Illusion and reality in Moliere’s comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”

Illusion and reality in Moliere’s comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”

The greatest writer who worked in the period of classicism, was Moliere, the creator of French comedy, one of the founders of the French national theater.

In the comedy “The Bourgeois in the Nobility” Moliere reflected the complex processes of the decomposition of the old aristocratic stratum of French society. At that time in France with a weak king for over 35 years, the Duke-Cardinal Richelieu actually ruled. His goal was to strengthen the royal authority. Many hereditary aristocrats did not obey the king, saying that the origin of their clan was older than the royal surname. By that time, the aristocracy had already outlived itself. Once wealthy and noble, its representatives were ruined and impoverished. Meanwhile, the power was gained by the bourgeoisie – representatives

of the third estate. In order to improve the situation in the country, Richelieu allowed the sale of noble titles for a lot of money. The nobility opened the way to power, so many rich bourgeois and shopkeepers responded with joy to the proposal of the authorities. Within a short time the French treasury was filled, the “new” noblemen could now serve at the court and occupy high posts, and their children could marry with the children of aristocrats. “New” nobles quickly occupied key posts in the state, they were immensely grateful to Richelieu – in contrast to arrogant and recalcitrant aristocrats. But, as in any case, there was another side to the coin. Over the “purchased” aristocrats, everyone laughed, including their own servants. A shopkeeper, dressed in aristocratic clothes, but who could neither speak nor behave properly, caused only the ridicule of others. nobles quickly occupied key posts in the state, they were immensely grateful to Richelieu – in contrast to arrogant and recalcitrant aristocrats. But, as in any case, there was another side to the coin. Over the “purchased” aristocrats, everyone laughed, including their own servants. A shopkeeper, dressed in aristocratic clothes, but who could neither speak nor behave properly, caused only the ridicule
of others. nobles quickly occupied key posts in the state, they were immensely grateful to Richelieu – in contrast to arrogant and recalcitrant aristocrats. But, as in any case, there was another side to the coin. Over the “purchased” aristocrats, everyone laughed, including their own servants. A shopkeeper, dressed in aristocratic clothes, but who could neither speak nor behave properly, caused only the ridicule of others.

В своей пьесе Мольер создал яркий сатирический образ богатого лавочника Журдена, преклоняющегося перед дворянством и мечтающего укрепиться в аристократической среде. Он пытается рядиться в дворянскую одежду, нанимает себе учителей музыки, танцев, фехтования и философии, заводит дружбу с дворянами и даже пытается разыгрывать роль галантного поклонника дамы-аристократки. Но учителя обманывают его, наживаясь за его счет, поскольку Журден – человек невежественный и не знает, чему бы конкретно хотел учиться. Потомственный дворянин Дорант нагло обманывает Журдена: занимает у него деньги и дарит богатые подарки, купленные на деньги Журдена, маркизе Доримене от своего имени. Мольер откровенно смеется над попытками лавочника стать аристократом.

Jourdain is a man of mature years, his character and habits can not be changed, so all his attempts to portray the aristocrat look comical. Jourdain himself put himself in such a position. He is an intelligent person, he achieved great results in his profession as a cloth merchant. Jourdain is rich, he has a good house, he has a practical mind and a wonderful memory: he remembers well how much money Dorant has to him, and sees that the tailor steals his cloth and spoiled his vest. But the desire to escape from his environment and become a nobleman for some time takes away his reason from him. His daughter Lucille, he wants to marry only for an aristocrat, whatever he is. He refuses to Cleonte, an energetic youth from the bourgeois environment, who weds his daughter, only because the young man is not an aristocrat. Wife and daughter have to deceive Jourdain,

In the play of Moliere the comic often coexists with the tragic. One can sympathize with Jourdain when he bitterly complains that his parents did not give him education as a child. On the other hand, his parents never imagined that their son would suddenly have the opportunity to become an aristocrat. This in the history of France was not from time immemorial.

Jourdain loses all dignity when he rudely disavows his native class of the bourgeoisie, speaks with contempt of shopkeepers. The tragedy of this hero is that, having broken with his environment, he can never become an aristocrat in spirit. In this role, he will always be ridiculous.

In the play “The Bourgeois in the Nobility” Moliere gave sharp criticism of the French aristocracy. Those who are ideal for Jourdain, long-ruined people living in deception, intrigue and meanness. For example, Dorant is depicted as a spoiled cynic and morally unscrupulous person who, living at the expense of Jourdain, also comes to his dinner with Dorimen to laugh at the stupid bourgeois together.

The characters represented in the comedy are very diverse. The wife of the hero, Mrs. Jourdain, differs in the sanity and sobriety of looking at life. She considers her husband’s views to be erroneous, quite rightly believing that the marriage of her daughter with an aristocrat will not bring Lucille happiness. The young generation of heroes do not share the passion of Jourdain to become an aristocrat. They feel that the time of the bourgeoisie is about to come.

The finale of the comedy Molière leaves open. After the performance, the audience recalls vivid replicas of the characters, but then they seriously think about the defeat in the life that Jourdain suffered. The curtain falls on the stage when Jourdain is completely happy. He is sure that nearby in the room papers are being prepared to marry his daughter with a noble Turkish nobleman. Jourdain still has to learn the bitter truth about his daughter, and about Dorante, who marries Dorimene.

Most likely, after experiencing humiliation and calculating losses, Jourdain will return to his shop.

Moliere showed himself as a master of comedy intrigue. He created a deep, intelligent and cheerful performance. Replicas of his characters turned into several centuries in a winged expression. In our time, the play “The Bourgeois in the Nobility” got a second birth. The images of the “new bought” noblemen are directly related to the images of the “new” “masters of life” that appeared along with wild capitalism, mostly the same ignorant, pompous and stupid.


Illusion and reality in Moliere’s comedy “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”