Jean Anouilh Books In Order | Update 02/2024

Jean Anouilh was a French playwright and screenwriter known for his exploration of the themes of disillusionment, moral ambiguity, and the human condition. Throughout his career, he wrote over 30 plays and is best known for his works such as “Antigone” and “The Lark.”

Jean Anouilh Books in Order

  1. Antigone
  2. Becket
  3. Le voyageur sans bagage
  4. Médée
  5. Five Plays: Antigone / Eurydice / The Ermine / The Rehearsal / Romeo and Jeannette
  6. Le Bal Des Voleurs /Thieves Carnival
  7. Eurydice
  8. La sauvage: suivi de L’invitation au château
  9. Ring Round the Moon
  10. Oedipe ou Le roi boiteux

Synopsis of Jean Anouilh Books in Order


“Antigone” by Jean Anouilh is a modern adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles. The story revolves around Antigone, a young woman who defies the king’s orders and risks her life to honor her deceased brother. The play examines themes of individual conscience versus state law, the nature of rebellion, and the consequences of standing up for one’s beliefs.

Set in the aftermath of a civil war, “Antigone” portrays a society grappling with the tension between personal morality and political authority. Antigone’s steadfast determination to bury her brother, despite the king’s decree, raises profound questions about the limits of power and the price of defiance. Anouilh’s adaptation offers a thought-provoking exploration of moral agency, duty, and the struggle for justice in a world rife with conflicting allegiances and ideologies.

Through compelling dialogue and dramatic action, “Antigone” captures the timeless relevance of its source material while adding layers of complexity and ambiguity to the characters and their motivations. Anouilh’s portrayal of Antigone as a tragic heroine torn between love, duty, and freedom elevates the play beyond a mere historical allegory, making it a resonant meditation on the human condition and the eternal struggle for autonomy and integrity.


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Le voyageur sans bagage

“Le voyageur sans bagage” is a play written by Jean Anouilh that tells the story of Gaston, an amnesiac soldier who returns from World War I. Upon his return, Gaston is claimed by several families who believe he is their long-lost son. As each family tries to prove his identity, Gaston struggles to remember his past and understand his true identity. Throughout the play, Gaston’s search for his own story and true identity is explored, as well as the impact of war on identity and memory.

The play also delves into the complexities of family and relationships as Gaston is confronted with different families who claim him as their own. This exploration of family dynamics and the effects of war on personal identity are central themes of the play. Anouilh’s writing is filled with symbolism and existential themes, leading the audience to question the nature of identity and the impact of memory on one’s sense of self.

Overall, “Le voyageur sans bagage” is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged play that challenges the audience to consider the fluidity of identity and the impact of trauma on memory and self-discovery. Anouilh’s nuanced storytelling and complex characters make this play a powerful exploration of the human experience.


“Médée” by Jean Anouilh is a play that retells the classic Greek myth of Medea, the woman who seeks revenge on her husband Jason after he betrays her. Set in a modern context, the play delves into the complexities of love, betrayal, and the lengths to which one will go for vengeance. Anouilh’s adaptation of the ancient tale brings a fresh perspective and explores the timeless themes of human emotions and motivations.

The play centers around Medea, a woman who has sacrificed everything for her love for Jason, only to be betrayed by him. As Jason plans to marry another woman for political gain, Medea is consumed by feelings of anger and betrayal. The audience witnesses her descent into madness as she plots a horrific revenge, ultimately leading to a tragic and destructive climax.

Anouilh’s “Médée” is a powerful exploration of the human psyche and the lengths to which one will go when consumed by love and hatred. Through the character of Medea, the play delves into the darker aspects of human nature and the consequences of unchecked emotions. The timeless themes and compelling characters make “Médée” a thought-provoking and intense theatrical experience.

Five Plays: Antigone / Eurydice / The Ermine / The Rehearsal / Romeo and Jeannette

“Five Plays: Antigone / Eurydice / The Ermine / The Rehearsal / Romeo and Jeannette” is a collection of five plays written by French playwright Jean Anouilh. The plays featured in this collection include Antigone, Eurydice, The Ermine, The Rehearsal, and Romeo and Jeannette. Each play delves into different themes and narratives, showcasing Anouilh’s diverse approach to storytelling.

“Antigone” is a classic tragedy that explores the conflict between personal morality and the laws of the state. “Eurydice,” based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, delves into the themes of love and loss. “The Ermine” is a historical drama set in the court of Louis XIV, while “The Rehearsal” is a comedy that satirizes the world of theater. “Romeo and Jeannette” is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic love story.

Overall, the collection offers a rich and varied selection of Anouilh’s work, showcasing his versatility as a playwright and his ability to tackle a wide range of themes and genres. Each play presents a unique and engaging narrative, making the collection a compelling read for fans of theater and literature.

