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The School for Wives / The Learned Ladies

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The School for Wives concerns an insecure man who contrives to show the world how to rig an infallible alliance by marrying the perfect bride; The Learned Ladies centers on the domestic calamities wrought by a domineering woman upon her husband, children, and household. Wilbur...makes Molière into as great an English verse playwright as he was a French one (John Simon, New ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 15th 1991 by Mariner Books
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Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
מחזה נפלא ציני ומרענן.

ארנולף, גבר מזדקן ואמיד מתכנן לשאת את אנייס, יתומה שגידל בביתו באופן מנותק מהעולם וחינך אותה להיות לו לרעיה צייתנית וממושמעת.

אבל, הגורל מתעתע בו וכשהוא מארח את הוראס, בנו של ידידו, אנייס התמימה מתאהבת בהוראס. כך מתחילה פארסה שבה ארנולף מנסה לנתק בין השניים בתחבולות שונות תוך גיוס כל תושיתו, משרתיו ,חבריו והונו.

המחזה מאוד ביקורתי כנגד התפיסה של מקומה של האישה לצד בעלה העשיר והמזדקן, בתפקדים ספציפיים מאוד. בשלב מסויים ארנולף נותן לאנייס רשימה שבה הוא כולל את עשרת המצוות
Petruccio Hambasket IV
"A School For Wives" is about some old buffoon named Arnolphe whose afraid of 'sprouting the horns' as it were (cuckoldry); a theme the Late Medieval/Early Modern French could simply not shut up about. To avoid this obsessive danger Arnolphe engineers a long term plan that is, frankly, horrifying. His course of action centers around raising a 4 year old girl he fancies to become perfectly ignorant of worldly manners, so that he may marry her when she comes of age. This man is so consumed by his ...more
Samuel Leopold
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my wife and we both enjoyed the humor --- which seems very contemporary, despite being written in the 18th century.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Excellent translations by poet Richard Wilbur of two of Moliere's farces in verse. The School for Wives centers on an older man who shelters his female (much younger) ward to make her ignorant of the world and eventually wed her and lead a life wherein he won't be cuckolded. His plan becomes undone when a younger man intrudes on his carefully laid plan. In the sophisticated comedy The Learned Ladies, a wife usurps her husband's household by installing a salon for ideas and indoctrinating her ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wilbur's translations are great -- everything you could ask for. I wish he had translated more of Moliere, because it just ain't the same without him.

I didn't like these two plays as much as "Tartuffe" and "The Misanthrope". Partly because they really are steeped in misogyny, and there's no way that's not going to rankle. But also because they seem somehow one-sided, lacking some of the dynamism of the other two plays. Nevertheless they were very enjoyable and satisfying.

It's funny, these plays
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-new-library
Far better than Schoool for Husbands, it has more developed villain and more forgivable villain, it is themed that experience will quickly teach the sheltered what you least want them to learn and that you can not hold people in naivete to control them. Agnes is more developed and more interesting than her predecessor in the school for husbands. She learns and turns against her warden once she realizes that he wants to control her. She is the naive emerging, her warden emerges too less naive if ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was impressed that the translator was able to do it in rhyme, staying true to the author!

This was a quick, fun read. The two plays, though predictable, are hilarious. I will bet they would be fun to see staged.

The themes carry over through the years though it would be a pretty sad young woman who would not be educated today.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
hilarious and witty, loved it!
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
Wonderful translations by Richard Wilbur! Contemporary language (but rhymes and rhythm intact) brings out the essence of the plays for a 21st century audience.
Coraline Turner
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Woman really is a man's porridge, and when a man sees other folks endeavoring to dip their fingers in his porridge, he flies immediately into a violent fury."

Moliere is so witty and sassy.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I fucking hate Arnolphe.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The School for Wives is a little awkward to read in 2012. I believe there is a lot that no longer translates to modern times and this book would like be more enjoyed in a literature course where a learned instructor could explain the significance and meaning of what you're reading.

On the other hand, I l-o-v-e The Learned Ladies! Fabulous! This comedy translates across the many many decades, cultures and country divides. This is one of the reasons that Moliere is my favorite French writer. The
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Light and witty. Truly impressive that it is still enjoyable as it was written in 1662. The poetry is good which I found pretty amazing as it had to be translated from French. The goal was to have a stupid wife - too much of a dolt to be appealing to any potential rivals or think for herself. Read with today's eyes you really don't like the potential husband but this was likely not a rare wish in those days when wives were not really meant to be company. The servants in the story were very funny ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
לא קוראת בצרפתית, ועדיין - תרגום גאוני של אלי ביזאווי, שממש דורש הקראה בקול רם.

העלילה עצמה ביקורתית מאוד, אבל יכולה להיקרא גם כביקורתית עבור הדמות הלא נכונה (אני קראתי בעיקר כביקורת על ארנולף, נראה לי שבקלות אפשר להפנות את מרבית הביקורת לאיינס, ובקריאה כזו הספר היה מרתיח אותי :) ). יחסית למחזה שנכתב ב-1662 בפריס, הוא רלוונטי במפתיע גם להווה בישראל.

גילוי נאות: עובדת בלוקוס, שהוציאו את התרגום הנוכחי, אבל אני עובדת בהוצאה כי אני אוהבת אותה ולא ההפך. :)
Tim Elston
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tim by: Tim Elston
This comedic morality play aptly instructs old men like me not to hope to put young girls in pumpkin shells, keep them very well, and hope for their love when they turn marrying age. It is hard to imagine this wisdom being found scandalous in any century, let alone the sixteenth. But so it was, making this work among the "Great Books" of the Western canon. Wilbur's translation is playfully satisfying to the English ear--like reading Shakespeare himself.
Lily Hamrick
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clever, knowing, wonderfully translated, this play is a favorite. I'm particularly struck by the idiocy of a man who thinks he can control his relationships with women by keeping them economically dependent and uneducated. Moliere wisely (and amusingly) shows how this project is doomed from the start.
Amy Mikaelson
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Better than I thought it would be and fun to act out too! Interesting plot line and funny moments as well.
Donna Kirk
Richard Wilbur translation
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Both plays contain maxims of marriage, and though I have never been married, I imagine them to be good advice. They are cousins of "Marry Me a Little" from Company.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Entertaining, though very very see-through in message. Two dimensional characters.
Jun 29, 2007 rated it liked it
i really like moliere. i was in the learned ladies and i've held in high regard since. interesting cadence.
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read this in English (very well translated) and then in French. It's comical in that last century kind of way!
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Terribly enjoyable! A light-hearted read.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, humor
Sophisticated and very applicable to today. :D
Oct 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
moliere was a genius, so so so amazing.
Cristina Zucchiatti
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Jan 09, 2014
Håkan Walles
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Jan 27, 2019
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Sahar Malek
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Sep 14, 2012
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Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known by his stage name, Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known dramas are Le Misanthrope, (The Misanthrope), L'Ecole des femmes (The School for Wives), Tartuffe ou l'Imposteur, (Tartuffe or the Hypocrite), L'Avare ou l'École du mensonge (The Miser), Le Malade ...more

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