BANSANG FRANCE

Ang Watawat ng France
Tricolour ang tawag sa bandila ng France.
Mula noong 1830 ay ginagamit na ito na mula sa disenyo ni Jacques Louis David.
SIMBOLO
Ang mga tradisyunal na kulay ng Paris.
Maaring maiugnay din kay Birheng Maria na patron ng France.
Asul at Pula
Pagkakapantay-pantay ng mga tao.
Puti

Ang France o French Republic ay isang malayang bansa sa Kanluran ng Europe. Ang France
ay pangatlo sa pinakamalaking bansa sa Kanlurang Europe at European Union. Ang kapitolyo
ng France ay ang Paris, ang pinakamalaking lungsod ng bansa at sentro ng kultura at
komersyo. Katulad ng iba pang bansa sa Mediterranean, mayaman sa panitikan ang France.
Ang panitikang ito ang nagsisilbing kanlungan ng kanilang mga sinaunang kaugalian tradisyon,
at kultura sa kabuuan

Ito ay pinaliligiran sa timog ng Espanya, Andorra, Monaco at Dagat Mediterraneo, sa hilaga at
kanluran ng Karagatang Atlantiko, at sa silangan ng Belhika, Luxembourg, Alemanya, Suwisa,
at Italya.

Ang France ay una nang tinawag na Rhineland subalit noong
panahon ng Iron Age at Roman era ay tinawag na Gaul. Habang ang malawak na pagkakaiba
ay naghiwalay sa mga lungsod at punong -lungsod, sa loob ng nakalipas na 200 taon na
digmaan – ang Digmaang Franco-Prussian, Unang Digmaang Pandaigdig at Ikalawang
Digmaang Pandaigdig –nagkaroon ng magkaisang lakas.

Ang pangalang Pransiyaay hinango sa salitang Latin na Francia na ang ibig sabihin
ay " Lupain ng mga Prangko"
. Maraming mga teorya ang nagsasabi ng pinagmulan ng pangalan ng mga Prangko.
Pamahalaan
Ang Republikang Pranses ay isang unitaryong semi-pampanguluhan na republika na
may matibay na tradisyong demokratiko. Ang konstitusyon ng Ikalimang Republka
ay inaprubahan ng isang reperendum noong 28 Setyembre 1958. Ang Pangulo ng
Republika, na Pinuno ng Estado at direktang inihahalal ng mga mamamayan para sa
limang-taong panunungkulan (dating pitong taon), at ang Pinuno ng Pamahalaan,
na pinamumunuan ng itinalagang Punong Ministro
Kultura
Kadalasan ay kinakabit ang kulturang Pranses sa Paris, na sentro ng moda,

pagluluto, sining at arkitektura, subalit ang buhay sa labas ng Lungsod ng mga Ilaw
ay ibang-iba at nagkakaiba sa bawat rehiyon. Magugunita na ang kultura ng France
ay naimpluwensiyahan ng Celtic at Gallo-Roman Culture, gayundin ang Franks,
isang tribong German.
Wika
Ang Pranses (Pranses: français; Ingles: French) ay isang wika na nagmula sa
Pransiya. Noong 1999, ito ang wikang may ika-11 pinakamalaking bilang ng mga
tagapagsalita sa buong daigdig, sinasalita ng higit-kumulang na 77 milyong tao
(tinatawag nafrancophones)
Relihiyon
Katoliko ang pangunahing relihiyon ng France – tinatayang 80% ay nagsasabing sila
ay Katoliko. Ang iba pang pangunahing relihiyon ay Islam, (karaniwang relihiyon ng
mga dayuhan mula sa hilagang Africa), Protestante, at Judaism.
Lutuin
Palaging may tinapay sa bawat oras ng pagkain, at karaniwan nang makakita ng
mahaba, crusty baguettes na iniuuwi sa bahay. Ang keso ay mahalaga ring sangkap
ng bawat pagkaing French.
Lutuin
boeuf bourguignon – nilagang baka na kinulob sa red wine, beef broth at nilagyan
ng bawang, sibuyas at kabute
coq au vin, ulam na may manok, alak na Burgundy, Jardons (maliliit na hiwa ng taba
ng baboy), button mushrooms, sibuyas at maaari ring lagyan ng bawang.
Pananamit
Ang Paris ay kilala sa matataas na uri ng fashion houses; ang mga taga-France ay
kilala sa hindi matatawarang mariringal na pananamit. Karamihan sa kanila ay
sopistikado kung manamit, disente at sunod sa uso (professional and fashionable
style), ngunit hindi sobra sa dekorasyon (overly fussy). Ang karaniwang damit nila
ay mahahabang amerikana, terno, mga bandana (scarves) at berets o bilog at
malalambot na sombrero.
Piyesta at Pagdiriwang
Ipinagdiriwang ng mga taga-France ang mga tradisyunal na piyesta ng mga
Kristiyano tulad ng Pasko at Mahal na Araw. Inaalaala din nila ang
May Day, kilala rin bilang Araw ng mga Manggagawa tuwing Mayo 1 at
Araw ng Tagumpay sa Europa kapag Mayo 8 bilang pag-alaala sa pagtatapos ng
pakikipaglaban sa Europa noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig.
Ang Araw ng Bastille ay ipinagdiriwang tuwing Hulyo 14, ang araw kung kailan ang
fortress ng Paris ay binagyo ng mga rebolosyunista upang masimulan na ang
Rebolusyon sa France.

