L'Illusion Comique is a comedic play by Pierre Corneille, written in 1636. In its use of meta-theatricality (plays-within-the-play), it is far ahead of its time. It was first performed at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in 1636 and published in 1639.
Corneille wrote this piece at the age of 29 and had already written seven other plays. L'Illusion comique marks a turning point in his career. This piece can be regarded as the end of an apprenticeship during which the author demonstrates his literary prowess. In this work, Corneille makes use of all theatre genres: the first act is a prologue that is inspired by the pastoral style, and the next three acts are an imperfect comedy with the farcical character Matamore at the center. The fourth and fifth acts evolve into a tragicomedy with their episodes of rivalry, imprisonment, and even death. L'Illusion comique is therefore a summary of a theatrical universe, and it is in this play that Corneille shows his mastery of theatre as a whole.
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... The Comédie Française commissioned an adaptation in modern dress from the actor/director Mathieu Amalric and that film débuted on French television in 2010 ... Among other changes, Matamore has become the designer of a shooter video game, while the final act takes place in a night club ...