Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Cid As a Classical Tragedy:-

The Cid As a Classical Tragedy:-
v Introduction:-
          Pierre Corneille was a great follower of the neo-classical school of tragedy. He was highly developed to discipline in his art. From the beginning of his literary career, he had a neo-classical bend of mind. The world of his thought was strictly limited and ordered. In his mature years, he strictly followed the classical conceptions of tragedy.

          “The Cid” may be regarded as the ancestor of the French neo-classical tragedy because it strictly follows the results of the classical school of tragedy. Here he introduced all the requirements of a classical tragedy.

v Heroic Grandeur:-
          Heroic grandeur is the first and foremost requirement of a classical tragedy. The characters in “The Cid” resembled the Homeric heroes and heroines in their passion for personal honour and fame. They follow not only the chivalrous ideal of romantic love, but also a super, personal Ideal of duty which may demand the sacrifice o their love or also of their life. Every character in this play is drawn on the heroic line. Rodrigue the hero is on of the noblest and bravest men of Castile. Chimene, the heroine’s is none of less courageous. Rodrigue is heroism incarnate. He kills the father his beloved to a avenge his father’s insult. He says,
“Come let me save may hour;
 I will not bring upon our ancient name disgrace”
          At the same time being an ideal lover, he can not give up his love for Chimene. On the other hand, Chimene also wants to avenge her fathers’ death. She goes to the king ask ‘blood for blood’. The other characters likes the count, Don Diegue, Don Sancho and even Infant are highly courageous.

v Sublimity
          Sublimity is another requirement of a classical tragedy. “The Cid” deals with all that is extraordinary. Te sublime is the chose filed of Corneille. The ideal of Rodrigue, Chimene and Infanta are all beyond the conception of ordinary human beings. In our day-to day life we rarely find people who follow the ideals of love and duty so strictly. Sometimes those characters cross the limit of idealism. In this connection, Jule rightly observes “They often express not the sentiments which they have, but those which they think they ought to have.”

v Imaginative intensity:-
          Imaginative intensity also reaches its sublime heights in this play. Infant reveals her deep love for Rodrigue thus,
“Till then, my anguish is beyond conception
For till he weds, I can not chose but love him
I do my best to lose him, but the loss grieves me.”

          The same emotional intensity reaches its sublime height when Chimene demands Redrigue’s head, though it actually against her heart’s desire she says,
“ I find my lover in may enemy
My deaths will follow his, yet his I seek,

v Unities of Time, Place, and Action
          In “The Cid” Corneille faithfully introduces the unities of Time, Place and Action. There is unity of action in the play. The conflict between love and duty ins the main theme round which all the characters and incidents develop. There is unity of time also. In one day only he hero fights two duels triumphs over the Moors and others his life to his beloved. Finally, the king arranges a happy ending. Corneille is very particular about he unity of place. The whole scene is laid ins Seville in medial Spain . The dramatist never leads us away from the place of the king and the house of the count de Gomes.

v Grand Style:-
          Grand style is also an important feature of a classical tragedy. The style of this play is quite suitable to is heroic theme. Every character speaks according to his or her status and circumstances. Their exchange of statements in his dialogues is like a combat with Roman short swords. The drama is written in Blank Verse. The diction is all the while highly impressive. A French critic rightly says, “It is one of the best poems that one can compose” Ever ordinary servants like Elvira and Leonora speaks in poetry. When the old Don Diegue is smashed and disarmed by the count, he says,
“O fury! O despair I Hateful Old ago!
Have I then lived so long only for this

          The twin peaks of “The Cid” are the two interviews between the lovers. First, Rodrigue offers his fie and Chimene demands it. Even then, at heart they adore each others. She says,
“My death will follow his , yet his I seek.”
Just then say says, “
Nay, Go, I don not hate thee’.
 On the other hand in the second interview Rodrigue breaks the deadlock. He others his life to Chimene and says,
“I come to give thee satisfactions
Thou seest me here to offer thee my life blood
I did my duty’s I still do my duty”
Really “The cid” is one of the best poems that one can compose.

v Moral
          A classical tragedy must have a moral. Here Corneille has presented great conflict between love and duty through Rodrigue  and Chimene. “The Cid” is a story of the young lovers who firmly stick to their duty in spite of their deep love for each other. Such a theme has always captured and will always capture the hearts of people everywhere!.

v Classical Conventions:-
          Thus Corneille has successfully followed the classical conventions of tragedy. The characters, situations and incidents are all drawn on the heroic base. His close adherence to the three unities, every incident into an organic whole and lost its unparalleled poetic beauty gives the play a permanent place in the galaxy of the classical tragedies both ancient and modern.  

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