Le Cid

Corneille, Pierre (1606–1684), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Corneille’s Le Cid is thought to have been substantially influenced by Guillén de Castro’s Las Mocedades del Cid. Accusations of Corneille plagiarising Castro emerged in 1637. In Le Cid, Rodrigue and Chimène, children of Don Diègue and Don Gomès respectively, are set to marry until a dispute between their fathers complicates the arrangement. Gomès, envious of Diègue’s royal appointment, slaps him, prompting Diègue to seek retribution through Rodrigue. Caught between sentiment and obligation, Rodrigue kills Gomès in a duel. Chimène conflicted by grief, duty and love, demands justice against Rodrigue, who, amidst this turmoil, proves his valour in battle against the Moors, earning the king’s pardon. Chimène, still in love with Rodrigue but restrained by principle, agrees to wed the victor of a duel between Rodrigue and a further suitor, Don Sanche. Rodrigue’s victory secures their betrothal, sanctioned by the king, with marriage set for the following year.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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