Name of Student
30 April 2018
Play: The Cid
The play “The Cid” is one of the plays that I undertook an accurate examination in as a member of the French Academy. Assuming the character Nicolas Perrot d’ Ablancourt I feel is unclear in the way it has followed the rules of neoclassical writing. This is because at some point it has outlined how some characters have respected the nature of humanity and control over extreme behaviors while as at some point it violates the rules. The neoclassical ideals are; character behaving on the basis of age, rank, gender, the unity of time place and action, absence of soliloquy, purity of the play and ensuring that harmony wins over bad situations. The dramatic part of it should not mix tragedy. The play should have a morals lesson and entertain the audience at the same time.
In the play for example, the King of Castille who advocate for peace and unity between the father of the Cid and the father of the Cid’s lover. This is an example of the play following a rightful way of representing human nature. The lover to the Cid shows an act of passion by not avenging her father’s death and instead buys time to allow herself heal. She even declines to commit murder even when given the sword to murder the Cid who had killed her father in a duel. It indicates that within a play, it is not a must that a wrong action is punished and instead a happy ending can prevail. It is evident that even in our daily lives that it is not always conditioned that a wrong should be responded to negatively. There are other tough options, thou hurting but can promote peace and harmony in the society and amongst individuals. The Cid also portrays a good quality of patriotism in the play where he affords and volunteers to fight the Moors who are the enemies of the kingdom. He does it with an aim of proving his loyalty to the King and his fellow people. It is also an act of strengthening his role in the play which is to keep law and order. The father of the Cid advised the father to Cid’s lover to stop the duel between him and his son since they would soon be one family. He tries to prevent the duel which is an exaggerated expression of anger. The princess respects the situation nature puts her in, where the person she loves is in love with another person. Despite her position of being a princess whereby she would take advantage and grab the person she loves by force, she advocates for those people who love one another to stay together. This promotes peace between the royal family and the Cid’s family. From a religious perspective, I feel that the princess is an honest character in the play which recommends for the same even in the way we address situations and circumstances. The King, in the play, consoles the lover to the Cid and requests her not to allow anger take control which portrays the play’s adherence to using reasons in all dimensions.
However, after an accurate analysis, the plays seem to partially follow and violate the neoclassical rules of writing. For example, the play presents the human nature negatively where the Cid murders the father to the girl he plans to marry. It is not right for a player to be advocating such acts according to neoclassical playwriting. The worst incidence is where the Cid goes unpunished and continues to live freely despite him going to war to correct his evil deed. This act defies the religious feature of any player since the Cid identified himself as a true Christian. The fight between the Cid and his lover’s girl is a negative approach to how characters should express themselves and feelings in a play. This unruly behavior leads to the death of a character which outlines the human nature as that which is arrogant, immoral and wicked. Don Sanchez who is in love with Cid’s lover tries to engage in a fight with the Cid because the person he intends to marry is with the Cid which is a wrong representation of how expressions ought to be reflected in a play. The King condones Cid’s murderous deed and leaves him unpunished because of their close relation and the fact that Cid would go to fight the Moors who were enemies to the King. This is a wrong representation and guiding on how the reasoning of characters is guided by various aspects especially politics.
Thus, I decided to undertake a research with an aim of establishing whether or not, the play has followed the rules of neoclassical writing. Corneille defends himself that the play awakens compassion and terror. Characters such as Rodrigue and Chimene have some goodness which at some point lands them in great danger. His concern is that many deeds integrated into a play strengthens its theme and meaning to the audience. A complete action can be represented by other incomplete actions. The play was set up in one city which denotes the importance of being in harmony in a certain place. (c) In Corneille’s Horace, the courageous are apprehended for trial when they defend the country by committing a crime. The Cid is not summoned despite committing the crime of murder, an unacceptable behavior that cannot be condoned due to the understanding of human nature. This makes the play to be criticised because it is not right to overlook the fundamental features of humanity that are governed by the neoclassical rules. (Soare and Antoine). Corneille received a lot of opposition from the public and was ashamed for the play he presented. This forced him to apologise to his allies and even made an extra step to make peace with those he had annoyed though better writings. Georges de Scudery criticized the play deeply explaining that it lacked the noble meaning that was intended to portray. He outlined the qualities that Corneille should have observed especially when using the language, style, tone and rhetorical figures in the play. He advised that the play should have followed a controlled form of expression so as to avoid unruly works. (S) A character should be consistent in a play, for example if a character is depicting or promoting a certain virtue then the element should be clearly outlined. It was right for Cid’s lover to forgive Cid for murdering her father but it was not right for her to get married to the same person. This shows how human nature back then was sinful. (D)
Therefore, from the above research, I would like to let my colleagues in the French Academy understand that I am undecided on whether the player has followed the neoclassical playwriting rules or not. This is on the basis that from the characters in the play there are actions that support and adhere to the neoclassical rules while as others violate it.
D, George. “PMLA.” The French Aristotelian Formalists and Thomas Rymer (1914): 152-188.
Le Cid. By Perre c. Théâtre du Marais, Paris. 5 January 1637.
S, Georges de. “The Cid Controversy.” Observations on The Cid (1637): 211-221.
Soare and Antoine. “Signs and Meanings.” Horace’s Trial and the Quarrel of the Cid (II) (2014): 90-100.