Saturday, November 1, 2008


HARPAGON, father of Cléante and Elise, and lovers Mariane.
CLÉANTE, son of Scrooge, Mariane lover.
ÉLISE, daughter of Scrooge, lover of Valere.
VALÈRE, son of Anselme, and lover of Elise.
MARIANE, lover of Cléante, and loved to Scrooge.
ANSELME, father of Valere and Mariane.
FROSINE, wife of intrigue.
MR SIMON broker.
MR JACQUES, cook and tick of Scrooge.
ARROW, valet Cléante.
CLAUDE DAME, handmaid of Scrooge.


HARPAGON, père de Cléante et d'Élise, et amoureux de Mariane.
CLÉANTE, fils d'Harpagon, amant de Mariane.
ÉLISE, fille d'Harpagon, amante de Valère.
VALÈRE, fils d'Anselme, et amant d'Élise.
MARIANE, amante de Cléante, et aimée d'Harpagon.
ANSELME, père de Valère et de Mariane.
FROSINE, femme d'intrigue.
MAITRE SIMON, courtier.
MAITRE JACQUES, cuisinier et cocher d'Harpagon.
LA FLÈCHE, valet de Cléante.
DAME CLAUDE, servante d'Harpagon.
BRINDAVOINE, LA MERLUCHE, laquais d'Harpagon.


FIRST ACT. Three projects of marriage.
The action takes place in Paris at Scrooge, bourgeois rich widower and the father of two children, Elise and Cléante. Elise is secretly engaged to Valere, Neapolitan gentleman who saved his life and was introduced at Scrooge as intendant, in turn, Cléante would marry a girl without fortune, Mariane, of which he is loving. The brother and sister fear that their proposed marriage law will face opposition from irreducible Scrooge, which they deplore tyranny and greed. Scrooge himself is rife for concern: he buried in his garden a sum of ten thousand ECU gold and worries of being robbed. Obsessed by this fear, he suddenly hunting after having interrogated and searched, La Fleche, the flap Cléante (scene 111). Then I met her children, it teaches them that he intends to marry Mariane, Elise marry an old man with his friends, Anselme, and provide for Cléante woman, "a widow" (stage IV). As Elise energetically rejects the party that her father has chosen for her, Scrooge asks Valère to intervene to convince her, which puts the steward in a pleasant quandary.

It ACT. Bargains of Scrooge.
Cléonte, which seeks to borrow fifteen thousand francs, learns that his lender requires an exorbitant rate and claims included in the loan amount a pile of old heterogeneous valued at a price unreasonable (first stage). While protests against these draconian conditions, Cléonte discovered that the shark with whom he is considering entering into business is another Scrooge. The father and son go mutually violent reproaches (stage 11). Frosine, entremetteuse qu'Harpagon was responsible for negotiating his marriage with Mariane, reports that the mother of the girl gave her consent, and it think Mariane has a predilection for the elderly. Yet the absence of Scrooge dot turmoil. Frosine tries to demonstrate that the savings habits of a young girl poor are most beneficial contributions, but Scrooge can not be convinced, and it remains deaf to the demands Frosine who asks him a little money (scene V).

ACT III Receiving Mariane.
Scrooge, which should provide a dinner for Mariane, multiplies its recommendations for domestic minimize the expense and Valere joins him to preach to the economy tick carpenter, master Jacques (first stage). It will quarrel with the intendant, receives baton blows and vows to get even. However, led by Frosine, Mariane happens, any scrapie. The aspect of the Scrooge repugnant, and increases when trouble arrives Cléonte, it recognizes that the young man who told him the court. The two lovers are understood to one another their true feelings, use of a language two-way, Scrooge did not grasp the true meaning. But it is hard to contain his fury when Cléante deprives him a diamond ring for the offer on its behalf to Mariane (scene VII). It then announces Here visit of a person that the miserly hastens to go get because it provides the money.

