The article deals with a special type of drama specified by Corneille himself as heroic comedy. The playwright placed it somewhere in between two major types of drama, comedy and tragedy, and at the same time distinguished it from tragicomedy that was at the peak of fashion at the beginning of Corneille’s literary career. A typical tragicomedy of the first half of the 17 th century derived either from comedy with the added tragic intonations and overtones or tragedy with various comic figures and situations introduced. The article demonstrates that Corneille practiced a more complex way of uniting different genres. From tragedies, he takes a conflict with parental power (euphemistically represented as a state power) but deprives it of its usual tragic severity and ambiguity. As a result, generic characteristics acquire a new meaning while heroic comedy, rather than a combination of elements of different genres, becomes a synthetic new genre in its own right.
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