A play: “Louise and Renée”

 

“Louise and  Renée”

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Yesterday I went to Piccolo Teatro Grassi  in Milan  to see the play  Louise e Renée”.

 

It is a free  adaptation  from “Memoirs of two young brides” , the only epistolary novel by the French writer Honoré de Balzac, author of “The Human Comedy”

 

The story is about two young women, Louise  and Renée, linked by a deep friendship that has its roots in childhood, spent together  in the Carmelite convent of Blois

 

When they leave the convent,  their lives follow two very different paths, and the passing  of time marks the distance between their antithetical personalities. However,   their friendship continues through a long epistolary dialogue.

 

Louise, who was  expected to sacrifice herself for her two brothers and take the veil, refuses and settles in Paris  living a life of romance, which in reality is just loneliness disguised as transgression 

 

Renée, who moved to Provence, marries an older man of little wealth, without loving him. has two children, and devotes herself to the happiness of her family. Gradually she also starts to love her husband and get  surer and surer that  true happiness for a woman lies in motherhood and devotion to her family. 

 

She seems   to disapprove of  the behaviour of Louise, considered  selfish and self-indulgent.

 

Meanwhile, Louise falls in love with   a  younger man   who, after some time, starts to betray her, and once again,  confides her feelings of despair to Renée and announces her determination to commit suicide

 

The play is a lucid analysis on feminine condition, The two protagonists  have to face  the multifaceted aspects  of love: family, children, and projects, for  Renée; passion isolation and fall, for Louise. What is tested is love as a utopia, affection, dedication, cancellation or deep passion.

 

 In the beginning Louise said they were the same person under different names. “You will be the  wife, I will be  the spinster”   

 

In the end, their dialogue and  their duality  has slowly  made up the image of one woman in which reason and feeling finally coexist.

 

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One thought on “A play: “Louise and Renée”

  1. Per fortuna i tempi sono cambiati!
    Spero nell intelligenza delle donne, nella loro capacità di valutare le situazioni e risolvere il conflitto tra sentimento e ragione, tra desiderio e responsabilita.

    Liked by 2 people

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