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Themes and Images in the Fictional Works of Madame de Lafayette


Ruth Willard Redhead

Madame de Lafayette's fictional works portray men and women struggling with opposing forces that torture and consume them. Suffering the torment of concealing emotions and betrayed by the falseness of impressions, Madame de Lafayette's characters reflect the conditions of the Court of France at the end of the seventeenth century. This thorough analysis of the subtle use of vocabulary to create images that illuminate and carry the themes of love leads the reader to an understanding of the philosophy of Madame de Lafayette and to an appreciation of the artistic power of this great seventeenth-century woman.
Contents: This study analyzes the imagery used by Madame de Lafayette to carry the themes of deception, sincerity, absence, and presence in her four fictional works.