
Edition: Penguin, 1984
Review number: 156

A short introduction by Molière explains a lot about this play; he wrote it in five days in response to a demand from Louis XIV for something to amuse him. The rapid execution is quite apparent; important aspects of the plot are missing, and the opening (a discussion between the arts as to which of them is to entertain the king) is weak. The plot itself is the standard Molière one of the father opposing the marriage of his daughter; what is missing is any motivation for him to do so. She feigns illness; her lover disguises himself as a doctor to visit her; he prescribes a fake wedding to cure her of an obsession with marriage; the revelation that it was a true wedding ends the play.

In the end, it reads like a first draft; amusing enough, but one to work on.

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