The academic and critical history surrounding Marivaux''s theatre has too often led with a narrow focus. The playwright''s capacity to study his characters in love and language is certainly extraordinary, but no less so than the means he employed to carry out those studies. This in-depth examination of the architecture of two of Marivaux''s plays- his first attempt to write for the stage and then his masterpiece- reveals the plays'' inner energy as performance texts. The way in which the author constructed dramatic action demonstrates his place in the succession of French playwrights who manipulated the genre of comedy of intrigue. By treating Marivaux as a contributor to this form, we can maintain his work within the tradition where his dramaturgy belongs– and locate the tools to mount a successful production.