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The Learned Women

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  And all that learning threw the   common sense away

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  Monologue of   Crizald from "The Learned Women' by JB Moliere

 

 

Many years ago, in France of Louis XIV,   when according to our feminist historians   the only   valued   personalities were   Madame de Montespan and Madame de Recamier, the   playwright and actor   Jean -- Batiste Moliere wrote and staged the comedy "The Learned Women'   considered by specialists as one of   his best.   In that comedy   the intrigue takes place in   the house of a wealthy   merchant   Crizald, whose wife Filaminta,   sister Belize and older daughter Armanda are all immersed in education and enlightenment.   His younger daughter   Henrietta is of more   domestic type and is in love with a young man   Klitandre.

 

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In the process of the   play we find out that   the three learned women, being people of means   engage themselves in a vehement   study process.   All of them are nice, kind people but that perpetual   process   had taken over their senses. In his first monologue Crizald   complains   that they have a telescope   in the attic where they   "interfere with the Moon'business', that they "know all the constellations and many other useless   things,' that   the house is filled with everyone learning   while   everyday   chores are not   done, that   the last housemaid had been   fired because   she did not follow proper grammar in   her speaking,   that instead a lot of very unpleasant people attend   the house, most of them   false intellectuals   who seem sinister and prone to all kinds of conniving.    All of that is true but Filaminta   does not see it that way.   From some point in time she considers herself the only   power in the house, her husband is   deemed unworthy of her enlightened   presence and   she has a goal to   arrange for her younger   daughter's marriage   with one of those intellectuals, to make him   a man of the   house   forever. Very soon we meet this   inspirational individual Trissoten, who is all what Crizald says: he is a stupid, mean, greedy gold- digger and all people   around see this clearly   except for the enlightened ladies. man   Klitandre, the young man who loves Henrietta,   when   talking about such kind of   people uses a very revealing   statement, "He is drunk with   knowledge." That's maybe the most clear   definition of the addiction Moliere had   spotted and   put out for   the people to laugh at.   And they laughed heartily.   They laughed because they recognized   the familiar issue. They laughed   at    the addiction of Filaminta.

 

  Filaminta, the wife and mother, is anything but   sinister. She   is in fact a charming personality; honest, strong- willed, loyal to her family and   incapable of malice.   Her loved ones (except for one) know that and treat her with love and respect. No matter how she irritates them with her senseless behavior, none of them insults   her; even the housemaid who had all the right to grudge still treats Filaminta   nicely. It is obvious that they all love her dearly and know how good in heart she really is. But they also know that she became addicted and   the story   is about a family intervention.

The intervention eventually becomes necessary   because addiction went   out of control.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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