The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


A French courtier, secret agent, libertine and adventurer, Beaumarchais (1732-99) was also author of two sparkling plays about the scoundrelly valet Figaro - triumphant successes that were used as the basis of operas by Mozart and Rossini.

A highly engaging comedy of intrigue, The Barber of Seville portrays the resourceful Figaro foiling a jealous old man's attempts to keep his beautiful ward from her lover. And The Marriage of Figaro - condemned by Louis XVI for its daring satire of nobility and privilege - depicts a master and servant set in opposition by their desire for the same woman.

With characteristic lightness of touch, Beaumarchais created an audacious farce of disguise and mistaken identity that balances wit, frivolity and seriousness in equal measure.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780140441338



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Whilst it is fascinating to read 'the Barber' and 'Marriage' in their original theatrical form, I suspect that Beaumarchais owes a debt of gratitude to Rossini and, particularly, to Mozart for his continued fame.Beaumarchais may, as this book suggests, have had a significant effect upon eighteenth century theatre but I remain unconvinced that modern bottoms would endure these over long and over staged plays. Non the less, we must be grateful that the story of Figaro was available to Mozart.

Review by

It is noted in the book that these plays are noteworthy because of their fame as operas. And in fact, I couldn't keep a couple of things out of mind - someone singing, "I am the barber of Seville", and someone else singing, "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro". The two stories feature Figaro, the Barber of Seville, who in the first play helps a count marry Rosine, and in the second play, Figaro now works for the count and is planning on getting married. The plays were amusing, full of intrigue with characters crossing, double-crossing and triple-crossing each other. Well done!

Review by

Interesting. The source from which the operas were based. A must for opera fans. I'm one.

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