L'emploi de la mythologie dans le drame de Jean Giraudoux
Waters, Alison Weinberg
Master of Arts
The use of mythology has become a current trend in twentieth century French drama. This practice gives an author a well-known framework upon which to create his dramatie universe. In Amphitryon 38, La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu, and Electre, Jean Giraudoux uses mythology to express his views concerning the relationship between man and his Destiny. Giraudoux represents the true intellectual in quest of a perfected universe—a utopia where human beings could harmoniously coexist in peace and brotherhood. He found the theatrical world well suited for this purpose. There, he could manipulate the artificial world of actors and props, thus escaping human imperfections and the hum-drum of daily life. A detailed comparison of the characters, plots, and significant ideas of each of the above-mentioned plays and their classical sources will clarify a certain philosophical evolution on the part of Giraudoux from the optimism evidenced in Amphitryon 38 to a more pessimistic view of the human condition. Giraudoux transforms his plots and characters to communicate his fundamental moral assumption of man's role in the universe.