This seventeenth-century drama in five acts was inspired by the tale of Saint Polyeuctus (rendered as 'Polyeucte' in French), a Roman convert to the faith who was martyred in 259 A.D. However, although an imaginatively retold version of the story of St. Polyeuctus comprises some of the plot of the play, Polyeucte also relates metaphorically to the religious debates of the seventeenth century. A must-read for fans of classic drama.
Pierre Corneille's tragicomedy Le Cid is based on the legend of the same name. It tells the story of Rodrigue and Chimene, whose fathers' feud violently interrupts their love. Though they never disavow their love for one another, revenge is deemed more important to each.
Corneille's play sparked much dispute about dramatic method.