HISTORY OF FRENCH LITERATURE
French romance: 12th - 13th century

dating probably from about 1100.is quintessentially romantic in concept. introduces in the 12th century a new and influential strand in European literature. And now there is a new element. approximating to modern France. in the prominent part played by a woman. in the 12th century. with the famous troubadours of southern France. and in particular of Charlemagne and his paladins. It long outlasts any other literary tradition of the Middle Ages. the attention is on his followers Roland and Oliver rather than the king himself. In the stories of King Arthur (a legendary English king. none is more influential than courtly love. Courtly love is associated first. The greatest of the chansons de geste is also one of the earliest . But in this western part of the Frankish empire . they celebrate the martial exploits of the kings of Carolingian France. Performed by professional minstrels in castles and manors. as a Germanic tribe. Queen Guinevere. enjoy a powerful epic tradition (from Beowulf to the Nibelungenlied) in which heroism is the stock-in-trade of fierce warriors beset by often monstrous dangers. Chanson de Roland: c. and speaking a Romance language rather than a Germanic one . on the loyalties required of them in the feudal system. The ideal of courtly love becomes part of the tradition.there now emerges an element which borrows its name from these qualities. Among all the innovations of French authors in the 12th century. This theme . usually to the accompaniment of a lute.the Chanson de Roland.The western half of Charlemagne's Frankish empire. in Oxford's Bodleian Library) reveals that the author of France's first great epic poem is probably called Turold. The setting for his story is Charlemagne's expedition of . It is on the honour of the participants. the emphasis falls more on the knights of the round table than on the table's owner. The first epic poems to reflect this change are a group of about eighty from the 12th and 13th century known as the chansons de geste ('songs of deeds').of a gentleman's devotion to his often unattainable lady . Although it is set in one of Charlemagne's campaigns. The arrival of romance transforms the warrior into a gentleman. Following their example. The Franks. The emphasis is now not so much on the violence of the battle.1100 A very early manuscript of the Chanson de Roland (dating from about 1130. and on their religious obligations in this age of crusades.profoundly influenced by Rome. it moves through the rest of Europe and enters the mainstream of literature. but featured in literature mainly by the French). The same is true of another heroic cycle launched in France later in the 12th century.

the troubadours tend to be aristocrats. By the time he reaches Roncesvalles. he is particularly popular with the Italians . Roland refuses to summon help and fights valiantly against overwhelming odds (20. But God delays sunset on that day. but Roland expands his lungs for one last flamboyant gesture. who turns south in response. The troubadours and courtly love: 12th . which suggests the level of entertainment involved). the enemy is now a vast army of Muslims. Oliver this time argues against doing so (there is now no point).000 against 400. When only 60 Franks are left. The feeling expressed in the poems of the troubadours is the refined passion known as courtly love.becoming Innamorato ('enamoured') in Boiardo's epic of 1487. Roland blows his oliphant (a horn of elephant tusk) with such force that he bursts a vein in his head. begins a long career as a new kind of hero.the southern version of French. It is a sentiment exactly suited to the feudal world in which the troubadours and their . He does so by concentrating on the obstinate courage of two of Charlemagne's followers. duke of Aquitaine in the early 12th century. Unlike the earlier tradition of minstrels or jongleurs (a French word related to 'juggling'. Indeed the earliest troubadour whose poems survive is William IX. to give the Frankish king time to inflict a heavy defeat on the fleeing Muslims.southern France and the adjacent regions of Spain and Italy. all the Franks are dead.778 against the Muslims in Spain. Intead of a few Basques or Gascons (the historical reality). Roland. The central region of the troubadours is Provence and the language of their poetry Provençal .13th century The love poetry of the troubadours is linked with a very specific region . As Orlando. Roland decides to sound his horn after all. Seeing their number. magnificent in failure. The rearguard is under the command of Roland. and Furioso ('frantic') in Ariosto's sequel of 1516.000 men). The poet concentrates on a small but undignified event (the successful attack by hill people on the rear of Charlemagne's army in the pass of Roncesvalles) and transforms it into a glorious occasion. but Turold's choice of incident declares uncompromisingly that this is to be a new kind of heroic poetry. The entire campaign was in reality disastrous. one of the paladins. The mournful sound carries 30 leagues (some 90 miles) to the ear of Charlemagne. Roland's companion Oliver urges him to sound his horn to summon Charlemagne back to their defence (one theme of the poem is the contrast between Oliver's commonsense and Roland's headstrong inclination to drama and heroism).

