The 17th century of France is considered as the age of reason. This is the period of enlightenment and also the time when people become rational than traditional. During this period, the transition from Renaissance to Classicism happened. This was also the period of the Golden Age of French Literature mainly because literature and arts was given priority by the ruling king.
The movie Moliere depicted the culture of France during the 17th century. But, I would like to focus this discussion on the comparison and contrast of the 17th century trend and the film Moliere. The 17th century trend rejects enthusiasm, individualism, skepticism and emotionalism. At the same time, it is leaning towards orthodoxy, rationalism, conformity, order, refinement and etiquette. The said characteristics and behavior are the main issues that will be tackled in this discussion.
The 17th century French rejects enthusiasm or too much enthusiasm. According to the oxford dictionary, enthusiasm is the intense and eager enjoyment, interest and approval. In the film Moliere, several characters had portrayed or shown great enthusiasm, often leading to a misfortune event. But, some characters had rejected the feeling and became rational with their decisions.
Monsieur Jourdain helps Moliere get out of the prison. He is the best example of a person showing great enthusiasm that lead to misfortune events. Although married, Monsieur Jourdain wanted to get the attention of the widower Celimene. By this great affection, Jourdain becomes irrational and started believing his friend, Dorante, helping him to win Celimene’s affection. Monsieur Jourdain often lend Dorante plentiful of money. He even let Dorante deliver expensive gifts to Celimene, which she received not knowing it is from Monsieur Jourdain. Jourdain’s enthusiasm leads in an event he did not anticipate. Later, he discovered that Dorante is fooling him and is untrue.
Elmire, the wife of Monsieur Jourdain, appears to be a very rational and intelligent woman. But at some part of the film, she also showed enthusiasm. Once received the letter from a ‘boy’, Elmire had the hardest time concealing her joy. She is an example of woman that is neglected by her husband, thus, receiving such affection from someone excites her being not knowing, at first, that it is from Moliere or knows as Monsieur Tartuffe. Being a smart woman as she is, Elmire rejected this enthusiasm upon meeting the ‘boy’ and tries to be rational in her decisions.
Having a lover, outside the marriage, is very common during the 17th century. Marriages are often seen as a business deal rather a union of two persons in love with each other.
This period also rejects individualism. According, again, to the oxford dictionary, individualism is a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control. Moliere, a frustrated dramatist, wanted to make a drama play more than the usual satire comedy that runs in their theater. At that...