Classicism as an artistic system was formed in the XVII century and covered not only literature but also other kinds of art: painting, sculpture, architecture, music. The name classicism was introduced in the beginning of the XIX century, emphasizing that the artists of this direction imitated the classical “classic”, took it as a model. Classicism is the first artistic system that was realized precisely as a system with its own purpose and with its own rules. The goal of classical art is to create works of art according to the laws of harmony and logic, so the artists of this direction work out certain rules, the observance of which was compulsory.
Classicism reached its greatest development in France, where in the 17th century an absolute monarchy began to be composed, and art, which obeys the rules, suits absolutists, becomes a part of state ideology. It is no coincidence that the French King Louis XI was considered the patron of art, and during his father’s
time the French Academy was created, whose work was criticized for those works that did not meet state objectives. The artistic principles of classicism were laid out by N. Boileau in the poem “Poetic Art”. His work reflected the ideal idea of the intelligent and just power of an enlightened monarch. The ideal of the beautiful that defends Boileau, associated primarily with the ancient art, especially the times of the Roman Empire, when the works were dominated by civil, heroic and patriotic motives. By inserting these principles into concrete dramatic works, playwrights avoided mixing tragic and comic, big and low. All this has determined the thematic and artistic originality of literature, drama in particular. Dramatic genres are divided into “high” (in which we are talking about noble, high feelings, the stories are taken from ancient literature, the heroic epic or the Old Testament) and “low” (works about modernity, everyday life). To “high” genres belonged to tragedy, to “low” – a comedy. Dramatic genres are divided into “high” (in
which we are talking about noble, high feelings, the stories are taken from ancient literature, the heroic epic or the Old Testament) and “low” (works about modernity, everyday life). To “high” genres belonged to tragedy, to “low” – a comedy. Dramatic genres are divided into “high” (in which we are talking about noble, high feelings, the stories are taken from ancient literature, the heroic epic or the Old Testament) and “low” (works about modernity, everyday life). To “high” genres belonged to tragedy, to “low” – a comedy.
Mandatory for the playwrights was the rule of “three oneness.” The first is the unity of time: the action of a dramatic work is limited in time, all events must occur during one day, as it was believed, this created a sense of authenticity for the viewer. With the same goal, the playwrights held and the unity of the place: all events must take place in one place (the viewer will not leave the theater premises during the play, so he does not believe that the characters could get from one place to another). The third important requirement – the unity of action, which provided for the interconnection of all the characters, and all the storylines associated with one event. These rules had their positive and negative sides. The rules limited the playwrights in the development of the plot, the number of storylines, but gave the opportunity to depict not the external events, but the inner world of the characters. The artistic perfection of the comedies of JB Moliere attracted the attention of contemporaries to the problems of national life. It is no coincidence that Moliere is considered the founder of the genre of “high comedy”. Thanks to the artistic achievements of the clasicists in the development of the characters of Moliere’s comedy, bright characters began to shine: the philistine philistine, Tartuffe, Misanthrope.
Classicism was formed in France and from there spread to the country of Europe. The historical foundation of classicism was absolutism, in which people of that time saw the assurance of peace, accord. The state most artists of the time perceived as the embodiment of the mind of nations. Therefore, serving the state and its symbol – the king – becomes for many writers the fulfillment of civic duty, which lies above for personal interests. The leading genre of classicism literature is tragedy. Firstly, because it provided an opportunity to raise the problems that worried contemporaries: civic duty and personal interests, the mind, duty and feelings, passions. Secondly, the theater played an important role in the formation of social thought, the spectacle was seen by a large number of people, the idea of a talented play could capture the viewer. It is not accidental that the action of tragedies,
The tragedy reached its highest development in the works of French playwrights Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine. They focused their attention on revealing complex moral problems. The basis for the formation of personality, they believed the commandments of the Bible, yet life often poses problems that only the person himself should decide. The main conflict that playwrights consider is the conflict between passions and mind, common sense, duty.