1) Actively read “Why the Right to Die Movement Needed Brittany Maynard” (p. 470). Reflect on the reading’s topic and think of how it relates to your experiences, beliefs, and values.
2) Select one of the prompts below and write out your answers.
theatre as a teaching tool, acting as another positive defence of the utility found in Corneille’s craft. Similarly, Corneille’s hyperbolic descriptions of theatre in Act five through the character Alcandre, for example, ‘…the darling of all men of taste, |The talk of Paris, and the province’s | Desire, the sweet diversion of our kings…’ (Corneille, p. 280), indicate theatre’s power and reach. However, the fact that arguably the most powerful character – in terms of his knowledge and magical ability – is having to justify theatre, perhaps exaggerates the fragility of the theatre in public opinion. This could be interpreted as both a defence but also leaves the audience room to criticise theatre’s weaknesses. Alternatively, these positive concluding statements alongside his use of visual spectacle as seen in Act one Scene two – ‘(He waves his wand, and a curtain is drawn back behind which the finest costumes of the actors are being modelled)’ (Corneille, p. 207) – appears to attempt to show the scope of theatrical ability. This adds to the defensive stance of the craft and Corneille’s desire to show theatre’s potential. Nelson further suggests that, in its defence of theatre, the play acts as a ‘as a self-congratulatory offensive’ (Nelson, 1956, p. 1140). Corneille appears to be showcasing the ability, variety and complexity of drama as a form, as seen in the depiction of the ‘inner play’ at the beginning of Act 4. Corneille subverts the romantic dialogue between the lovers of the play, Clindor and Isabelle, as seen through the contrast between in Act two Scene Six, when Clindor’s dialogue reads, ‘I worship Isabelle, | I have no heart, nor should, but it is hers;’ (Corneille, p. 223) compared to Act 5 Scene 3 when Clindor, whilst playing the Theagenes, says to Isabelle playing Hippolyta, ‘Cancel the memory.’ (Corneille, p. 269) when speaking of his affair. This added complexity of a play within a play gives a new perspective on theatre, placing the audience in a new and more detached position than previously advocated in traditional French drama of the era (Desnain, 2018). One could view this as a celebration of theatre and its ability to deceive. Overall, the play in celebrating theatre arguably defends it incidentally. However, Corneille’s ambiguous impact of the ‘Illusion’, (Corneille, p. 278), perhaps equally possesses some negative undertones. Alternatively, one could interpret the play as not a defence but, as Golder suggests, a ‘subtle apologia for theatre’ (Golder, p. 80) . The troubled relationship between the characters and the audience members as well as on stage, such as the character Alcandre’s manipulation of Pridament, could be interpreted as a mode to demonstrate the darker side of theatre. The line, ‘Above all, do not leave before I do; | If not you die…’. (Corneille, p. 211), presents Alcandre as dominating through sinister means. Alternatively, the fact his status depends on Pridament could expose theatre as less successful than it appears, connecting to Cherpack’s comment that Alcandre’s magical powers are quite modest (Cherpack, 1966, p. 342). This is evident from the opening of the play in Dorante’s dialogue: ‘You have no need of such great miracles. | It is enough for him to read your thoughts …’ (Corneille, p. 204). Moreover, Alcandre’s magician status in a metatheatrical sense could be likened to that of a writer or directorial figure. He>GET ANSWER