Jean-Paul Sartre: Le Diable et le bon Dieu [The Devil and the Good Lord] (3288 words)

  • Adrian Theodore van den Hoven (University of Windsor)
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This three-act play was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre Antoine on 07 June, 1951; it was a success, but it scandalized the Catholic press. Sartre, an avowed atheist (Sartre, 2010, 138), used the play to underscore that, if God exists, He should not remain absent, but assist the peasants in their struggle against the militarily superior barons. Ultimately, however, the peasants and their leaders are left to their own devices. The action takes place during the German Peasants’ Wars of 1524-25 and focuses on several central characters: Goetz, Nasti, Heinrich, Catherine and Hilda. Goetz, the protagonist, is a sadomasochistic tyrant in the first act, and an unsuccessful do-gooder in the second, who ends up agreeing to Nasti’s …

van den Hoven, Adrian Theodore. "Le Diable et le bon Dieu". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2015
[, accessed 21 February 2018.]

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