This is the feeling of Dante for Beatrice. The devotion of the courtly lover to his mistress is in one sense a reflection of the unswerving loyalty owed by the vassal to his lord in the idealized concept of feudalism. Feudalism is losing its freshness. the troubadour duke of Aquitaine) is herself a great patron of troubadours. The Carolingian kings have provided the basis for the chansons de geste. By the end of the 13th century the tradition of the troubadours has declined. Eleanor of Aquitaine (granddaughter of William IX.15th century The theme of Arthur. and her successive marriages to the kings of France and England bring new audiences. Two powerful reasons urge that such love remain an affectation. by the second half of the 12th century. it is the affection of millions of ordinary Christians for the Virgin Mary . a legendary Celtic king of Britain. But the ideal of courtly love is that the lover serves his lady with utter devotion from afar. Arthurian romance: 12th . The lady of a feudal castle is likely to be a woman of high birth whose marriage has been arranged for reasons of practical and dynastic advantage. the Minnesinger are fulfilling the same role as the troubadours. Love is not a factor here. there is little scope in the stories for female characters. which in its intensity of experience brings its own reward. No doubt base reality sometimes upsets the pretence. . of Petrarch for Laura. But an affectation of illicit love makes an intoxicating diversion within the confined community of her lord's followers. In practical terms. proves well suited to the demands of medieval romantic literature. this distant fidelity suits the social context of a nobleman's castle. But these first poets of courtly love are long outlived by their romantic concept .audience live. At a different level. Probably many a squire tries his hand at it. and they are mostly of a higher social class. The lady and her retinue are greatly outnumbered by the men in this society. Love poetry is a natural part of this game. Some 400 troubadours (not all of them high-born) become sufficiently famous for their poems to be gathered in manuscripts and for details of their lives to be known.of a passion. and the south of France has suffered greatly in the wars against the Albigensians. But they are historical figures. In the courts of Germany and Austria.who can almost be called the sweetheart of the Middle Ages. akin to worship of the distant loved one. The interconnecting marriages of feudal society soon spread the new fashion. so a tenuous link with reality is desirable (though rarely attained). And with their emphasis on the heroic camaraderie of the paladins. in medieval churches and cathedrals.

It is this material which is transformed in France. Guinevere. a few decades later. In 1469 an English knight. With time heavy on his hands he begins to compile. Of several French authors dealing with the theme. It rapidly becomes one of the most popular books in Britain. in which the activity of Arthur's knights is given a mystical and Christian dimension. Stories about Arthur evolve from the late 8th century. Chrétien de Troyes introduces another more spiritual adventure which later becomes an important theme in Arthurian legend - the quest for the Holy Grail. transplanted from Wales to France in the 12th century. where he gives his name and prays for deliverance from prison. in his account of the passion of one of Arthur's knights. Lancelot. is in gaol. he is the first to adapt courtly love (developed by the troubadours in their lyrics) to the more sustained pleasures of narrative and adventure.By contrast the world of King Arthur and his knights offers an already existing collection of exotic tales. from French texts. All that is known of Malory comes from the last words of his book. Its great merit is that it ennobles the magic adventures undergone by the knights in their quest for it. In Chrétien's text the Grail is unexplained. which can be adapted and extended to suit the romantic interests of a new generation. a cleric with an unbounded appetite for improbable detail. Subsequent French romances develop these two main themes - the love of Lancelot and Guinevere. return amplified to Britain 300 years later. the first English account of King Arthur and his knights. into literature. In about 1135 they are gathered together in Historia Regum Britanniae ('History of the Kings of Britain') by Geoffrey of Monmouth. He completes the task some time in 1470. Chrétien's light and elegant touch sets the tone for a developing tradition of courtly romance. calling it Morte Darthur. it is as a leader of the Celts against the encroaching Anglo-Saxons in the 5th or 6th century (the same period as the dramatic events which inspire many of the incidents in Germanic legend). Thomas Malory. The Arthurian legends. for the king's wife. in later authors it becomes the vessel used by Jesus for the wine at the Last Supper. He does so. mainly in the Celtic stronghold of Wales. the most influential is Chrétien de Troyes who writes five Arthurian romances between about 1160 and 1190. and the quest for the Grail. In 1485 Caxton prints the manuscript. Even more significant. teaching the British all that they know about their legendary . above all. If there is a historical basis for King Arthur. The tale of their adultery (Lancelot is a courtly lover who succeeds in his quest) becomes one of the most popular love stories of the Middle Ages.

