Corneille and Racine

   Proposed subject: Discussion of this line from a contemporary critic: "Corneille portrays men as they should be and Racine shows them as they are."

   Plan

   Introduction -

   We are accustomed to comparing Racine to Corneille.
   A contemporary critic's opinion.
   Corneille portrays men... Question that claims

   I Corneille and Racine's heroes are all poetical creations.

   II Corneille and Racine have a different human ideal.
     a. Corneille affirms the power of the will
     b. Racine affirms the power of love
   However all Corneille's heroes are not "strong" and Racine's heroes have the conception of duty.

   III Is the truth more on the side of Racine who portrays great passions than on the side of Corneille who portrays great will? -
   Everything depends on our own conception of life; the influence of modern literature in favour of Racine;
   in reality, despite the more apparent reality of Racinian heroes, they remain exceptional beings just as much as do Corneille's heroes.

   Conclusion. -

   This opinion seems quite debatable; Corneille and Racine studied the human soul by placing themselves at different points of view,
  each of them with his mind made up psychologically.

 

BNF NAF 16611. Plan for a school essay, 1887-1888.

 


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