Jacques Copeau recognised that a renewed French theatre could not and should not blindly turn its back on the past. To do so would be to ignore the vital energies and the powerful sense of scenic poetry which he believed informed the work of the great dramatic authors. Throughout the most productive phases of his career, Copeau brought the same experimental rigour to his revivals of classic plays as he did to the work of new French playwrights. In fact, it would be fair to say that a large part of his reputation as a powerful force in French and European theatre was based on his revivals of works by classic playwrights such as Shakespeare and Molière. In some respects the motivation for Copeau in mounting revivals was clearer and more immediate. For over two hundred years, the Comédie-Française had regarded itself as the ‘spiritual home’ of Molière and the classic French dramatists, Copeau was to attempt nothing less than a full-scale assault on this cultural dominance.