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La transgression dans l'histoire tragique du XVIe siècle

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. D.A. Godwin en
dc.contributor.author Cordell, Claire Jane
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-27T07:16:36Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-27T07:16:36Z
dc.date.issued 2009-01-27T07:16:36Z
dc.date.submitted 2005-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1944
dc.description D.Litt. et Phil. en
dc.description.abstract Critics have identified the formulaic nature of the histoire tragique, a genre which seems to rely on a simple sequence of events. A law, whether natural, divine or human, will be broken by a transgressor and the resulting imbalance must be rectified by punishment of the crime. We have limited our field of study to collections of stories that their authors describe as “histoires”, a term revived in the mid-sixteenth century, which suggests that the tales have universal truth and serve as exempla. The term histoire tragique may however be a misnoma as comic and tragic tales are sometimes juxtaposed by sixteenth-century authors. This study examines the stories in four collections of histoire tragique from the sixteenth century: Discours des Champs faëz (Claude de Taillemont, 1553), Le Printemps d’Yver (Jacques Yver, 1572), Nouvelles Histoires tant tragiques que comiques (Vérité Habanc, 1585) and Nouvelles Histoires Tragiques (Bénigne Poissenot, 1586). A collection from the seventeenth century, Les Histoires mémorables et tragiques de ce temps (François de Rosset, 1619) provides a useful point of comparison for its sixteenth century counterparts. We look at three kinds of transgression: firstly those outside the stories themselves (transgressions of genre conventions or transgressions on the part of the author); secondly, transgressions within the stories themselves (the degree to which the author has observed the codes of conduct and social hierarchies); thirdly, transgressions at the level of the plot (how the characters behave, whether or not a crime is punished). This third category of transgression is further divided into the following categories: dissimulation, violence, sexual crimes and treason. In addition, we note the type of weapon used to commit a crime and the nature of the punishment, if any, that follows. We analyse the stories according to the nature of the offender. Crimes are committed by a variety of characters, “Barbarians” from North Africa and the Middle East, a servant, a family member or trusted friend. Crimes are also committed as a result of tension between aristocrat and peasant, or between catholic and protestant. Finally, we examine the stories of François de Rosset in the light of the discoveries made in the preceding chapters. The sixteenth century authors we have examined seek to instruct the reader and to arouse pity for the victims of crimes. Rosset, who excludes comic tales from his collection, seeks rather to arouse fear at the strength of human passions and the inevitable punishment for the crimes those passions inspire. The sequence of law/transgression/punishment is not always strictly adhered to by the authors of the sixteenth-century collections and where punishment does not occur, the sequence may be modified to law/transgression/redemption. The juxtaposition of comic and tragic tales varies the mood within a collection, but a happy ending to a story does not necessarily mean the absence of tragedy. If a crime goes unpunished then the judicial imbalance remains. Thus, tragic vision does not lie solely in the death of the main characters, but in the uncertainty of a world where a criminal may escape punishment. en
dc.language.iso fr en
dc.subject Histoires memorables et tragiques de ce temps en
dc.subject Francois de Rosset en
dc.title La transgression dans l'histoire tragique du XVIe siècle en
dc.type Thesis en

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