The aim of this dissertation is to examine the role of Molière in Danish theatre. More specifically, this dissertation identifies the extent to which Danish productions are faithful to the original French plays and discusses factors that have contributed to the success or failure of such productions in recent years. Factors relevant to this analysis include cross-cultural contrasts and similarities between France and Denmark, the themes of the individual plays and their transformations when translated into Danish, the quality of translations and adaptations and the use of modern or traditional dress. Included are comparisons of Danish translations of Molière from the seventeenth century to present-day productions.
Methodologically, I proceed by examining the above-mentioned factors in relation to six plays: L’Avare, Tartuffe, L’École des femmes, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, Les Fourberies de Scapin and Le Misanthrope. In each case, I compare the original text with Danish translations and adaptations and draw on interviews with Danish directors, scenographers, other theatre practitioners, scholars, translators and journalists. The extensive interviews combined with research in theatre archives and national libraries, were conducted in order to analyze the ways in which Molière has been adapted for and received by the Danish public.
After interviewing the above-mentioned people, after examining a vast number of manuscripts and newspaper reviews and conducting extensive research in Danish archives and libraries, I have documented and thus established that Molière has had a crucial and lasting effect upon the development of Danish theatre ever since the early eighteenth century. After researching the various productions, I have identified the extent to which Danish theatre professionals remain faithful to the original plays including aspects such as theme, language and costumes. From this research, it is clear that Molière has had a tremendous impact on and remains a cornerstone in contemporary Danish theatre.