In Shakespeare's Hamlet or Macbeth , for example, remember that the play opens with the appearance of a ghost in one case and with witches in the other. These were dramatic ways of immediately catching the attention of the audience. He does this by having Madame Pernelle ready to leave as the curtain opens, and constantly throughout the scene, she is on the point of leaving, but then feels the necessity of coming back to admonish or criticize one more person. Consequently, the play opens with several people seven on the stage amid a flurry of activity.
The comedy of this first scene is based partly upon the physical activity on the stage. One must visualize the flustery and overbearing woman dominating all conversation and forcing her own egotistical opinions upon the others. Intellectually, the comedy is based upon the anticipation of seeing this woman proven wrong — an expectation which will not be satisfied until the third act.
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Second, when there is a stage filled with characters and only one person is holding the opinion that Tartuffe is a holy and pious man, then the tendency is to side with the many and not with the one. Third, the manner in which Madame Pernelle defends Tartuffe automatically makes the audience doubt both her credibility and his honesty. That is, she is so overbearing, so talkative, and so superficial that we immediately tend to dismiss her opinions as absurd. Finally, when each person on the stage is criticized for the most minute aspect of his behavior and when we know that Madame Pernelle's advice to the people on the stage is absurd, then we tend to doubt the validity of all her advice.
Thus, to conclude, since everyone on stage who seems normal and rational is against Tartuffe and the only person who praises him is a blustery and talkative old woman, the audience would immediately sense Tartuffe's true character. And, if we examine the comments of the other characters on the stage, the things they say seem to represent good logic and a good evaluation of society in general.
To refuse to have guests would only cause another type of gossip to arise. She functions as a practical, common-sense viewpoint; she calls a spade a spade. If there is gossip, she feels that it has to come from someone named Daphne who gossips about other people only in order to conceal her own indiscretions. Body and Soul A Physiology of Laughter. Dom Juan and the hidden God. Molires Philosophy.
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Sociability Reason and Laughter. Aristotelian Pedants. Now thus far It may, by metaphor, apply itself Unto the general disposition : As when some one peculiar quality Doth so possess a man, that it doth draw All his effects, his spirits, and his powers, In their confluctions, all to run one way, This may be truly said to be a humour. Bene, bene, bene, bene respondere.
Dignus, dignus est entrare In nostro docto corpore. If we follow Nature as our guide, we shall never go astray, but we shall be pursuing that which is in its nature clear-sighted and penetrating Wisdom , that which is adapted to promote and strengthen society Justice , and that which is strong and courageous Fortitude. Your matter the Socratic pages can set forth, and when matter is in hand words will not be loath to follow. Salamalec, salamalec.
Still, let us see a little. Feels Gorgibus's pulse. It does not matter: the blood of the father and that of the daughter are the same; and by the deterioration of the blood of the father, I can know the illness of the daughter. But, Mr. Gorgibus, can I see your daughter? So much the worse; it is a proof that you are not quite well. Do you feel great pains in your head and back? I thought so. Yes, the great doctor I spoke of, in the chapter he made on the nature of animals, said … a hundred fine things; and how the humours which have connexion, have much relation to each other; for instance, as melancholy is the enemy to joy, and as the bile in going through our body makes us become yellow, and as nothing is more contrary to good health than illness; so we can say with that great man that your daughter is very ill.
I must give her a prescription. I was forgetting; I have so many things to think of, that I forget the half…. I think it is quite necessary for your daughter to have a change of air and that she should go and enjoy herself somewhere in the country. We have a very fine garden, and some rooms attached to it; if you think it will do, I will send her there. I have heard that the daughter of Mr. Gorgibus is ill; I must go and inquire after her health, and offer my services, as the friend of the whole family. Is Mr. Gorgibus at home?
Enter Gorgibus. Having heard of your daughter's illness, I come to tell you of my entire sympathy, and to put myself at your disposal for all that may be wanted of me. Would it not be possible to speak with him for a few moments? Gorgibus fetches Sganarelle.
Sir, here is a friend of mine, a very clever man, who would be glad to speak with you. I have no leisure, Mr. Gorgibus; I must go and see my patients. I will not presume to take your place of honour, sir. Sir, from what Mr. Gorgibus has told me of your merit and talents, I had the greatest longing in the world to be introduced to you, and I have taken the liberty of addressing you on that account. I hope you will not think it too bold.
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One must acknowledge that those who excel in any great science are worthy of high praise; particularly those whose calling is that of doctor, as much on account of its utility, as because it is the source of several other sciences. Ficile tantina pota baril cambustibus. You are not one of those doctors who only study the medicine called rational or dogmatic, and I believe that you practise it every day with great success,—— experientia magistra rerum.
The first men who practised medicine were held in such consideration because of that wonderful science, that they were numbered among the gods on account of the marvellous cures they performed every day. Not that any one should despise a doctor who has not given back health to his patient, since health does not altogether depend on his remedies or his knowledge: interdum docta plus valet arte malum. Sir, I am afraid I am importunate; I must leave you, with the hope that next time we meet I shall have the honour of conversing with you at greater length.
Your time is precious. Exit Lawyer. He has some trifling knowledge of things. Had he stopped a moment longer I would have made him converse upon a lofty and sublime subject. But now I must leave you Gorgibus offers him money. You are laughing, Mr. I never take any money, I am not a mercenary man takes the money.
Your very humble servant. Exit Sganarelle; Gorgibus goes into his own house. I wonder what Sganarelle has done; I have no news from him; I wish I knew where to meet him Sganarelle returns in his usual dress. Sganarelle, and what have you done since I saw you? Worked wonders upon wonders! I have done so well, that Gorgibus really believes me to be a clever doctor. I went to his house, I ordered him to send his daughter to breathe fresh air, and she is now in an apartment at the bottom of their garden, so far from the old man, that you can go and see her without fear of being disturbed.
That old fellow Gorgibus must be a downright fool to allow himself to be deceived in that fashion seeing Gorgibus. But I must try and take him in once more. Sir, your servant. You see in me a poor fellow driven to despair.
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Do you know a doctor who has only lately come to this town, and who performs wonderful cures? I am his brother, sir; we are twins, and we resemble each other like two peas, and are often taken the one for the other. Dev— … deuce take me, 4 if I did not make the mistake myself; and what is your name?