By Wajdi Mouawad
Lorsque le notaire Lebel lit aux jumeaux Jeanne et Simon le testomony de leur mère Nawal, il réveille en eux l’incertaine histoire de leur naissance : qui fut leur père, et par quelle odysée ont-ils vu le jour loin du can pay d’origine de leur mère ? En remettant à chacun une enveloppe, destinée l’une à ce père qu’ils croyaient mort et l’autre à leur frère dont ils ignoraient l’existence, il fait bouger les continents de leur douleur : dans le livre des heures de cette famille, des drames insoupçonnés les attendent, qui portent les couleurs de l’irréparable. Mais le prix à payer pour que s’apaise l’âme tourmentée de Nawal risque de dévorer les destins de Jeanne et Simon.
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Lorsque le notaire Lebel lit aux jumeaux Jeanne et Simon le testomony de leur mère Nawal, il réveille en eux l’incertaine histoire de leur naissance : qui fut leur père, et par quelle odysée ont-ils vu le jour loin du will pay d’origine de leur mère ? En remettant à chacun une enveloppe, destinée l’une à ce père qu’ils croyaient mort et l’autre à leur frère dont ils ignoraient l’existence, il fait bouger les continents de leur douleur : dans le livre des heures de cette famille, des drames insoupçonnés les attendent, qui portent les couleurs de l’irréparable. Mais le prix à payer pour que s’apaise l’âme tourmentée de Nawal risque de dévorer les destins de Jeanne et Simon.
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But there is likewise an empathic relationship dianoia (the character’s) – reason (the spectator’s), which corresponds to ethos-emotion. The ethos stimulates emotion; the dianoia stimulates reason. Clearly, the fundamental empathic emotions of pity and fear are evoked on the basis of an ethos which reveals good traits (hence pity for the character’s destruction) and one bad trait, hamartia (hence fear, because we also possess it). Now we are ready to return to the functioning of the tragic scheme.
This, or his excessive pride, is the cause of his misfortune. And of these qualities, Othello is fully conscious, has full knowledge. Also in the case of Oedipus, one must ask, what is his true flaw (hamartia)? His tragedy does not consist in having killed his father or married his mother. Those are not habitual acts either, and habit is one of the basic characteristics of virtuous or vicious behaviour. But if we read the play with care, we will see that Oedipus, in all the important moments of his life, reveals his extraordinary pride, his arrogance, the vanity which leads him to believe that he is superior to the gods themselves.
As in the tragedy, the character’s fault is initially presented as cause of his happiness – the fault is stimulated. Butcher adds that, according to Hippocrates, catharsis meant removal of a painful or disturbing element in the organism, purifying in this way what remains, free finally of the eliminated extraneous matter. Butcher concludes that applying the same definition to tragedy, one will arrive at the conclusion that ‘pity Boal 01 chap01 27 3/7/08 12:21:29 28 THEATRE O F THE O PPR ESSED and fear’ in real life contain a morbid or disturbing element.