Thérèse Raquin

Definition

Theater

  • A play by émile Zola, based on his naturalistic novel(1867) of the same name. It was first performed in 1873, setting afashion for theatrical naturalism that spread throughoutEurope. It was seen in London in 1891 and subquently revived as ThouShalt Not in 1938 in London and Thérèse in1945 in New York.

    The story is set in Paris. Mme Raquin is grieving for herson, whom she believes to have been killed in a boating accident;in fact, he was drowned by his wife Thérèse and herlover, the painter Laurent. With Mme Raquin's approval they marry,but she overhears them discussing the murder and suffers a paralysingstroke. Overcome by guilt, Thérèse and Laurent accuseone another of instigating the crime; the animosity so aroused destroystheir love. Mme Raquin recovers sufficiently to explain that she didnot denounce them earlier because she wished to see them suffer. Theirresponse is to commit suicide in front of her.

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