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The Cid / Cinna / The Theatrical Illusion

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Cid, Corneille's masterpiece set in medieval Spain, was the first great work of French classical drama; Cinna, written three years later in 1641, is a tense political drama, while The Theatrical Illusion, an earlier work, is reminiscent of Shakespeare's exuberant comedies.
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 288 pages
Published September 25th 1975 by Penguin Classics (first published 1975)
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Oct 23, 2016 Keith rated it liked it
You can see my general thoughts on Corneille here:

Here are my thoughts on the plays in this volume as I read them:

The Theater of Illusion *** 1/2 – What a wonderful change from Corneille’s tragedies! This is a lively, witty drama in which – shockingly – things actually happen on stage. It features a beautifully strange frame in which a wizard shows an old man the fate of his long-lost son.

It is otherwise a rather typical melodrama, very much like Shake
Sep 25, 2016 Shane rated it it was amazing
A very good translation. Though I do miss the couplets, Cairncross's blank verse manages to capture the high-flown excitement and drive essential to Corneille. Plus, he does manage to slip in a couplet here or there for effect. Corneille is successful in this rhetorical speech-oriented style because he keeps up the verve and theatricality necessary to give it life. This is what Cairncross captures best. As he himself says in his forward, the musicality of verse is more important to preserve in R ...more
Therese May
Nov 05, 2015 Therese May rated it liked it
So, I was supposed to read this for history class, but it took me a little longer than it was supposed to take to read.

The book was interesting though and it was fun to read a play about things that tied in with the history we are studying. We had a debate on whether this was a tragedy or comedy. I was on the comedy side (not by choice). We lost, but, finally reading through it, I realize that it really does (by definitions laid out by Aristotle) seem to be a comedy. Though it really is a good
Paul D.  Miller
Aug 03, 2011 Paul D. Miller rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-books
One of the most fun great books I’ve read yet. A crackling good yarn. Lots of tension and excitement. Memorable characters. Would make a great movie. Don’t have much profound to say about it. It is a tragedy based on opposing imperatives from honor and romance. Since honor has evaporated as a social norm, The Cid can’t quite translate.
Feb 04, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Love the monologue from Act 3 Scene 5 of The Cid, which is otherwise a bit too straightforward. But of course this gets five stars for The Illusion.
Dec 17, 2013 Andrea rated it really liked it
Since I only read The Theatrical Illusion from this publication, my four-star rating counts for that one only.
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Pierre Corneille était l'un des trois grands dramaturges français du XVIIe siècle , avec Molière et Racine. Il a été appelé «le fondateur de la tragédie française» et était productive pendant près de quarante ans.

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Pierre Corneille was one of the three great seventeenth-century French dra
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