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Frédéric-Gaël Theuriau
University of Tours
Theuriau F.-G. Mental and behavioural disorders in “The Proposal” by Anton Chekhov. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2022, vol. 28, № 3, pp. 97–102 (In French).
УДК: 821.161.1.09’’19’’
Publish date: 2022-08-10
Annotation: Based on the comparative approach, narrative medicine and pathology diagnostics, the article examines the personal psychological deviations of the characters in Anton Chekhov. The article reveals the main stages in the diagnosis and the interpretation of hypochondria, melancholy, timidity from antiquity, where pathological features of personality and types of temperament were associated with the balance of the elements and basic fluids in the human body, to the Enlightenment and the modernity, where personal pathologies were dictated by mental predisposition and social environment. Molière’s main goal is to identify the type of “imaginary patient” as an expression of hypochondria symptom and to ridicule the type of a quack doctor, while for Chekhov («Proposal»), the main character’s hypochondria is complicated by timidity and procrastination, designed to enhance the comic effect of the described situation. This allows us to consider in a new way the difference between the typological approach to the human being as a combination of passions in the classical comedy and in the mature realism of the 19th century. The conclusion is made about the importance of a literary typological study of psychological deviations and pathologies in the history of human civilisation and intellectual culture.
Keywords: comedy, hypochondria, medicine, Molière, psychiatry, Anton Chekhov’s theatre, shyness
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Author's info: Frédéric-Gaël Theuriau, PhD in French language & literature at the University of Tours, Professor, researcher, literary critic, essayist, Tours, France,