- A poetic drama by Victor Hugo, first performed in1838 in Paris and frequently revived. In the 20th century, it provideda famous role for the romantic actor Gérard Philipe.Hugo used this story of the valet and poet Ruy Blas, who disguiseshimself as his master's cousin in order to enter the Spanish court,to put forward his democratic views. At court Ruy Blas finds thathis passionate love for the queen is returned, and he is appointedprime minister. When his lowly origins are revealed, however, he commitssuicide. The play's darker moments are relieved by the farcical anticsof the character Don César.