often deriving directly from the circumstances in which he finds himself. vivid. until he vanishes from sight in 1463. from the mentality of the Middle Ages to a completely modern poetic sensibility. François Villon: 1455-1463 With the poems of Villon literature seems to spring. also known as the 'Little Testament') in which bequeaths all sorts of useless objects to friends and enemies alike. at one bound. spends his life among people lower in society than Chaucer's humblest pilgrims. together with his own.king. just half a century later. This murder (for which he is at first sentenced to banishment. He makes his escape. unblinking verses of an extraordinary immediacy . He observes their condition. but he does so in a mood of wry amusement. He graduates from the Sorbonne in Paris as a master of arts in 1452. . Villon. He keeps his distance. In 1456 he is apprehended with some friends robbing a college of 500 gold coins. in short. leaving a poem called Lais ('Legacy'. In the 14th century Chaucer describes the Canterbury pilgrims with well observed realism. then pardoned by royal reprieve) begins a spell of eight years during which Villon is constantly at odds with the law. as a poet who moves in rather more elevated court circles. but in a quarrel three years later runs his sword through a priest.

No more is heard of him. After his release he writes his major poem. But an extraordinarily personal voice has made a brief and unforgettable appearance in literature. picked at by crows and magpies. He interrupts the text from time to time with self-contained ballads. This predicament prompts his extraordinary Epitaph.'Joan. and again in the following year. Villon's sentence is commuted to banishment. In 1462. One of these is the famous Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis (Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past). On the second occcasion he is condemned to be hanged. during eight years of the troubled 15th century. a famous courtesan loved by Alexander the Great. and he asks the living to pray that all men be spared the further torment of Hell. Villon is in gaol in Paris. in the form of a ballad which Villon writes for himself and his companions waiting together to be hanged.The records reveal that Villon is in prison in Meung-sur-Loire for much of 1461. in which he compares the passing of beautiful women to the vanishing of the snows of yesteryear. He imagines in vivid detail their dead bodies drenched in the rain. . bleached in the sun. to a romantic heroine of his parents' generation . the Grand Testament. His subjects range from Thaïs. whom the English burnt at Rouen'. surveying the sorrows and horrors of his life. the beautiful girl from Lorraine.

and finally abandons his monk's habit to become a physician.Rabelais: 1532-1552 In 1532 there is published in Lyons the first volume of one of the strangest works in all literature. to be published in . influences and experiences as varied as those which inform his book. he is by 1520 a Franciscan friar. Gargantua (the story of Pantagruel's father). In French popular tradition Pantagruel is a devil whose duty is to put salt in the mouths of drunkards. This first volume is sufficiently popular for a sequel. This is a period when the ferment of the Reformation and the humanist excitement of the northern Renaissance are alike at their peak. It has the title Pantagruel and the author is given as Alcofribas Nasier. Transformed by Rabelais into a giant. Born in the 1490s as the son of a well-to- do lawyer. This awkward name is an anagram of the altogether more believable François Rabelais. transfers to the Benedictine order so as to study in Paris (a period in which he fathers two children). Rabelais' own picaresque life has brought him interests. with a prodigious appetitite for food and drink. and Lyons is an important intellectual centre. Rabelais is employed as a doctor in Lyons from the summer of 1532. He subsequently travels widely as secretary to a rich abbot. his exploits prove an ideal vehicle for his author's bubbling imagination. The exciting themes of the day blend with Rabelais' own love of word play and fantasy.

The nearest parallel is in the visual arts of northern Europe. The complete work is too complex. . but this seems to do Rabelais no harm. There is no equivalent in the literature of Rabelais' time to the anarchic blend of the scholarly. He shares the surrealism of Bosch. too uneven to be read easily as a continuous whole. the earthiness of Brueghel and the fantasy of both. The lifetime of Rabelais falls neatly between that of Hieronymus Bosch (40 years older) and Pieter Brueghel (25 years younger). where two eccentrics stand out in a similar fashion. A third book in the series of Gargantua and Pantagruel is published in 1546 and a fourth two years later (again condemned by the Sorbonne). In later literature his ability to make words dance in new patterns and shapes is echoed by James Joyce. His pursuit of ideas in wonderland is similar to that of Lewis Carroll. Within a year of its publication Pantagruel is condemned by the Sorbonne as obscene. too discursive. the satirical and the scurrilous which characterizes these books. But it is a rich quarry which many have profitably mined. When he is in Rome in 1535-6 he is granted a papal bull giving him the freedom to practise medicine and to return to the Benedictine order if he so chooses.1534. In 1540 he presents a petition to the pope for his two children to be legitimized.

