Le Cid
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Edited and translated by John C. Lapp, this edition of Le Cid for performance and study includes an introduction, which interprets the contemporary political, social, and romantic themes that give this tragedy its complex, interwoven structure. Also included are a selected bibliography and a list of the principal dates in the life of Corneille.


Pierre Corneille was a French tragedian. He is generally considered one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. John C. Lapp is the author of Le Cid, published by Wiley.


1606: Birth of Pierre Croneille, in Rouen, June 6

1622: Finishes studies at the Jesuit college of Rouen

1624: Receives law degree

1625-29: His first play, Mélite, a comedy, staged in Paris

1632: Clitandre, tragicomedy

1633-34: Three comedies, La Veuve, La Galerie du Palais, and La Suivante. Médée, a tradegy

1636: L’Illusion comique, comedy, and Le Cid, tragicomedy, based on the play by Guillen de Castro, Las Mocedades del Cid. Richelieu grants him an annual pension of 1,500 livres

1637-38: “Quarrel of the Cid,” various critics and the Academy itself publish criticisms, to which the author replies

1640: Horace and Cinna, tragedies. Marriage to Marie de Lampérière

1641-43: Polyeucte, tragedy

1642-43: La Mort de Pompée, tragedy; le Menteur, comedy; la Suite du Menteur, comedy

1644: Rodogune, tragedy

1645: Théodore, vierge et martyre, tragedy

1647: Héraclius, tragedy

1650: Andromède, tragedy “with machines” (the use of stage machinery for spectacular effects, as in opera), Don Sanche d’Aragon, heroic comedy

1651: Nocomède, tragedy

1652: Pertharite tragedy whichfails. Corneille gives up writing drama for seven years

1659: Returns to the theatre with Œdipe, tragedy

1661: La Toison d’Or, tragedy with machines

1662: Sertorius, tragedy

1663: Sophonisbe, tragedy

1664: Othon, tragedy

1666: Agésilas, tragedy

1667: Attila, tragedy

1670: Tite et Bérénice, heroic comedy

1671: Psyché, tragic ballet, in collaboration with Molière, Quinault, and Lully

1672: Pulchérie, heroic comedy

1684: Death of Corneille on October 1st