21:15, Thu 24th September 2020 at Chichester Festival Theatre
20:15, Sat 26th September 2020 at Random Venue 77
20:15, Mon 28th September 2020 at Chichester Festival Theatre
20:15, Tue 29th September 2020 at Random Venue 61
21:00, Fri 2nd October 2020 at Random Venue 72
20:15, Mon 5th October 2020 at Liverpool Empire Theatre
22:30, Thu 8th October 2020 at Random Venue 12
13:00, Sat 10th October 2020 at Royal Exchange, Manchester
Summer Vacation to Michaelmas Week 0
The Misanthrope, or the Cantankerous Lover is a 17th-century comedy of manners in verse written by Molière. It was first performed on 4 June 1666 at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, Paris by the King's Players.
The play satirizes the hypocrisies of French aristocratic society, but it also engages a more serious tone when pointing out the flaws which all humans possess. The play differs from other farces at the time by employing dynamic characters like Alceste and Célimène as opposed to the traditionally flat characters used by most satirists to criticize problems in society. It also differs from most of Molière's other works by focusing more on character development and nuances than on plot progression. The play, though not a commercial success in its time, survives as Molière's best known work today.
Because both Tartuffe and Dom Juan, two of Molière's previous plays, had already been banned by the French government, Molière may have subdued his actual ideas to make his play more socially acceptable. As a result, there is much uncertainty about whether the main character Alceste is supposed to be perceived as a hero for his strong standards of honesty or whether he is supposed to be perceived as a fool for having such idealistic and unrealistic views about society. Molière has received much criticism for The Misanthrope. The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, claimed that it was Molière's best work but hated the fact that Alceste was depicted as a fool on stage. He believed that the audience should be supporting Alceste and his views about society rather than disregarding his idealistic notions and belittling him as a character.