Le statut du héros moderne





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Hero Hero and Leander

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Vincenzo Reina Li Crapi, « Le statut du héros moderne », HAL-SHS : littérature, ID : 10670/1.1w1enz


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The early modern stages offer several favourable settings to analyse and follow the constitution of the modern literary hero and thus define what it is. The purpose of this article is to describe how a character on stage becomes a "hero", defining his qualities in the end. Influenced by the Aristotelian ideas of poetry, the playwrights put on a world that would be mimesis of reality, and consequently their works show the coeval conception of man, defined since his temporal being, as Montaigne points out in his Essais. So in order to act well, the future heroes have to see time as an opportunity and live in harmony with it as well as Prince Harry in 1 Henry IV. This way, they can promptly act as Rodrigue in Corneille's Cid. Furthermore, likewise the Hegelian's Master-Slave dialectic, the characters will give to their society the image of a hero risking his life, and renouncing sensual pleasures, as Sigismund in La vida es sueño. From this point of view, the modern hero seems to embody the two opposite ideas of magnanimity pointed out in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

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