drame bourgeois

Encyclopedia

drame bourgeois

type of play that enjoyed brief popularity in France in the late 18th century. Written for and about the middle class and based upon the theories of the French essayist and encyclopaedist Denis Diderot (1713-84), the drame bourgeois was conceived of as occupying a place between tragedy and comedy; it was designed as a serious depiction of middle-class problems, especially social abuses, but usually included a conventional happy ending. Diderot wrote two drames illustrating his theories, Le Fils naturel (published 1757; Dorval; or, The Test of Virtue) and Le Pere de famille (published 1758; The Father), adapting them from the earlier comedie larmoyante ("tearful comedy") of Nivelle de La Chaussee. Diderot's plays and those of his successors, Michel-Jean Sedaine and Louis-Sebastien Mercier, are regarded by critics today as sentimental and humourless, full of inflated dialogue and pompous sermonizing. Drame bourgeois, however, was important to the development of French acting, leading to more natural styles of speech and gesture, as well as being an attempt at greater historical accuracy in costumes and scenery. Diderot and his followers are also seen as promoting an aura congenial to the romanticism of the next century and as distant precursors of the earliest writers of problem plays, such as Emile Augier and Alexandre Dumas fils.

Learn more about drame bourgeois with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: drambuie
Next Definition: dramedy
Words Near: Drame bourgeois
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for Drame bourgeois
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing Drame bourgeois
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature