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And all that learning threw the common sense away
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.
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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