Pylade, ami d'oreste, and the critics

W. Brooks

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More than half a century's worth of generalisations about the confidants in Racine's plays have led to a situation in which they are denied any characteristics as individuals. Some, however, are invested by the playwright with more than just a function. An examination of Pylade, 'ami d'Oreste' in Andromaque, shows that critics' responses to the role have varied between the nugatory and the inconsistent. In fact, in Pylade, Racine has created a confidant who has both a rounded character of his own and a palpable effect on the action of the play. The re-assessment of Racine outside the straitjacketed approach of the late twentieth century is at last beginning, and Racine's confidants can and should be re-evaluated and differentiated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-101
Number of pages12
JournalSeventeenth-Century French Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


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