Racine: Texte Integral (Britannicus). by Racine, Jean Baptiste. [ Books ] Additional authors: Malrieu, Joel (ed.) | Martiarena, Martine (ed.) Published by. : Britannicus de Racine – Acte IV, scène 4: Commentaire de texte scène de l’acte IV dans un commentaire original et complet pour approfondir. Buy Britannicus by Jean Racine (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low Iphigenie (Petits Classiques Larousse Texte Integral).

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Britannicus by Jean Racine. Published September by Larousse first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Britannicusplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Nero in Love 15 February — Phnom Phem As I was reading this play the first thing that struck me is that Racine sticks very closely to the Aristotelean rules of unity of time and place: I actually found it much easier to read this play than some of Racine’s other ones, though it may have something to do with having some knowledge of the characters and a background to the story.

Then again, in Nero in Love 15 February — Phnom Phem As I was reading this play the first thing that struck me is that Racine sticks very closely to the Aristotelean rules of unity of time and place: Then again, in some of his other works I had some knowledge as well but found it difficult to follow. Another thing that stood out is that Racine seems to follow the Greek style, though of course this is a five act play, it is just that following the unities the acts really only represent a break in the action.

The play begins with Nero’s mother, and power behind the throne, seeking a private audience with her son. The thing is that Nero doesn’t particularly want to speak to her anymore, namely because of her influence over him. Nero has also fallen in love with a young lady named June who should be called Junia.

The problem is that she loves somebody else, the Britannicus of the title. Okay, we might just put this down to your typical love triangle, but this is Nero we are talking about, and when you happen to be him you sort of don’t like taking no for an answer. Yet Nero wasn’t always the monster that we know him to be, and I suspect that this is what Racine is trying to get across.

However, we do know what he does become and a part of me feels that the events on this one day end up being the tipping point — love does have that effect upon people, as does not being able to get what you want when you happen to be the most powerful person in the empire.

Look, we can probably work out what happens in the end, and we can pretty much see that things aren’t going to work out all that well for everybody involved. Nero has Britannicus poisoned, and Junia then takes her own life, because, well, Nero. We know that Nero eventually has his mother killed as well, but this play isn’t about that event, though once again it could also be that tipping point in Nero’s life that sent him into a downward spiral that resulted in a coup against him.


The major thing that stands out is that you basically can’t always have what you want, and even if you attempt to take it by force it doesn’t mean that you are going to succeed. Moreso, even if you are Emperor of Rome you simply cannot force somebody to love you who doesn’t, and the more you press yourself onto them the more likely they are going to be repulsed, and in this case Junia preferred death over being violated by Nero.

Jean Racine

Yet we also see a tender side to Nero as well, one who is tormented by love and by a love that simply isn’t going to be returned. Like Andromache, Nero lets his passions take control of him, and in the end acts in an irrational way that brings the whole edifice crashing down.

From where we stand we can look forward to see the man who murdered his mother, and would wander inttral streets of Rome britwnnicus people because, well, because he was Nero.

Yet he is not so much a murderous tyrant though he wasbut a little boy who never got over the loss of his love. Let us also consider Agrippina because woven through this tale of tragic love is also a struggle between a mother and her son. It works in two spheres as well — the political and the domestic.

In the political sphere Aggripina is acting as the power behind the throne, and Nero is attempting to cast her off so that he might be able to rule in his own name. However, we also have a mother simply being a mother to her son, and the son wanting to cease being a boy and becoming a man.

Jean Racine | Open Library

Well, this is also Nero that we are talking about, so whether he ever actually grew up is another debate I suspect he didn’t. Yet, he does make a good point at the end of the play — Aggripina did have Claudius killed to put him on the throne, so what is so different about him killing Britannicus.

Well, because love doesn’t work the same way as the political world. Sure, one may be able to slash and burn their way to the top, until they sit atop a pile of corpses, but simply getting rid of a rival lover isn’t going to change a person’s view of you in fact it is probably going to make it worse.

Unfortunately love is love, and one cannot force Cupid to shoot his arrow into somebody that he has no intention of shooting it into. Personnellement, j’accroche pas plus?

Britannicus devient un homme et prend conscience que la place d’empereur devrait lui revenir. Le peuple aime tendrement Britannicus. C’est plusieurs tentatives de meurtres, aussi. View all 4 comments. Jan 26, Hgrxanger rated it really liked it. C’est ce que Racine a bien compris: Aug 16, CC rated it really liked it. Possibly everything I read now seems better because I keep comparing boos to “The Pillars of the Earth.

Follett but I am also still waiting on his apologies for inflicting all those weird rape intgrl and meticulous boob britannifus on the world. Nero is in love I read all sorts of extracts from this play in school, so it was a lot of fun to experience the full play from an armchair.

That being said, a theatre would be better. This is a very soapy play. Did you ever wonder where that soap opera trope the one where the bad guy forces one of the good guys to break up with the love interest because the bad guy threatens to kill the love interest originated?


Well I cannot say for sure that it started here, but Racine is the earliest work of literature I’ve seen include that story idea. And he makes it work! And then fixes it because he’s a surprisingly good writer. The plot in a nutshell is: Nero emperor of Rome and notoriously spoiled son of Agrippine kidnaps Junie, his cousin Britannicus’s fiancee.

Possibly Nero has a sadistic streak but that’s not the point. Britannicus is also a valid alternative candidate to the throne, so lots of politics occur where Britannicus tries to use his political heft to get his girlfriend back. Meanwhile, Agrippine Nero’s mother is pissed because her son whom she beitannicus put on the throne is being a spoiled brat and screening her calls.

So she sides with Britannicus to serve her son a slice of humble pie, and the plan does not go well. Technically Britannicus is the title character, but Racine’s introduction and the play itself points to a more interesting focus: Nero’s origins as a future murderous tyrant. This play isn’t about the tinny romance between Britannicus and Junie. It’s about how Nero went from beloved son to budding homicidal emperor.

Racine explores how a man so powerful can lose all bearings, with a little help from a certain double-agent advisor. Multiple characters attempt to sway Nero’s mind, until finally, Nero caves to his most basic instincts of fear, ego, and selfishness. As Racine puts it, Britannicus’s death is not significant in and of itself; it matters more because it marks the moment in which Agrippine realizes Nero will one day kill HER, too.

It’s a much more chilling and interesting play when you read it with that idea in mind. I loved every second of it.

Recommended if you enjoy Roman history, 17th century French plays, and possibly villain origin stories. Honestly it’s a very good play and I recommend it to all. Nov 04, Marie Adamski rated it it was amazing. Dec 06, Elisala rated it liked it Shelves: Jun 09, Anda rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this with a not-so-good attitude because I had to read it for school. Even though I had to look up half the words in the dictionary, it was well worth it! Racine is the man! The alexandrins flow beautifully and the arguments are elegantly built in the ancient rhetorical style.

Agrippine was my favorite character. She was so controlling and obsessive, I loved it! Homine imperito nunquam quidquam injustius.

Racine ends his preface to the play with this statement. What a great beginning. This play is a Roman play of political intrigue. Specifically, the events follow Nero as he assumes power and subverts Roman morality and political practice. Britann Homine imperito nunquam quidquam injustius.

How joyfully do people break their word! We both are strangers in a foreign land. Aug 25, Richard Anderson rated it it was amazing. I think I like Racine better than Shakespeare, does this make me a pleb? I love the way Nero is captured as a growing man: Sep 29, Eva rated it it was ok.

Interesting to learn about this, but not my cup of tea.