Raisonneur

Raisonneur

ˌreɪzəˈnər

Noun

  • A person in a play or book embodying an author’s viewpoint.

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Example Sentences

“The character Horace was clearly the raisonneur of the play, as he spoke to the audience several times.”

“Using a raisonneur as a narrator gave the novel an autobiographical feel.”

“Some find a raisonneur character distracting, but I enjoy getting insight into the author’s views.”

Word Origin

French, early 19th century

Why this word?

The French loanword “raisonneur” translates literally as “reasoner,” and it’s tightly connected with the world of drama, thanks to French playwright Molière (known to some English readers as “the French Shakespeare”). Molière’s plays were concerned with moral issues, and he introduced the character of the “raisonneur” as a way to make his conflicts more nuanced. Molière’s raisonneurs were successful in complicating his plays; their roles remain a subject of scholarly debate today.

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ˈapədənsē