Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature Volume 3

Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature Volume 3

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1914 edition. Excerpt: ... of a comedy, which has been somehow lost. He and his fellow players, who expect some of the gods to attend their performance, are thrown into despair by discovering at the last moment that their comedy possesses but four acts. Vulcan, who enters while the search is going on, does not know, Philistine that he is, that a drama ought to have five acts. He goes to the theatre to see a show, the more gorgeous and spectacular the better; so he is scornfully directed to the theatre of the German com pany. In the next scene, Jupiter and Apollo are let down upon the stage from the roof, while Momus more humbly enters by the door. Momus proves to be a pedant, fearfully distressed to learn that the comedy is to have but four acts. Apollo, however, has less rigid ideas about the construction of drama. "A comedy is a mirror," he says," which presents the foibles of mankind in such a way that it amuses and instructs at the same time. When a comedy does that, it is good, no matter what the number of acts may be." " Even the conventions of Moliere," he adds," are no more fundamental dramatic laws than other conventions of Italian or German comedy." Jupiter, convinced by Apollo's liberal criticism, orders the play to proceed. He and Apollo then take seats in the gallery, largely because he wants to show everyone that a seat up there need not bring disgrace. The various elements of this scene are found in different works of Gherardi. In the prologue of Le Divorce, Arlequin comes in to tell the audience that some of the actors are ill, so that the performance cannot be given. His offer to return everyone's money at the box-oflice is interrupted by Mezzetin, representing Mercury. The motley...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 159g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236941152
  • 9781236941152