A Comparison Of Cornielle's Le Cid 'And'

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Cornielle’s "Le Cid" and Racine’s "Phèdre" reflect the refined French culture of the seventeenth century. Both plays are carefully and eloquently worded, with some of the violence and action occurring off-stage. The problems lie within the progression of the plays. The plots feel stiff and awkward, creating a sense of inevitability regarding the characters’ choices. These forced plots indicate that the authors derive dramatic and emotional energy from dialogue and from the characters themselves, not from the story. These plays leave no action without motivation and rely little on the exercise of choice. This is frustrating. The lack of choice diminishes the believability of the characters. Humans live in an irrational world, but the characters in these plays ("Le Cid" in particular), feel too logical and…show more content…
The one stimulates my courage, the other restrains my arm." Logically, Rodrigo’s conclusion is inescapable: find a way to regain his honor and retain Chimène’s love. Unlike Hamlet’s emotional outburst, Rodrigo’s rational and logical speech builds a direct connection to the audience. These logical elements ensure the audience’s full attention and understanding. Rodrigo’s monologue not only preserves some emotional elements, but also persuades us to agree with his decision. Racine draws dramatic and emotional energy from his vivid characters and their histories. Phaedra, a woman whose incestuous love is designed to incite fear, also sparks pity and sympathy. Racine depicts Hippolytus with equal intensity. If Hippolytus was a flat, nondescript character, Phaedra’s love would appear tedious, childish, and contrived. Racine uses Phaedra’s and Hippolytus’ mythology to spark the play’s dramatic and emotional energy. For example, Greek mythology states that Phaedra’s father is Minos, “judge of all the ghosts in hell” (Act IV, Scene IV). Here, Phaedra draws our emotional energy by revealing her fear of Minos’

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