In the Amours Ronsard has an ideal love.Ronsard and the Pléiade: 1549-1553 Though elements of the Renaissance and of humanism pervade the work of Rabelais. the most talented of the seven. As at the start of the Renaissance in Italy. Cassandre. A group of seven poets. similar to Petrarch's Laura but . In 1549 Ronsard's friend Joachim du Bellay publishes a tract. Ronsard subsequently occupies the position of court poet to the young French king Charles IX. The intellectual rigour of the Renaissance enters French literature in a more pure and self-conscious form in the work of Pierre de Ronsard and his circle. which is a manifesto for a new style of poetry. the intention here is to return to classical masters as a source of inspiration. The odes are intended to be sung with lute accompaniment as courtly entertainment. makes his name with short lyrical poems of polished elegance . Ronsard.particularly the Odes and Amours published between 1550 and 1553. entitled La Défense et illustration de la langue française. a name given originally to seven distinguished poets in Alexandria (the Pleiades being a constellation of seven stars). become associated with the movement and are known in their own time as La Pléiade. the chaotic anarchy of his tumbling crowded canvas is also very medieval. including du Bellay and Ronsard.

allons voir si la rose (My love.and that her beauty. is not for ever. Montaigne and the essay: 1571-1588 In 1580 there is published in Bordeaux a book by Michel de Montaigne with the simple title Essais. near Bordeaux. too. He has trained as a lawyer. but soon after his father's death he retires to Montaigne and begins a life of reading. It is the first time that the word has been applied to a literary form. Essai is the standard word in modern French for the testing of a new product. though his most famous poem to her (the Ode à Cassandre of 1553) urges her in effect to gather rosebuds while she may. He does so. Montaigne not only invents a new literary form. and it is used in the sense of 'trial' or 'experiment'. the daughter of a Florentine banker living in France. In his essays Montaigne is testing his own opinions. famously. Ronsard's relationship with Cassandre remains platonic. He becomes the first man in history whose thought processes we can share. as ideas strike him and are . In his library in the third storey of a tower which he adds to his ancestral home at Montaigne. She is Cassandre Salviati. In doing so. let us see if the rose). the poet points out that the rose's exquisite petals have lost their sheen by the end of the day . Beginning Mignonne. in 1571.more certainly a real character. reflecting and recording the development of his thoughts in the form of essays.

a brilliant mathematician who . An edition of 1588 expands once again the original essays and adds more. The result of this process is to lay bare to the reader the innermost thoughts of a man who in his honesty. will convince only if his conclusions are convincing. even if on that particular day he is vividly greedy or lustful or vain. by contrast. A key figure in this development is René Descartes. where honesty is also essential.then modified . Reason and classicism: 17th century French writers of the 17th century are the first since classical times to grant absolute priority to the power of reason and the observance of aesthetic rules. and the acuteness of his perceptions. His words will charm later generations if he is vividly himself.in many cases several times. A bigot may write an interesting diary. which Montaigne gradually builds up to form the publication of 1580. This literary venture seems to have started out as a commonplace book. Montaigne's essays are the precise opposite of a great diary. becomes interesting and sympathetic. The essayist. These first essays are reprinted with additions in 1582. when he returns to what he has written and adds to it. For the rest of his life he continues to add marginal notes to his own copy of the 1588 volume (now in the public library of Bordeaux. where Montaigne serves as mayor from 1581 to 1585). but not often a good essay. such as that of Samuel Pepys. The diarist has to be honest in the heat of the moment.

from 1637 to 1677. Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine. reason becomes the guiding principle of France's classical dramatists in the 17th century and of the philosophes in the 18th century. one exists. When Descartes extends this principle into the realm of philosophy. the French theatre enjoys a succession of powerful tragedies from two playwrights. His approach is to use what he calls 'methodical doubt' to reduce the sum of knowledge about any topic to the minimum which can be known with certainty. The medieval hotchpotch of ancient scientific theories still prevails (so much so that in 1633 Descartes prudently cancels publication of a book supporting the theory of Copernicus. on hearing the news from Italy of Galileo's experience on this issue at the hands of the Inquisition). he arrives at the central truth from which. After Descartes. Descartes publishes in 1637 his Discourse on the Method of properly Guiding the Reason in the Search for Truth in the Sciences. He sums this up in the Latin phrase cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am).aspires to apply the rigour and clarity of mathematical proof to all aspects of life. he believes. Corneille and Racine: 1637-1677 In a remarkable forty years. time and place are carefully observed (the plot must . the process of human reason must begin - the certainty that if one is conscious. Descartes' first quest is to improve the methodology of science. He decides that it must be possible to find a coherent method which can be applied to all scientific enquiry. The three Unities of action. Both write within tight restrictions which are considered an essential part of the dignity of their art.

in 1667. The vocabulary is limited. The framework and the rules of tragedy are still the same. Usually in Corneille honour wins more convincingly. Racine's first runaway success. Our hero is called away to fight the Moors and there is a hope that time may solve the conflict. making his plays less sympathetic to modern audiences than those of his younger rival Racine. a high-born Spanish lady. developing a theme characteristic of all Corneille's subsequent tragedies. with frequently repeated poetic phrases . Instead there is an insoluble quadrangle of unrequited love in the aftermath of the Trojan War. The rest of the play. hinges on the conflict between duty and love. Andromaque. Chimène's duty to her father demands El Cid's death. The text is entirely in rhyming couplets of twelve-syllable alexandrines. In Andromaque honour and duty hardly feature. The ending of Le Cid is ambiguous. The first play in this style to be a huge success with the Parisian public is Corneille's Le Cid in 1637. Violent events can only happen offstage. . Unfortunately a social slight offered by Chimène's father to El Cid's father makes El Cid honour-bound to seek satisfaction. and the youthful El Cid of legendary fame. but the ingredients have drastically altered. follows thirty years after Le Cid.have a logical consistency and must be completed within a span of twenty-four hours in a single location). He challenges Chimène's father and kills him.and definitely no vulgarity. The dramatic conflict concerns the love between Chimène. and there are other clearly defined rules. Her love makes her yearn for him to live.

