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Le rire farcesque dans la comédie française de la Renaissance

Abstract : In the Humanist period, French playwrights tried to create the originam French comedy. They use several sources of inspiration and take model on mainly ancient authors, but also more contemporary Spanish and Italian authors. In their books, they want to pay homage to these authors but they show also their disenchantment with the previous period. It was therefore a question of breaking with all medieval forms, even though farces were still performed on stage at that time. The play that inaugurates the first French creation, l'Eugène d'Etienne Jodelle, nevertheless has points in common with farce : a love triangle composed of a lustful monk, a happy cuckold husband and tasty popular expressions plunge comedy into the medieval world. The comedies that follow try again to create the contours of the comic genre, but perpetuate, despite the authors, the farce's themes. The famous love triangle is indeed found in Jacques Grévin's La Trésorière, which features a greedy married woman, taking advantage of a lover's money to offer that to another man. The playwright composes another comedy, Les Esbahis, representing an old man in love who becomes the dupe of a young man who, putting on his clothes, pretends to be him to "prendre un pain sur la fournée", that is to say to consume marriage before its time. The olf man in love is also present in La Reconnue by Rémy Belleau, but, gloomy, tries to arrange the marriage of his pupil with a stupid clerk. The naive are indeed strongly represented in the humanist comedy, like Thomas in Les Contens d'Odet de Turnèbe who does not perceive the hidden intentions of his wife when she goes on a pilgrimage in love. We also think of Jaqueline in La Tasse by Claude Bonet who is duped twice by thieves, and after being beaten by her husband, decides to turn the situation in her favor by taking a lover. In addition, there is the soldier, the best naïve character, who confuses reality with his dreams. In connection with the love story, the gallery of characters is completed by the matchmaker, such as Françoise in Les Contens, who uses religion to persuade the young woman to talk to her beloved. But we find also the false bravery of the servants, more interested in drink and women, like Gillet in les Corrivaus by Jean de La Taille. Here again, the resemblances to the medieval world are important. In fact, we find several procedures, such as the "trompeur trompé", but also the disguise with Sobrin in Les Escoliers by François Perrin. Among all these elements, a fact appears and unites the two periods : laughter. In order to reveal the French tradition in the 16th century, we relied on a humanist corpus composed of nine comedies : L'Eugène, Les Corrivaus, La Trésorière, Les Esbahis, La Reconnue, Les Néapolitaines, Les Escoliers, Les Contens and La Tasse. This choice allowed us to rediscover comic plays that have largely contributed to the French comedy, but which are sometimes forgotten by research. Incorporating a medieval corpus gave us the opportunity to honor pieces that have long been criticized. Our study consists of four themes : pleasure, naivety, cunning and money.We were thus able to study the different types of character whose characteristics echo medieval literature, but also the dramatic processes and popular expressions, contributing to the comic character of the plays. The main objective of our work is to measure the farce imprint in humanist comedies, and in particular to see how playwrights use this source of inspiration and succeed in extending it.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 6:31:26 PM
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Mélanie Fruitier. Le rire farcesque dans la comédie française de la Renaissance. Littératures. Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021DUNK0609⟩. ⟨tel-03667947⟩

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