Friday, May 8, 2009

1600 to 1699: The Ridiculous Snobs to Tartuffe

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Moliere. French. 1659. Play. The Ridiculous Snobs. Girls admire only extravagant manners. Lovers send valets who act in this way and they fall for it.

Moliere. French. 1662. Play Verse. The School for Wives. Arnolphe arranges for his beloved Agnes to be raised in total innocence. Horace undermines his plans.

Michael Wigglesworth. American. 1662. Sermon. The Day of Doom. First American best seller. Describes the Day of Judgment, sending sinners and babies without baptism to Hell.

Samuel Butler. British. 1664/78. Poetry Satire. Hudibras. Directed against the hypocritical intolerance of the Puritans. The hero Hudibras is modeled after Don Quixote.

Moliere. French. 1664. Play. Tartuffe. Religious hypocrite and credulous wealthy fool. His wife fools Tartuffe into trying to seduce her while her husband watches—after he has deeded Tartuffe the house. Tartuffe tries to evict the family. But the king understands Tartuffe’s true nature and has him thrown into jail.

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