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Article

К ВОПРОСУ О ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОМ И ЭСТЕТИЧЕСКОМ КОНТЕКСТЕ ТРАГЕДИИ «ЭДИП» П. КОРНЕЛЯ

The article concerns the analysis of “Oedipus”, a tragedy by P. Corneille, staged in Paris in January 1659. The play, created on the advice of Superintendent N. Fouquet, has substantial plot differences as compared with classical Oedipus story schemes, dating back to Sophocles and Seneca. Corneille has considerably shortened the tale about the life of Oedipus and Jocasta, and, at the same time, developed the story of Laius’ daughter Dirce and her lover Theseus. While analyzing, the author comes to the conclusion that the central subject-matter of Corneille’s tragedy is the search for 
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Новый филологический вестник. 2019. №2(49).
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a true king, a blood descendant of Laius, who could sacrifice himself in order to save Thebes from plague. Initially, Oedipus does not understand his mission, nevertheless, towards the end of the play, he becomes a real king, embodiment of the state as a whole. There is a hypothesis that such political pathos could be explained mostly by historical realia of the Fronde, by the tender age of Louis XIV, as well as by pragmatic orientation of the play towards high society audience, for whose pleasure Corneille ‘softened’ the dreadful details of the ancient myth, and developed Dirce’s and Theseus’ characters in conformity with the principles of gallantry. The author comes to a conclusion that the play with a modified ancient plot turns out to be the embodiment of the ‘beautiful infidels’ translation strategy, which is based on a pragmatic change of the initial text in accordance with the needs of a certain public. It has been suggested that Corneille could have become with his play, willingly or unwillingly, a partisan of the ideas of the French high society and Fouquet, whose arrest in 1661 was one of the first independent steps of Louis XIV as a French monarch.