ACT IV. Rupture between father and son.
At a time when Frosine tells Cléonte and Mariane a ploy she imagined Scrooge to decide to abandon its proposed marriage,
the miserly occurs suddenly and surprised his son now kiss Here hand Mariane. Suspicious a plot, he pretended to have left the girl Cléonte to induce him to his true feelings. The young man falls into the trap and confessed to his father that he is in love with Mariane and made him the court. Scrooge furious threat to strike his son (scene 111). Maître Jacques intervenes and reconciles Cléante Scrooge and taking part in all of them for him to believe that the other waives Mariane (stage IV). After his departure, the misunderstanding is revealed, and the quarrel resumed with more violence between Cléante and Scrooge, but ultimately his son hunting after disinherited and cursed (stage V). It is then released La Flèche bearing Here cassette Scrooge, he had stolen. The miser was found the flight panic, sorry, angry, thirsty for revenge, he expressed in a comic monologue feelings that upset (scene Lives).

ACT V. Each regain its property.
A police commissioner, convened by Scrooge, interviewing master Jacques, who, in retaliation of Valere, accuses him of stealing the tape and suggests that he has irrefutable evidence of theft (stage 11). Intendant happens, and the stingy press to confess his crime. Valere believes this secret of his engagement with Elise, it is protesting the honesty of his intentions, and the quid pro quo is extended throughout the stage (stage 111). When the truth finally emerges, Scrooge, the height of the fury, threatening to bury her daughter and to hang intendant. The arrival of the Lord Anselme then causes a general explanation. For himself, Valere reveals his identity and tells her story. It turned out he was the son of Anselme, who is also the father of Mariane. Sixteen years earlier, a shipwreck had dispersed family members of the aristocracy Neapolitan. With this recognition fiction, arranges everything. A double wedding Valère to unite and Elise Cléante to Mariane; Anselme caters
to the needs of both household and pay all fees; Scrooge regain its "expensive cassette."

The Miser
L'Avare is a 1668 five-act satirical comedy by French playwright Molière. Its title is usually translated as The Miser when the play is performed in English.
The play was first performed in 1668 at the Palais Royal in a period when Molière's company was, on the one hand, under considerable establishment pressure to modify its output, but on the other hand, under the protection of Louis XIV himself. Little is known about the original performance, although it is said that Molière himself played Harpagon, utilising his by this point chronic cough and gait to humorous effect.[1]
Plot summary
The Miser's plot, involving a rich money-lender called Harpagon, whose feisty children long to escape from his penny-pinching household and marry their respective lovers, is a comedy of manners to which the 17th-century French upper classes presumably objected. It is less savage, however, and somewhat less realistic than Molière's earlier play, Tartuffe, which attracted a storm of criticism on its first performance.
The play is also notable for the way in which it sends up certain theatrical conventions. Many comedies from the Elizabethan period and onwards contain asides which are delivered by characters to the audience and which the other actors ignore. In L'Avare, however, characters generally demand to know who exactly these asides are being delivered to.
The play's ending is also self-consciously ridiculous, mocking the pat endings of many comedies that end in sudden revelation and marriage. Fortunately this joke is preserved for modern audiences of a certain age because the conclusion of the play is now rather reminiscent of the emotional climax of the Star Wars trilogy, namely that an unexpected character turns out to be everyone's father.

Molière's Miser
by Ryan McKittrick

A coughing sexagenarian(person between the age of 60 and 70) whose every thought, word, and action is determined by greed, Harpagon is one of Molière's most notorious characters. For more than three centuries, audiences have been charmed by the skinflint's obsessive scrimping and disturbed by the consequences of his avarice. Harpagon's frenzied antics give The Miser its comic momentum, but the character also casts a dark shadow on the play. His financial paranoia is as unsettling as it is entertaining.