The raw drama of Phèdre. albeit within the classical convention. Over the next ten years Racine produces a succession of powerful tragedies. in which the heroine is consumed with lust for her stepson. often just between two characters .Orestes loves Hermione who loves Pyrrhus who loves Andromaque. But his ten main years as a playwright have produced an extraordinarily intense and finely honed body of work. is too much for some in Racine's audience. Phèdre (1677). Hippolyte. More likely it is due to his marriage in 1677 and a new appointment as the king's official historian. This tangle offers as much opportunity for emotional bargain and blackmail as any late 20th-century play of sexual intrigue. But the mixed response to the play is probably not the reason for his retirement at this time from the theatre. often with female central characters who are overwhelmed by their emotions. This is true above all of the last of the series. Molière: 1658-1673 .one of whose positions has usually shifted since the previous encounter. whose only concern is the safety of her young son whom Orestes is attempting to take into captivity and to almost certain death. Racine guides the relationships towards a tragic outcome in a series of brilliantly developed confrontations.

with leading roles for himself. It greatly appeals to the two young men. headed by Molière.One October afternoon in 1658 a small theatre company. but opposition from the establishment delays the first public performance by several years. Since his central theme is ridicule of the pretensions and falsities of contemporary society. arriving in Paris. The company is granted the patronage of Philippe. For the past thirteen years he and his company have led a difficult existence touring the provinces. as both actor-manager and author. featuring a religious hypocrite who by an oily display of mock piety persuades a nobleman to entrust him with both his daughter and his property. This is a turning point in Molière's career. The play makes fun of two provincial ladies. The play is first performed before the king at Versailles. who are so delighted by the affected manners of the capital that they lose all sense of reality. written by Molière. the plays involve him in almost permanent controversy. But the experiences of those years enable Molière. performs a Corneille tragedy for the 20-year-old Louis XIV and his brother Philippe. about an amorous doctor. Until his death Moliére writes on average two or three plays each year for his company. A modern translation of the title might be 'Ridiculous Trendies'. The players follow the tragedy with a farce. . who two years later becomes the duke of Orlèans. to make the most of the new opportunities in Paris. Tartuffe (1664) is even more controversial. two years younger. The first play to cause both delight and offence (a promising blend in any period) is Les Précieuses Ridicules in 1659.

he is willing to submit to all the outrageous treatments proposed by his doctors . Monsieur Jourdain. a week later.after a long life and a multifaceted career . illusion and reality become tragically blurred. He shows little concern for the publication of his plays.To some extent Molière's comedy depends on breathing new life into stock comic characters such as L'Avare ('The Miser'. Voltaire becomes . In that year Le médicin malgré lui ('The doctor in spite of himself') features a character who is forced by the plot to masquerade as a doctor and then finds that he likes the role. Sganarelle.providing ample scope for satire on the medical profession. All his life Molière has written words to be acted rather than read. Voltaire and the philosophes: 1726-1778 Though born within the 17th century. in France's great trio of classic dramatists. has perhaps the most famous line in the whole of Molière.' he replies. Because Argan imagines himself to be ill. From 1666 Molière becomes increasingly ill. and his experience of doctors provides him with a new vein of comedy. But during the fourth performance. sympathetic as well as ridiculous. in 1694. some in verse) guarantee him a place. Holding forth about the heart. When his . 'but we've changed all that'. he receives a mild note of dissent from someone who thought it was supposed to be on the left. based on a play of Plautus) or Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670) about a man so eager to climh in society that he falls prey to every charlatan offering to help him.the characteristic voice of the French 18th century. with Corneille and Racine. the amateur medic. But their texts (some in prose. His early successes reveal an ambition to outdo literary giants of the past. and its position on the right side of a patient's body. 'Yes. 1668. In February 1673 Molière plays the central role in the first performance of Le malade imaginaire. But Molière's dramatic skill makes the character. Molière falls ill on the stage and dies later that night.