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Le Bal Des Voleurs /Thieves Carnival

“Le Bal Des Voleurs” by Jean Anouilh is a play set in Paris during the 1920s. The story follows two thieves, Freddy and Bobi, who plan to rob the wealthy and influential Mr. Kummer. However, their plan becomes complicated when they both fall in love with the same woman, Juliette, who is the daughter of Mr. Kummer. Their rivalry for Juliette’s affection creates tension and adds another layer of complexity to their already risky plan. As the story unfolds, the characters navigate their feelings for each other amidst the backdrop of their criminal activities, leading to unexpected twists and turns.

The play delves into themes of love, betrayal, and morality, as the characters grapple with their desires and the consequences of their actions. Anouilh’s writing style captures the essence of the time period and creates a compelling narrative that keeps the audience engaged. Through the interactions and conflicts between the characters, the play offers a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and the choices we make in the pursuit of love and success.

With its clever dialogue and dynamic characters, “Le Bal Des Voleurs” presents a captivating story that unfolds with suspense and humor. Anouilh’s exploration of the complexities of human relationships and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters makes this play a compelling and engaging read.


“Eurydice” by Jean Anouilh is a play that reimagines the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The story follows Eurydice, a young and beautiful girl who marries a musician named Orpheus. However, their happiness is short-lived when Eurydice dies on their wedding day. Distraught, Orpheus ventures into the underworld to bring her back, armed only with his musical talent. Along the way, he encounters various characters, including a mysterious stranger who offers him a chance to bring Eurydice back to life under one condition – he must not look back at her until they both reach the surface.

Anouilh’s play explores themes of love, loss, and the power of music. The characters grapple with the consequences of their actions and the limits of human existence. Through his reimagining of the classic myth, the playwright crafts a compelling narrative that delves into the complexities of human emotion and the struggle to overcome death.

Overall, “Eurydice” is a thought-provoking and emotional examination of the enduring power of love and the lengths one will go to in order to defy fate. Anouilh’s lyrical writing and compelling characters bring the timeless myth to life in a new and powerful way, creating a moving and memorable theatrical experience for audiences.

La sauvage: suivi de L’invitation au château

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Ring Round the Moon

“Ring Round the Moon” is a play by Jean Anouilh that tells the story of twin brothers, Hugo and Frederic, who are both in love with the same woman, Diana. The play is set at a luxurious French chateau, where the brothers’ wealthy godfather, Madame Desmermortes, is hosting a ball to find a suitable husband for Diana. As the evening unfolds, the characters become embroiled in a series of romantic entanglements and misunderstandings, leading to a comedic and dramatic climax.

The play explores themes of love, class, and the nature of identity through its complex and morally ambiguous characters. Hugo and Frederic are mirror images of each other, representing the duality of human nature, while Diana is caught between their conflicting desires. The play’s plot twists and turns, revealing the characters’ hidden motivations and desires, ultimately leading to a surprising and satisfying resolution.

Anouilh’s masterful use of wit and symbolism creates a compelling and thought-provoking story that has captivated audiences since its premiere. “Ring Round the Moon” is a timeless exploration of human nature and the power of love, making it a classic of French theater.

Oedipe ou Le roi boiteux

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About Jean Anouilh

Anouilh was born in the small village of Cérisole on the outskirts of Bordeaux, with Basque ancestry. His father, a tailor, instilled in him a pride in conscientious craftmanship, while his mother, a violinist, supplemented their income by playing in the casino orchestra in the nearby seaside resort of Arcachon. Anouilh received his secondary education at the Collège Chaptal, where he crossed paths with future French director Jean-Louis Barrault. He then went on to enroll as a law student at the University of Paris, but ultimately left the course to pursue a career in advertising.

Despite struggling through years of poverty, Anouilh continued to write plays, eventually becoming the secretary to actor-director Louis Jouvet. During the Nazi occupation, he did not openly take sides, but published the play Antigone, which critiqued collaborationism with the Nazis. In 1964, his play Becket ou l’honneur de Dieu was adapted into a successful film, and Anouilh himself categorized his plays based on their dominant tone. In 1970, his work was recognized with the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Author Jean Anouilh

FAQs about author Jean Anouilh

Jean Anouilh novels transformations to the film

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What types of books does Jean Anouilh write

Jean Anouilh is known for writing plays, dramas, and literature that often include elements of tragicomedy and satire. He is most famous for his reinterpretations of classical tales and his exploration of the human condition.

How many books has Jean Anouilh written

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What was the first book written by Jean Anouilh

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Published at 10:26 - 04/01/2024
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