Martello continued his attack on the French and their Alexandrine verse. He noted that the highly regulated verse was a convenient length to express some difficult emotions, but at the cost of an ever more debased gravitas and majestic reasoning ("Del verso tragico" 182).
How to render the melody of feeling in the stiff pattern of the French alexandrine verse? Ekstein's book does justice to both types of interrogations because the framework designed to present irony remains supple enough to account for the infringement of one type by another and to explore the variable relationship of complicity and distance constitutive of irony.
There are lots of interpolated stories here, there are episodes written in alexandrine verse, and there are enough characters (human ones this time, though there is obviously no lack of typographical characters either) to satisfy even a hardened devotee of the serial genre.
Translators must make a daunting choice when they face Moliere's tightly wound alexandrine verse. They can try to create an English equivalent of the long neoclassical line--a faithful but not-so-practical approach given the English language's unwieldy emphases and accents.