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Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Cid Conflict between Love and Duty:-


Ø The Cid Conflict between Love and Duty:-
v INTRODUCTION:-
          “Corneille was the beaux, Espirit and
 bel-espirit of  The 17th century France.”
                 Indeed, no other man was responsible for the rise of French tragedy as Corneille. Pierre Corneille has dominated the French arena of literature in general and plays in particular. He was one of the greatest seventeen century French tragedians who revised the classical convention of the tragedy. His works have a touch of sublimity. His characters are always drawn on grand scale. They are all heroic personalities.  He wrote as many as 34 plays, 3 less than Shakespeare, comedies, tragic-comedies heroic comedies, tragic ballet etc. Most of the plays have  secured a place in the entire oeuvres  of French literature. Dryden preferred him to Racine because his drams are very human, living and real. For this reason,  He has rightly been called…“ the French Shakespeare”

v Conflict between Love and Duty in His plays:-
          In all his important plays, Corneille shows the conflict between love and duty. He subordinates everything to the voice of heart. He is the first French dramatist to introduce psychological action on the stage. Through the character, he show the conflict between will and feeling. In his plays, the physical action always takes place of the stage.
          In “Horace” (1640), he presents the conflict between domestic love and devotion to the country. In “Chinna” the conflict is between the choice of a lower or a higher cocpetion of political expediency. In “Polyeutce” (1643) the conflict is shows between the attment to a creature and the exclusive claim of Heaven. Son also in the play “The Cid” (1636) the conflict is between love and duty.         



v Background of “The Cid”:-
             Corneille, between 1630-1636, wrote seven plays. During this period, he started taking interest in Spanish literature because of the contact with the colonies around him. He read the contemporary drama of Guillen de Castro’s, “The youthful Adventure of Cid.” This Spanish play inspired him to write. ‘The   Cid’, which came out in the year 1636-37.
          It is a tragic-comedy-Romantic tragedy, depicting two young lovers in tension between love and duty. For some critics it is a non- academic work, which partially observes the classical dramatic rules. The play was directed to the general public rather than the learned elite class. But this no way diminishes Corneille’s place in French literature. The play has all its freshness and beauty like “Romeo and Juliet. “   

v Conflict between love and duty :-
              Love in Corneille’s plays is frequently based on mutual reason and when linked to owner is related to the ideals of medieval chivalry. Consequently, love plays a lesser role in Corneille’s drama then in that of Racine. Corneille himself admits that, tragic conflict must put,  “impetuousness of passion against the laws of duty” In almost all his plays, Corneille depicts the dilemma between duty and love.

          Like his other plays ‘The Cid’ too carries the conflict between love and duty in the minds and hearts of the hero and heroine. Rodrigue and Chimene resemble the Homeric heroes and heroines in their passion for personal honor  and fame. Both are ready to sacrifice their love to the beauty .Other than these two characters, Infant, the daughter of the king has the same problem, to chose Rodrigue cavalier as her husband or to be faithful to the honor of the king and his family, In fact, the whole play has an underlying thread of conflict between love and  honor or duty. 

v Dilemma of hero Or Theme of conflict between Pride and Honour :-
          Rodrigue the son of Don Diegue is in love with Chimene, daughter of count de Gomes -the captain of Spain. One day the King of Spain appoints Don Diegue to give proper training to the Prince. Gomes feels jealous of him and says, “I am valiant now. On my strong arm this Kingdom rests secure.” He then strikes him across his fame and disarms him.  In a bitter quarrel Don Gomes unjustly accuses Don Diegue of gaining the kings favor through flattery and deceit. Moreover, he slaps his elder rival. Don Diegue feels insulted and calls upon, Rodrigue to uphold his families honor. Don Diegue has pride on the bravery of his son. He in the very beginning makes it clear that he wants revenge. He advises his son thus:
 “go my son, my true son, Bolt out my shame,
Avenge me, show that, Thou art thy father’s
Worthy son.”
          Rodrigue is torn between love and duty. His friction of mind is clearly revealed in his very long speech of act 1 scene 4, where he says,
“And to leave an insult unpayed?
Am I to slay the father of Chimene?
Father or loved one; honour or love
          Thus, Rodrigue is an ideal lover. He refers to die rather than to bring sorrow to Chimene. At same time, he is a brave warrior. He can not bear the wrong done to his father, He says,
“What! die, and leave redress engrained?
          Such a dire conflict goes on his mind between love and honour. At last he submits to the idea of preserving the honour of his family. He wants to suppress his love for Chimene. Now he comes to a conclusion. He is ready to avenge his father’s honour. It becomes clear when he utters…
“come, let me save my honor!
My father’s claim Stands first,
 I’ll not bring upon our ancient  Name disgrace.”
          He, eventually, challenges Don Don Gomes, Chimene’s father for duel. They meet and prepare to duel and in a combat Rodrigue kills Don Gome. Thus the revengeful spirit is born from pride and honour of the two brave-men. It leads to Gomes.

