Victor Marie Hugo: Le Roi s'amuse [The Prince's Play]

(2083 words)
  • Abigail RayAlexander (Johns Hopkins University )

Two years after the Battle of Hernani, Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s’amuse debuted at the Comédie-Française on November 22, 1832. Hugo began writing this play about a courtly Renaissance fool on June 3, 1832, two days before General Lamarque’s funeral procession, which evolved into a protest and which Hugo later incorporated in Les Misérables. The first performance of this play sparked impassioned reactions within its diverse Parisian audience. Supporters of Hugo sang revolutionary songs, cheered Romantic audience members such as Gautier, and booed conservative audience members, including Talleyrand. At times, the audience was so boisterous that the actors were inaudible. A controversial line within the play l…

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RayAlexander, Abigail. "Le Roi s'amuse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 July 2015
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]