Renæssanceforum 13 • 2018

Kristoffer Schmidt
Between Verisimilitude and History: The Case of Jean Racine's Bajazet

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In January of 1672 Jean Racine's tragedy Bajazet premiered at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris. In the wake of its initial success, criticism concerning the historical authenticity of the tragedy began to appear. This article suggests that some of the contemporary criticism towards Bajazet was a consequence of the challenge to neoclassical verisimilitude in La Querelle du Cid. This is followed by a source study of Bajazet in order to understand Racine's own idea of verisimilitude and historical authenticity in 1672 as well as to challenge claims that Racine primarily based Bajazet on undisclosed sources.