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Rousseau's Critique of Moliere

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In Rousseau’s critique of Moliere, he sees Moliere as being a perfect author. Moliere incorporates betrayal and distortion to stir the emotions and gain our interest, as well as sympathy. Rousseau feels that Moliere doesn’t help society, instead, he harms it. The reason is because Moliere is bringing down the value of society by using politics and comedy together. People are starting to see their flaws as being acceptable due to the content they see in Moliere’s work.
If the first thing that one learns about Rousseau is that he was a supporter of community, the second is almost always that that he was moralistically opposed to theater as destructive of community morals. The source for this judgment is the Letter to D’Alembert, a text Rousseau addressed to his cosmopolitan friend when the latter had (on the probable urging of Voltaire) suggested in his article on "Geneva" in the Encyclopedia that opening a theater in Geneva would bring together the "wisdom of Lacedemonia and the grace (politesse) of Athens."
Rousseau was not primarily concerned with the supposed corrupting effects of actors and actresses (D’Alembert had seductively suggested that with proper regulation
Geneva might have a group of morally well-behaved actors) but with the experience of theater itself. His apparent hostility has two elements, one moral, and the second epistemological. On the moral level, Rousseau’s concern is with the status of the audience. He argues that in the contempor...
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