and in particular of the Jesuits.which he avoids only by escaping to the countryside. is a conscious attempt to become France's Virgil. Voltaire travels to England. to be the most infamous. in 1718. he is hailed as the new Racine. an epic poem in praise of Henry IV. filled though it is with immensely varied literary activity. of attacking the French equivalents.tragedy Oedipe is a great success. Voltaire is able to return to France in 1728. his Lettres Philosophiques . proves something of a turning point. he is engaged in a crusade to reform the abuses of the French establishment (or the system which later becomes known as the ancien régime). an offshoot of the reasonable philosophy of John Locke. where he is struck by a matter-of-fact frame of mind very different from the attitudes of France. The book provokes outrage and a warrant is issued for Voltaire's arrest . Écrasez l'infame ('crush the infamous') is his battle cry. in social and political terms it seems to be expressed in a mercantile economy more open to new ideas and more capable of innovation than the feudal structures surviving in France. In this campaign for reason against superstition. . Of these abuses he finds the influence of the Roman Catholic church. after a quarrel with a powerful nobleman. and in 1734 in French. and for justice against privilege. In this respect his exile from France in 1726. In 1733 he publishes in English. But his lasting fame derives from his attack on the abuses of the present and his vision of a more rational future. institutions and even literature as a means. His Henriade of 1723. For the rest of his life. In religion this results in Deism.twenty-four letters praising English religion. primarily.

11 of plates) between 1751 and 1772. It prompts Voltaire to write the short satirical book. killing many thousands. It can be seen as the definitive statement of the ideas of the Enlightenment. During the years when the Encyclopédie is being published a powerfully irrational event occurs. Jesuit influence twice halts publication. Candide (1759). which has proved the most lasting of his many works. It is not. Candide is a pupil of an optimistic philosopher. but the project is successfully completed and acquires great influence . but nothing can dent Pangloss's often repeated conviction that 'everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds'.Voltaire is joined by a younger generation. published in two volumes in London in 1728. They undergo the most appalling sufferings in a series of fantastic adventures. Dr Pangloss. . but it far outdoes its model in scope and ambition. The disaster seems to mock the optimism which characterizes the rational 18th century. The greatest achievement of the philosophes is the Encyclopédie. In 1755 an earthquake destroys much of Lisbon. The Encyclopédie aims to be nothing less than a rational statement of contemporary knowledge and belief. Together they become known as the philosophes.being often pointed to subsequently as an important part of the build-up to the French Revolution. it could at least be better. says Voltaire .but if not best. edited by Denis Diderot and published in 28 volumes (17 of text. This enterprise is originally inspired by Chambers' Cyclopedia.

The Enlightenment: 17th . describes a tendency to make reason the guiding principle of life. In one sense this is yet another wave of reaction against the Middle Ages. The injustices visible everywhere in the world are seen as the result of corrupt and superstitious institutions. as is made evident in the confident assertions of the American Declaration of Independence. By the same token it is assumed that there is a natural structure for human society. Galileo and Newton have revealed the mechanics of the universe. imposed by unenlightened priests and kings. applied to ideas which develop during the 17th century and are most clearly expressed by the 18th-century French philosophes. in which individuals have both freedom and rights. These marvels of ethereal clockwork are taken by the Deists (the rational Christians of the day) as evidence of the genius of a rational creator. This is accompanied by a conviction that the application of reason will guarantee progress in all aspects of human existence. More positively it is an offshoot of 17th- century science (the discoveries of Galileo and Newton being based on rational assessment of material evidence) and philosophy (following the example of thinkers such as Descartes). But human resolution can transform the political scene. when faith and authority are the prevailing themes.18th century The term Enlightenment. The Enlightenment has faith in a natural order. It is an article of faith that in a rational society the people will choose what is good .

This is provided in religious terms by the 18th-century revivalists. The Enlightenment's optimism can be a recipe for disappointment and is easily mocked (as by Voltaire himself in Candide). The passion of the Enlightenment for the improvement and reform of society makes it an important element of the climate of opinion which prevails in the early stages of the French Revolution (and survives today in the ideals of the social services of democratic nations). The influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (son of a watchmaker of Geneva) is exerted . Jean-Jacques Rousseau. for their own good.for them. The Enlightenment abounds in educational theories to speed up the spread of reason. Watchmakers' sons: 18th century A favourite image of God. the all-powerful ruler who disregards the short-term wishes of his subjects and enacts. There are many such rulers in the last decades of the 18th century. It is a pleasant historical irony that two French authors of great influence in the final decades of this most reasonable century are offspring of the watchmaking trade. But the education of the people must inevitably be a long process. often unpopular measures of social improvement. People crave something more emotionally nourishing. And the need to listen to the emotions is forcefully expressed by a child of the French Enlightenment. in the rational 18th century. Frederick the Great in Prussia being merely an early and outstanding example. But such principles contain their own flaws. And too much reason is dry fare. is that of a divine watchmaker who has fitted together the intricate machinery of the universe. This practical problem is taken as justifying one slightly paradoxical aspect of the Enlightenment - the acceptance of the enlightened despot.

