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M. Doumic delivered his sixth lecture on Saturday afternoon on "The Theatre of Alfred de Musset." The translation of M. Doumic's summary follows:
The Plays of de Musset are the only theatrical works of French Romanticism which have lasted. They were not written to be played, and this fact partly explains their character and value. Some of the plays are merely amusing trifles, now out of fashion.
Fantasio shows the fantastic character of the author's writing, both in Fantasio's conversation and in the strange method he takes to prevent Elizabeth's marriage. De Musset was one of the best painters of the young girl. Elizabeth is the type of the young girl of Romanticism. Cecilia is not a romantic type but a simple candid young girl.
The author has presented his own character in Fantasio, and in all his other plays for that matter. In "Jacquetin" he has drawn an adorable and hateable picture of the heartless woman.
In "Les Caprices de Marianne" we see the perverseness of love. Marianne loves Octave, just because he does not love her.
"On ne Babine pas avec l' Amour" is the deepest and most substantial dramatic work of de Musset. In it the author has put most of his vivacity, gaiety and eloquence.
In this little group of plays is a combination of dreaming and reality, gaiety and sadness; a power of analysis, a delicacy of sentiment, and a strength of imagination which recall respectively Racine, Marivaux and Shakespeare.
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