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L’image du souverain dans Racine : Une etude de classe, race et genre

Hien Kim Lam

Lam, Hien Kim, L’image du souverain dans Racine : Une etude de classe, race et genre, thèse, Rice University, 1991, publiée en ligne (

Abstract en anglais (la thèse est en français)

This thesis studies the image of the sovereign in Racine through the three notions through which social power is gained : class, race and gender. Racine, torn between his duty to work for the glory of Louis XIV, and the influence of Jansenism ; lends the sovereign two sides : the sunny side brings out his political power through the social givens of class, race and gender ; the dark side shows him in his human nature as seen by the Jansenists : weak and powerless without God’s grace, subject to errors, the toy of Destiny. His greatest weakness is his passion. Through it, from master he becomes slave. Although working under the control of the State, Racine cleverly manages to keep a relative autonomy by discreetly showing his faith in the value of the weak : the people, the "other" race, the woman ; giving them an importance which Louis XIV’s society denies.

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