hoping to win fortune and fame with a new system of musical notation.) . Rousseau wins himself a controversial reputation with his Discours of 1750 . and he writes his most influential works in a relatively short space of time. and the Christian religion none at all. that recent progress in the sciences and arts has had a corrupting effect on public morality. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: 1742-1778 Rousseau. His two most significant books appear in 1762 and result in an order for Rousseau's arrest. (The book's emphasis on the importance of exercise. Émile is a tract on the ideal education of a boy. causing him to spend the next few years outside France. That of Beaumarchais (son of a watchmaker of Paris) derives more directly from his brilliant mockery of those privileges.in which he argues. cold baths and the avoidance of feather beds cannot be seen as grounds for arrest.through dreaming of a better society than contemporary privilege-ridden France. Before these articles are printed. is a late starter in terms of literary fame. It offends the authorities because religion plays only a small part in it. The Discours is the first of several works which bring Rousseau wide fame and in which he tackles the central themes of the Enlightenment in a manner markedly different from that of the more conventional philosophes. contrary to prevailing fashion. unlike Voltaire. He is thirty when he arrives in Paris in 1742. for Diderot invites him to contribute articles on music for the Encyclopédie. It brings him into the circle of the philosophes.

At the age of nineteen. an autobiograpy published after his death in which he presents himself in unsparing - and perhaps often exaggerated . A similar shift underlies the other work of 1762. in place of the intellectual training which derives from books. Rousseau rounds off the image of the early romantic with Les Confessions. Another watchmaker attempts to steal the new idea. It has a romantic appeal in class-ridden 18th-century France because its theme is the importance of the individual. . in 1751. but by imagining a different and better kind of community. Beaumarchais' life begins with ingenuity and intrigue. It also betrays the world of the dreamer. he invents a new escapement for watches (watch-making being his father's trade). and everywhere he is in chains'). without whose consent (in a social contract) no society can function. in which Rousseau exposes the ills of modern society not by directly attacking them. or Le Barbier de Séville (The Barber of Seville). is witty and street-wise in a manner very similar to his creator. that of the Romantic movement. Rousseau's utopia is similar to a Greek city-state without the slaves.psychological detail. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Beaumarchais: 1775-1784 One of the theatre's most engaging characters bursts upon the stage in 1775 in a light comedy which is immediately a great success. Du Contrat Social (Of The Social Contract). The magnificent opening sentence encapsulates this appeal ('Man was born free. In this change of emphasis Rousseau reveals himself as a pivotal figure in the transition from the Enlightenment to the next prevailing intellectual fashion. as the philosophes would. for only in the most fanciful sense is the hunter-gatherer in a primitive tribe free.The distinguishing feature of Émile is an insistence on developing the natural and emotional side of the child. Figaro. Beaumarchais' skilful conduct in the resulting litigation brings him the attention and patronage of the court.

By the time of Le Mariage de Figaro the count and Rosine have been married a few years.just five years before the outbreak of the French Revolution. The count is tired of her and is intent on seducing her maid. Figaro uses his manipulative skills in The Barber of Seville to help the count Almaviva in his amorous pursuit of Rosine. In a long soliloquy in the final act Figaro muses about his rival the count and finds him a Man of little worth. apart from the benefit of the silver spoon in his mouth when he was born. with much use of hasty concealment and mistaken identity. to keep the girl away from the attentions of any possible rival. in 1775. Suzanne. the king bans it. Not surprisingly. the theatre. . he suddenly becomes France's leading dramatist. Figaro protests with the vigour of something new. seems almost a sideline. But underlying the fun is a more threatening theme. But Suzanne is engaged to Figaro. He relents in 1784. Beaumarchais leads a dramatic and often dangerous existence as an entrepreneur and then as a secret agent on behalf of the French government. The clash of interest between Figaro and his master is developed on the suface in the traditions of light comedy or even farce. Bartholo (a crusty old doctor with designs on her himself). now in the count's employment. The count behaves with the arrogance of the old feudal world. He is so busy with his schemes that his main love. The comic opportunities derive from the frantic efforts of Rosine's guardian.For the rest of his life. until his death in 1799. when it is performed with great and immediate success . But with the first appearance of Figaro. when the play is first scheduled for production in 1781. The success of these characters' first light-hearted appearance before the public prompts Beaumarchais to revisit them in a much darker comedy. Napoleon later describes the play as 'the revolution in action'.

during the reign of Louis XI. . he has proved irrepressible. on which the story is centered. by Rossini and Mozart. Figaro would have lived in prose alone.[1] The story is set in Paris. Gothic novels were more popular than Romance novels in England. published in 1831. France in the Late Middle Ages. This History is as yet incomplete. But with such arias to his name. The original French title refers to Notre Dame Cathedral. English translator Frederic Shoberl named the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1833 because at the time. into two superb operas.Beaumarchais is fortunate that his two great comedies are transformed. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris) is a French Romantic/Gothic novel by Victor Hugo.