Racine: Language, Violence and Power by Mary ReillyRacine: Language, Violence and Power by Mary Reilly

Racine: Language, Violence and Power

byMary Reilly

Paperback | February 9, 2005

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What is the nature of power in Racinian tragedy? Few questions have generated such widespread critical disagreement. This study looks beyond the conventional pageant of political power in the plays by exploring tensions inherent in the very concept of power. Each chapter elucidates how Racine’s power relationships are concentrated in the question of language. His characters seek to discover, channel and control the thoughts of others by means of a careful manipulation of the word. The limits of language and the way it can be distorted and controlled rather than its expressiveness are shown to be crucial to Racine’s power struggles. This book examines Racine’s portrayal of the disintegration of the processes of thought by means of linguistic engineering, showing how it mirrors the absolutist policies of Louis XIV and foreshadows more recent anxieties about the use and abuse of language in our own time. It therefore provides a new reading of Racine’s use of language which challenges previous critical responses. The emphasis throughout is on close engagement with the text.
The Author: Mary Reilly completed a doctoral thesis on seventeenth-century French theatre at the University of Glasgow and is now Senior Lecturer in French Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University where she lectures on comparative seventeenth- and twentieth-century French literature.
Title:Racine: Language, Violence and PowerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.66 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:February 9, 2005Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3039102869

ISBN - 13:9783039102860


Table of Contents

Contents: Comparison between Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Racinian tragedy – Sin and crime in seventeenth-century France – Louis XIV and the control of language – Dragonnades and Huguenots in seventeenth-century France – The relationship between State, Church and language in France – Images of death, violence and the afterlife in Racinian tragedy – Confession in Racinian tragedy – The relationship between language and power.

Editorial Reviews

«Clearly and concisely written, richly documented with textual evidence, this book makes a new contribution to our understanding of communication within the thematics of Racinian tragedy.» (Michael Hawcroft, Modern Language Review)