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Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, (baptised January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673) was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature.


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Anastasia Romanova

Anastasia Romanova

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This with the death of a favorite son, and the constantly increasing attacks of the various groups who had found themselves and their pretensions the butt of Molière's biting satire, made his later years unhappy. He still wrote and acted his own plays, however, and it was in the midst of a stage performance that he burst a blood vessel in a fit of coughing and died shortly thereafter.

Article:   Minute History of the Dra…
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Throughout his career Moliere enjoyed the favor of both popular and court audiences. The playwright ridiculed all buy the monarchy, the church, noble privilege, and the idea of social hierarchy. He knew the source of his income.

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And most of the texts in Moliere's plays are indeed poetry, but in the formal rather than lyrical sense. Unlike in Shakespeare's monologues, in Moliere there isn't a smidgen of imagery or a shred of metaphor. But the meter and rhyme, which organize and regulate completely down-to-earth contents, are precisely the essence of Moliere's style and demand from the actors what might be called "natural artificiality"

Article: The ageless relevance of ...
Source: Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Moliere and contemporary comic writers believed that the shock of sudden laughter could break men free from the slack habit of seeing themselves as special cases, as interesting individuals who, when viewed in the right light, were never - or hardly ever - ridiculous at all.

Article:   Molière: The Theory and …
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Nearly all of Molière's work was done with too much haste. He has been accused of not having a consistent, organic style, of using faulty grammar, of mixing his metaphors, and of using unnecessary words for the purpose of filling out his lines. All these things are occasionally true, but they are trifles in comparison to the wealth of character he portrayed, to his brilliancy of wit, and to the resourcefulness of his technique.

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The legend of Don Juan was already familiar on the Spanish, French, and Italian stages. Moliere made it a new thing: terrible and romantic in its portrayal of un grand seignur mauvais homme, modern in its suggested substitution of la humanite for religion, comic, even among his comedies, by the mirthful character of Sganarelle. The piece filled the theatre but was stopped, probably by authority, shortly after Easter. It was not printed by Moliere, and even by 1682 the publication of the full text was not permitted.

Article: Later Works of Moliere
Source: 2020site

The last twelve years of his life saw the production of his most famous works. "L'Ecole des Maris" (1661) shows the beauty of a confiding and gentle character in a man; "Les Fâcheux" (also 1661) was written in fifteen days; "L'Ecole des Femmes" (1662) gives another lesson to husbands [...] The "Critique de L'Ecole des Femmes" and the "Impromptu de Versailles" (1663) are two little prose pieces in which the writer defends his comedy of the preceding year and attacks his critics. "Tartuffe" (1664), the famous comedy, [...] deals trenchant blows at hypocrisy, unfortunately, however, often striking true virtue at the same time.

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Molière began with Héraclius and other tragedies by Corneille, but it was not until L'Etourdi and Le Dépit Amoureaux were played that his troupe won the town they were permitted to woo. The charms of these pieces, set forth by clever and disciplined acting, were acknowledged with enthusiasm

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On the evening of October 24, 1658, Molière and his troupe performed for the first time before Louis XIV and his courtiers in the Guard Room of the old Louvre Palace. They made a crucial mistake, however, by performing a tragedy (Cornielle's second-rate Nicoméde) instead of one of their popular farces. The Court was not impressed. Fortunately Molière, realizing their blunder, approached the King at the conclusion of the tragedy and asked permission to perform one of his own plays, The Love-Sick Doctor. The King granted his request, and the play was such a success that the little company--which would thereafter be known as the Troupe de Monsieur--was granted use of the Hôtel du Petit Bourbon, one of the three most important theaters in Paris.

Article: Molière (1622-1673)
Source: Moonstruck Drama Bookstor...

Molière’s great ambition in life was to distinguish himself in the preeminent genre of the golden age of French literature: tragedy. He failed miserably—but just as his stage career seemed to be over for good, he made the king laugh. From that moment, he became one of the greatest French authors of all time by creating a new kind of comedy, which he elevated to the status of high literary art.

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