Harpagon is a descendant of the old curmudgeon Euclio from Plautus' Pot of Gold - one of the many plays Molière borrowed from when he wrote The Miser. Molière grew up studying Roman drama at the Collège de Clermont in Paris, a prestigious Jesuit school where teachers encouraged their students to learn Latin by staging plays. While he was writing his adaptation of Plautus' Amphitryon in 1667, Molière must have revisited Pot of Gold and seen in the Roman hoarder an opportunity to ridicule the bourgeois tightwads of his own day.

Molière also modeled Harpagon on Pantalone, the tightfisted Venetian merchant of commedia dell'arte. Italian commedia was a performance style Molière knew well. Twelve years touring in the French provinces had brought him into contact with traveling Italian actors, and when he returned to Paris in 1658 Louis XIV granted Molière's company permission to share the theatre at the Petit-Bourbon with a commedia dell'arte troupe. The two companies worked alongside one another for two years, until the Petit-Bourbon was demolished to make room for the expansion of the Louvre. Molière's troupe then moved into the Palais-Royal, which became its home until the playwright's death in 1673.

In addition to being the company playwright, Molière was also one of the troupe's leading actors. He created the role of Harpagon for himself, bringing to the stage his impeccable comic timing and a love for physical humor that he had inherited from the Italian actors. Molière was better known for his generosity than his parsimony, but a few of his friends must have noticed at least one similarity between the playwright and his penny-pincher. In the second act of The Miser, Harpagon confesses to the matchmaker Frosine that he's worried his young bride-to-be, Mariane, won't be attracted to a sixty-year-old man. Molière was experiencing similar marital anxieties when he played Harpagon. In 1662, the playwright had married Armande Béjart, an actress who was half his age. Problems developed quickly in the relationship. By the time Molière wrote The Miser, he and Armande were living in separate houses. She stayed in the city and he spent most of his time at a tranquil hideaway on the outskirts of Paris - they probably saw each other more frequently in the theatre than at home. Molière may have amplified offstage tensions in his casting of the play. It's possible that Madeleine Béjart, Molière's ex-lover and probably Armande's mother, played the go-between Frosine and that Armande played the reluctant Mariane.

The Miser premiered in September of 1668 at the Palais-Royal. Molière's play George Dandin had been a flop earlier that year, and Tartuffe, his attack on false devotees, had been banned from the stage under pressure from a religious order. Clearly, the troupe needed a hit that season, but The Miser wasn't the success the company hoped it would be, and the initial run ended after just four performances.

The cool reception of the premiere is an aberration in The Miser's production history. Over the past three and a half centuries, it has been one of the most frequently performed plays at the Comédie-Française - the national theatre Louis XIV created after Molière's death, by merging his company of comedians with the tragedians from the Hôtel de Bourgogne. Henry Fielding's English adaptation of the play, which renamed the lead character "Lovegold," was one of London's most successful plays when it premiered in 1733. Fielding's adaptation was revived frequently in London in the eighteenth century and was even popular enough to be brought to the New World. In 1767 it was produced in Philadelphia by one of colonial America's fledgling troupes. By the twentieth century, the Comédie-Française was so confident in the play that the troupe decided to use it as a fundraising vehicle. Convinced Harpagon's greed would inspire charitable sentiments in the audience, the Comédie-Française brought its production of The Miser to London in 1922 to raise money for the Institut Français and the restoration of the Rheims Cathedral.

Scott Ripley, Francine Torres, Jessalyn Gilsig in the A.R.T.'s 1996 production of Tartuffe.

Only Tartuffe is staged more frequently than The Miser today. It is difficult to ascertain why seventeenth-century Parisians didn't admire the play as much as subsequent audiences have. One possibility is that they were frustrated by the language. Parisians were accustomed to five-act comedies written in verse, and The Miser is scripted entirely in prose. "What is the meaning of this?" an anonymous duke is said to have exclaimed after seeing the play. "Is Molière daft, and does he take us for simpletons to make us sit through five acts of prose? Did anybody ever see such nonsense? Is it possible that anybody can like prose?"

