Study Guide

The Misanthrope Tough-o-Meter

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(7) Snow Line

Let's just get this out of the way: even in France, no one talks like this anymore. (It's not even clear that people used to talk like this.)

Even though our awesome translator Richard Wilbur tries his best to make a modern version of the play, he can't really do anything about all the talk of spleen and bile. Plus, Wilbur has to do all kinds of backflips to get the lines to rhyme, so sometimes it's super awkward. Molière doesn't help by making lots of things super ambiguous, and it might be hard to get the play if you don't understand the background. That said, this is a fun romp through the salons of Paris, and, language aside, it makes for an amusing and quick read.

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