Lesson Plan I
Préciosité and Précieuses
1610 - Death of Henry IV and Regency of Marie de’ Medici, mother of Louis XIII.
1618 - Beginning of the thirty years war.
1623 - Richelieu becomes Prime Minister.
1637 - Marriage of Louis XIII to Anna of Austria.
1638 - Birth of Louis XIV (Roi Soleil - Sun King).
1643 - Louis XIII dies and Mazarin becomes Prime Minister.
1650 - Rebellion of la Fronde.
1661 - 1715 Louis XIV begins his reign as absolute monarch.
A - Baroque
B - Preciosite
C - Classicism
1 - Moliere
2 - Racine
3 - Corneille
B - Romance
1 - Honore d’Urfe: l’Astre
2 - Mlle de Scudery: Le Grand Cyrrus, Clelia, (including the famous Carte du Tendre)
3 - Scarron, Roman comique
C - PoetryLa Fontaine
The following activities have been especially developed for Junior and High School students enrolled in the French program.
A - The students will first review the historical and political background of the 17th century.
B - Reading of the Précieuses Ridicules.
C - Discussion of the play:
1- What was the author’s purpose in writing this play?
2 - Compare some of the customs of the 17th century with today’s customs. How different are they?
3 - Would it be possible to transfer the same situation to modern times, and if so, what could be the outcome?
4 - What was the objective of the ladies?
5 - What were the objectives of the gentlemen?
6 - Do you think the gentlemen were right in playing their joke on the ladies?
D - Writing a poem in the style of the Précieuses:
1 - Review first the words taken from the dictionary.
2 - Invite the students to invent some vocabulary of their own, describing in advance the use of “euphemism” and “ellipsis”.
3 - Form groups of two or more students to work together to invent words and phrases and assemble the poem. A monitor should keep track of the two different versions: -ordinary language version and the précieuse version.