Bérénice

, the sixth play by Jean Racine, and only his second tragedy set in Rome, has had a chequered reception history. When first staged at the leading Paris public theatre, the Hôtel de Bourgogne, in November 1670, with the newly-recruited actress (and lover of Racine) Marie Champmeslé in the title role, it enjoyed public success, as well as being selected for a private performance by royal command the following month. Many discerning theatre-goers, especially women, apparently liked it enough to return for a second or third performance, such was the pleasurable combination of tenderness and tears. Over the following century, its popularity was sustained, with more than one hundred different public productions recorded, although Voltaire spoke for a growing minority of critics when…

2096 words

Citation: Worth-Stylianou, Valerie. "Bérénice". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6358, accessed 19 June 2024.]

6358 Bérénice 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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