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Denis Diderot (1713—1784) French philosopher, writer, and critic

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732—1799) French dramatist

Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740—1814)

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The French word for drama, applied more specifically by Denis Diderot and later writers to plays that are intermediate between comedy and tragedy. Diderot outlined his theory of the drame in the prefaces to his plays Le Fils naturel (1757) and Le Père de famille (1758), which both exemplify this moralizing blend of sentimental comedy with domestic tragedy, being serious in content but still ending happily. The category of drames came to include both the drame bourgeois of contemporary domestic problems in the middle classes, and, closer to tragedy and melodrama, the drame romantique of the 19th century, of which Victor Hugo's Hernani (1830) was an influential example. See also tragicomedy.

Subjects: Literature.

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