But surely not all audience members were as adverse to comic prose as the offended duke. Perhaps the first audiences were also disoriented by the dark undertones in a play that had the surface appearance of a satirical romp. The extremity of Harpagon's greed gives him an idiosyncratic charm. But his frugality takes on a violence that threatens to destroy everyone around him - especially his children. When the sycophantic Frosine compliments Harpagon on his health, she tells the cantankerous codger, "You'll bury your children and your children's children." Determined to keep his son and daughter's inheritance from their deceased mother for himself, Harpagon responds immediately, "Well, that's good to know."

Harpagon's son, Cléante, is a gambler who rebels against his father's stinginess by wasting his money on fashionable apparel. Cléante is as devoted to spending as his father is to hoarding. The clash of economic interests, exacerbated by a conflict of romantic interests (Cléante and Harpagon both want to marry Mariane), keep the father and son at each other's throats. They torture each other psychologically and emotionally, and by the end of the play each has wished the other dead. Goethe took the tension between Harpagon and Cléante quite seriously. "[Molière's] Miser, where vice destroys all love between father and son, is especially great, and in a high sense tragic," the German writer once remarked.

Harpagon is devastated when he realizes his beloved strongbox that he buried in the garden has been stolen. Left alone on stage, Harpagon cries out in panic: "They've cut my throat! They've stolen my money! ... Won't somebody bring me back to life by returning my money or telling me who took it?" The critic Marcel Gutwirth has interpreted Harpagon as a symbol of death - an old man enamored of lifeless gold whose own life is buried in the ground from the beginning of the play. In The Miser, greed is not just a vice. It is a sickness that preys on the young, a deadly force that is only narrowly averted by the eleventh-hour arrival of a dubious deus ex machina.

Death was certainly on Molière's mind when he wrote and acted in The Miser. By 1667, the playwright had been infected with the tuberculosis that would take his life six years later. He was in very poor health around the time The Miser premiered in Paris. The forty-six year old playwright must have known he was seriously ill, but he tried to cover up his sickness by giving Harpagon a phlegmatic cough. Molière transformed his own malady into a stage gag, concealing death behind the mask of comedy.

From the main book NSF 3 (page no:- 175)

HARPAGON: Thieves! Thieves! Assassins! Murder! Justice, just heavens! I am undone; I am murdered; they have cut my throat; they have stolen my money! Who can it be? What has become of him? Where is he? Where is he hiding himself? What shall I do to find him? Where shall I run? Where shall I not run? Is he not here? Who is this? Stop! [To himself, taking hold of his own arm] Give my back my money, wretch . . . . Ah! . . . . it is myself . . . . My mind is wandering, and I know not where I am, who I am, and what I am doing. Alas! my poor money! my poor money! my dearest friend, they have bereaved(to leave in a sad state) me of thee; and since thou art gone, I have lost my support, my consolation,(comfort) and my joy. All is ended for me, and I have nothing more to do in the world! Without thee it is impossible for me to live. It is all over with me; I can bear it no longer. I am dying; I am dead; I am buried. Is there nobody who will call me from the dead, by restoring my dear money to me, or by telling me who has taken it? Ah! what is it you say? It is no one. Whoever has committed the deed must have watched carefully for his opportunity, and must have chosen the very moment when I was talking with my miscreant(unbelieving or an evil person) of a son. I must go. I will demand justice, and have the whole of my house put to the torture--my maids and my valets, my son, my daughter, and myself too. What a crowd of people are assembled here! Everybody seems to be my thief. I see no one who does not rouse suspicion in me. Ha! What are they speaking of there? Of him who stole my money? What noise is that up yonder? Is it my thief who is there? For pity's sake, if you know anything of my thief, I beseech you to tell me. Is he hiding there among you? They all look at me and laugh. We shall see that they all have a share in the robbery. Quick! Magistrates, police, provosts(superintendent), judges, racks, gibbets, and executioners. I will hang everybody, and if I do not find my money, I will hang myself afterwards.