v Chimene’s Dilemma Or Theme of love and Duty:-
          Chimene burst with tears when she heard that her lover Rodrigue himself has killed her father. The unexpected death of her father makes Chimene abhorrent. She instantaneously decides to take revenge upon Rodrigue after hearing the news. But because of her love for Rodrigue her mind wavers. She also undergoes the same conflict which Rodrigue had faced. Don Fernand, the king, is forced to hear her plea as she seeks, for justice…
“I plead for vengeance For him.
The death of one like  Him, is harm to all
Avenge it by another’s Blood for blood.” 
          Thus she demands Redrigue’s life because she want to avenge her father’s death. But at heart he she loves him still as before. She undergoes the same such between love and filial duty. Corneille has excellently handled the situation and has ably brought out the dreadful dilemma in the mind and heart of Chimene when she says,
“I find my lover in my enemy,
Rodrigue is very dear to me…
But despite its struggle,
I forgot not that 
I am my father’s daughter
And that he is dead.”
          Her suitor, Don Sancho feels deep sympathy for her and promises her to avenge here father’s death. At this time also she feels conflict in here heat and says, “My death is follow his, yet his I seek,
My honour is at state, I must have vengeance.”
          This shows that she does no know what to do.

          At this time Rodrigue who hid himself in the adjoining room and overheard Chimene, now presents himself before her and asks her to kill him he tells her that he killed her father as part of his duty. And now as an ideal lover, it is his duty to offer her his head. He tells her, “I did my duty, I still do my duty.” Again she feels the same conflict but at last she says, “Nay, go, I do not hate thee.”
          She once again goes to the king and requests him to hold a duel between her two suitors, Rodrigue and Don Sancho and she would wed the conqueror. But in the heart of her hearts she fell that she will not wed Rodrigue even if he triumphs in the dual. The king gives his consent for the dual. Here also she says, “Unhappy girl that ! am ! Undone ! I am Undone
          In the duel, Rodrigue defeats Don Sancho, but still she is not prepared to accept him as her husband. Then the king persuades her to forget and forgive. Rodrigue also give his consent to accept her hand. everything ends well. As it is said; all’s well that ends well. 

v Infanta’s note of love and duty:-

          Other than the two main characters Rodrigue and Chimene, Infanta too is torn between love and duty. On the one hand, she loves Rodrigue who is a cavalier and on the other hand she has to follow the tradition of her family by not marrying a lower rank noble but one of her own rank. For that reason she wants Rodrigue and Chimene to be married quickly so that her love for Rodrigue can be  quenched she like all the characters places duty higher in her heart than love.
          Thus, it can be said that the whole play is woven with the thread of love and duty through the hearts of all the major characters in it.

v Theme of Ideal love:-
          ‘The CID’ is tragic romance as well as a melodramatic play. First it neglects love and sings the sprit of duty, but later on ideal love exercises supremely on the minds of the love. In Chimene love turns into hatred for the lover. She asks her suitor Don Sancho to help her in taking revenges of her father’s death. She feels heart breaking feelings “My honour is at stake, I must have vengeance pursue him to his death, hen die myself.” Contrary to her ideal of duty Rodrigue overhears Chimney’s agony and present himself before her asks for her kill him. He says that he killed her father it is his duty of to offer her his head. But her prevents her to murder him. “No, go I do not hate thee”.

v Theme of Conflict between  a lover and a suitor
          Conflict is the soul of drama comes true in the case of Rodrigue and Don Sancho. Chimene request s he king to hold a duel between her two suitors. She would we the conqueror t. This wish is granted Yet she is unhappy on the both side, she has to face defeat she can not take revenge of her father’s death. In the duel Rodrigue defeats Don Sancho but still Chimene is not prepared to accept him as her husband. Then the king persuades her to forget and forgive. At last she objects to the kings desire and Rodrigue also his consent to accept her hand.
         

v Summing up:-

 Thus Corneille has presented a great conflict between love and duty through Rodrigue and Chimene. “The Cid” is  a story of the young lovers who firmly stick to heir 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. . 
          One can conclude with what a well known praise for Corneille.
“No other man was  Responsible for the Rise of French Tragedy as Corneille. ”