Robert Macaire

Definition

Theater

  • The comic villain created by Frédérick in L'Auberge des Adrets (1823) and his own sequel Robert Macaire(1834). The first of these was intended as a perfectly straight pieceof melodrama but Frédérick's outrageous performanceas Macaire turned it into a hilarious send-up of the genre thatplayed to packed houses. The raggedly dressed but smooth-talking Macairehas been described as:
    the epitome of depravity, of effrontery, of audacious cheek,the bragging hero of theft and murder.
    The character achieved an enormous popular success and appearedin numerous cartoons and caricatures of the time (including over 100by Alphonse Daumier). Historians have seen the cult of Macaire as acontributory factor in the revolution that deposed King Louis-Philippe in 1848.
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