L'Étourdi ou les Contretemps

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L'Étourdi ou les Contretemps
Les Contretemps.jpg
Frontispiece from a 1682 edition
Written by Molière
Date premiered 1655[a]
Place premiered Lyon
Original language French
Genre Comedy
Setting Messina, Sicily

L’Étourdi ou les Contretemps (The Blunderer, or the Counterplots), also known in English as The Bungler,[b] is a five-act theatrical comedy by the French playwright Molière. After premiering in Lyon in 1655,[2][a] it appeared at the Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon in Paris in November 1658.[3]


Lélie, a young nobleman, falls in love with Célie, a gypsy girl held captive by Trufaldin. Lélie's servant Mascarille plots repeatedly to bring Lélie and Célie together, but Lélie defeats every scheme with his inept bungling.


Molière was inspired by an Italian play, L'Inavvertito by Niccolò Barbieri, which had been published in 1629.[2][4] The main character of that play, a servant called Scapino, was the inspiration for the character Mascarille, and many elements of the plot are similar.[2] Molière played the role of Mascarille when his company performed the play.[5]


Sir Martin Mar-all, a 1667 play by the English writer John Dryden, was based on a translation of L'Étourdi.[6]


  1. ^ a b The year of the first performance is uncertain and is sometimes said to be 1653.[1]
  2. ^ The name is often shortened to just L’Étourdi in French or The Blunderer in English.


  1. ^ Scott 2002, pp. 79-80
  2. ^ a b c Wadsworth 1987, p. 27
  3. ^ Gaines 2002, p. xiii
  4. ^ Gaines 2002, p. 174
  5. ^ Wadsworth 1987, p. 32
  6. ^ Gaines 2002, p. 189

Works cited[edit]

  • Gaines, James F., ed. (2002). The Molière Encyclopedia. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31255-9. 
  • Scott, Virginia (2002). Molière: A Theatrical Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78281-3. 
  • Wadsworth, Philip A. (1987) [1977]. Moliere and the Italian Theatrical Tradition. Birmingham, Alabama: Summa Publications. ISBN 0-917786-04-1. 

External links[edit]