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The Barber of Seville / The Marriage of Figaro / The Guilty Mother (Figaro Trilogy #1-3)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Eighteenth-century France produced only one truly international theater star, Beaumarchais, and only one name, Figaro, to combine with Don Quixote and D'Artagnan in the ranks of popular myth. But who was Figaro? He was quickly appropriated by Mozart and Rossini who tamed the original impertinent, bustling servant for their own purposes. On the eve of the French Revolution ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published December 18th 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1792)
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Ned Hanlon
Sep 12, 2014 Ned Hanlon rated it really liked it
I read these in preparation for a season in which I will be performing both Le nozze di Figaro and Il barbiere di Siviglia and am very glad I did. The first two plays are very close to there more famous operatic desendents (one wonders if Da Ponte deserves the plaudits he gets for his Nozze libretto). The third play, which is perhaps the most interesting of the three, was never given a proper musical setting (perhaps because composers found it difficult to reconcile its dark comedy with its una ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Raúl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teatro
Beaumarchais ofrece un ciclo dramático en el que va de la comedia más bufa, a la alta comedia, para acabar en el melodrama, jugando a los mismos elementos en cada una de las piezas, pero con esta variación en cuanto al género. Naturalmente, cómo no preferir de las tres a la segunda, al Día Loco, o El casamiento de Fígaro, pero leídas en continuidad nos ofrecen un ciclo dramático realmente interesante y sugerente que se centra en el personaje de Rosina, la condesa, que pasa de ser inocente seduci ...more
Dec 22, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
Plays are meant to be viewed on the stage. No written play can earn a five star rating - except perhaps King Lear or Hamlet. Plays gain some of their power from being performed by talented actors. That said, these three plays by Beaumarchais are entertaining to read on their own, even in translation. We can imagine the characters in our heads, the absurd situations, the gaiety and frustration. The dances and songs lose the most from being reduced to words on paper, but other than that, these pla ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
The plays are outrageously funny, madcap, satirical. This edition has many helpful footnotes. The translation is fluid and poetic. There are many songs in the plays, and the translated lyrics are excellent, rhythmic and rhyming and smooth.
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Beaumarchais

--The Barber of Seville
--The Marriage of Figaro
--The Guilty Mother

Explanatory Notes
Sep 12, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
It is a masterfully crafted satire on the late 18th century in Europe. The plays a relevant now and forever.
May 28, 2015 Steve rated it liked it
As a long time lover of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," I've always been curious about the third play in Beaumarchais' trilogy: "The Guilty Mother." This is a lively translation and would be a good one to use in a stage production.
Oct 11, 2015 Marina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
Mar 18, 2015 Mabel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read The Marriage of Figaro but wow!

It's full of escapades and tirades and real moments. There's still applicable speeches to the modern day and I wish the ending was less moralistic.

I really liked these crazy characters and they're all emotional and dramatic but still mostly enjoyable.
May 25, 2011 Soma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book and really enjoyed's incredibly funny and fast paced. The only problem i had with it was that it was too short for my taste. Although the ending was good, it was kind of abrupt...very enjoyable though...
Mike Szczepanik
Just read the first play, The Barber of Seville. Not in the same league as Shakespeare's best comedies, but still a fun read that's probably even better on stage.
Thus was the first play I've read since high school whether it was this play or that it was a play, I could not get into it...
Nov 21, 2008 Andrea rated it liked it
Did the operas - plays are very similar. A little hard to figure out what is going on - lots of characters - funny though!
Dec 05, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1000-books
I got bored. I'd rather watch the operas any day. But at least now I know what happens in play #3!
Aug 18, 2015 A is currently reading it
Shelves: gave-up
Fun--I think this is going to help perform Count Almaviva in the Marriage of Figaro in November.
Mar 17, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
some of the best dramatic comedy ever written...
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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was a French playwright, watchmaker, inventor, musician, diplomat, fugitive, spy, publisher, horticulturalist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American).

Born a provincial watchmaker's son, Beaumarchais rose in French society and became influential in the court of Louis XV as an inventor and music teacher. He made a number o
More about Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais...

Other Books in the Series

Figaro Trilogy (6 books)
  • Le Barbier de Séville ou La Précaution Inutile
  • The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze Di Figaro): Vocal Score
  • L'Autre Tartuffe ou La Mère Coupable
  • The Barber of Seville / The Marriage of Figaro
  • Le Mariage de Figaro / La Mère Coupable

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