CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

“Glitterwashing” Orientalism in Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

HowlRound: Toward the end of Act IV of Denis Podalydès’ production of Molière and Lully’s comédie-ballet, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, a delirious seventeenth-century cloth merchant beams at the audience, his face coated in silver glitter layered over streaks of black make-up. Monsieur Jourdain, Molière’s class-striving protagonist, wears a thin nightshirt and a thick cloak of self-satisfaction. He is so pleased with himself now that he has been made a mamamouchi in an elaborate Ottoman induction ceremony.

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