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Berenice

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42 pages44 minutes

Summary

The 17th century dramatist Jean Racine was considered, along with Molière and Corneille, as one of the three great playwrights of his era. The quality of Racine's poetry has been described as possibly his most important contribution to French literature and his use of the alexandrine poetic line is one of the best examples of such use noted for its harmony, simplicity and elegance. While critics over the centuries have debated the worth of Jean Racine, at present, he is widely considered a literary genius of revolutionary proportions. In this volume of Racine's plays we find "Berenice", the sixth of twelve plays by the author. One of Racine's more popular plays in the modern era it was not performed often until the 20th century. In this work Racine draws upon the histories of Roman historian Suetonius, who recounts the story of the Roman emperor Titus and Berenice of Cilicia. Titus, whose father Vespasian has died, is presumed to be free to marry his beloved Berenice, queen of Palestine. However public opinion against the marrying of a foreign queen may put a wrinkle in Titus' plans.

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