Satire et déguisement : l'élaboration d'une variation sur un même thème langagier dans Antonio's Revenge, Antonio and Mellida, The Malcontent et The Fawn de John Marston (1576-1634)

Abstract : Castigated for bitterness, John Marston's satire (1576-1634) is often equated with his masked Malcontent, the ranting satirist. Our study disputes this vision, showing that disguise is part of a transformation process involving speech. The first part shows how, by wielding raillery and flattery, the third Quarto of The Malcontent (1604) achieves a new satire based on the audience's capacity for distanced awareness. The Fawn (1605), twin-play of The Malcontent, rests on laughter, which gives retrospective meaning to the earlier ones. As early as Antonio and Mellida (1599) and Antonio's Revenge (1600), Marston works on the perception-gap, creating a system of writing based on a self-conscious mirroring process. The second part analyses flattery and speech as self-conscious mirrors of dualism ; language has become a unifying motif, giving significance to the mask, now emblematic of the corrupt word. Both cause and consequence of duplicity, the mask is a means of gauging the world. Through ambiguity, Marston shows that the word can both enforce a metamorphosis of the real and deny this transformation, this questioning the tenets of Plato's universe. Speech and power are involved, which accounts for a structure in which both malcontent and machiavel turn into twins, divided emblems of the Renaissance in quest of its unity and identity. The third part shows that Marston's moral vision, rooted in Christian stoicism and pregnant with positive suffering, a parody of revenge, is torn apart between two ideals : action and inactivity. Reminding us of the fact that, through his very presence, the satiric mask shows the necessity of action and even compromise, the final part of this thesis compares the malcontent to his counterparts so as to gauge his originality : positive and theatrical, witty, he anticipates the Restoration. But, unlike Shakespeare, Marston still clings to order and unity.
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Paul-Éric Morillot. Satire et déguisement : l'élaboration d'une variation sur un même thème langagier dans Antonio's Revenge, Antonio and Mellida, The Malcontent et The Fawn de John Marston (1576-1634). Littératures. Université Nancy 2, 1994. Français. ⟨NNT : 1994NAN21005⟩. ⟨tel-01776402⟩

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