Two tragedies by Antoine de Montchrestien

The Queen of Scotland, Hector

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Two tragedies by Antoine de Montchrestien

The Queen of Scotland, Hector

La vie tumultueuse d’Antoine de Montchrestien (1575-1621) présente bien des mystères. Normand de naissance modeste, il a grimpé assez haut dans les sphères politique et financière mais sa fin fut violente. Ses six tragédies, particulièrement La reine d’Écosse et Hector, vestiges d’une carrière littéraire de courte durée (1596-1604), suscitent des louanges critiques depuis le xixe siècle. Outre de puissants moments poétiques et dramatiques, son œuvre se distingue par la transition technique effectuée entre un théâtre « humaniste », associé surtout à Robert Garnier, et un classicisme plus tardif et plus rigoureux. Sa démarche constitue une innovation considérable.


Mysteries remain about the tumultuous life of Antoine de Montchrestien (1575-1621), a Norman of modest birth who acquired important political connections and substantial financial interests, yet met with a violent death. Though his literary career was brief (1596-1604), his six tragedies have attracted critical praise in French and English, especially for The Queen of Scotland and Hector. Apart from powerful poetic and dramatic effects, his work stands out for effecting a technical transition between “Humanist” theatre, associated especially with Robert Garnier, and the more rigorous classicism of the later 17th century. This contribution constitutes a considerable claim to innovation.

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À propos de l'auteur

Richard Hillman


Richard Hillman (Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, Université de Tours/CNRS), Professor Emeritus, is a specialist in early modern English drama with a special interest in English and French theatrical connections. He has published widely on this subject and translated a number of French plays of the period, including, in the present series, Diane, by Nicolas de Montreux (Tours: Presses Universitaires François-Rabelais, 2019).

 



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