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Portrait of Molière by Pierre Mignard (ca. 1658)
Portrait of Molière by Pierre Mignard (ca. 1658)
BornJean-Baptiste Poquelin
(1622-01-15)15 January 1622
Paris, Kingdom of France
Died17 February 1673(1673-02-17) (aged 51)
Pen nameMolière
OccupationPlaywright, actor
EducationUniversity of Orléans
Notable worksTartuffe; The Misanthrope; The Learned Women; The School for Wives; L'Avare
SpouseArmande Béjart
PartnerMadeleine Béjart
ChildrenLouis (1664–1664)
Marie Madeleine (1665–1723)
Pierre (1672–1672)

Molière (1622 – 17 February 1673) was a French actor, director and writer. His real name was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Molière was his stage name.[1] He wrote some of the most important comedies in human history.[1]

He was born in Paris where his father owned a carpet shop. As a young person, Molière decided to live an artist's life. At the age of 21, he founded a theatre company that soon went bankrupt. From 1645 to 1658, he toured France with some of his friends.

Later, King Louis XIV made Molière responsible for the entertainment at the court of Versailles near Paris. Molière was happy to have the king among his friends, because he had many enemies, especially important people in the Roman Catholic church. Molière's comedies deal with human weaknesses: jealousy, meanness, hypocrisy, fear of death. By putting his characters in ridiculous situations, Molière wants to entertain and educate his audience.

One of his most important plays is Tartuffe, showing a bigoted man stealing his way into a rich family. Molière's last play was Le Malade Imaginaire, called in English The Hypochondriac. As in many of his comedies, Molière played the main role. He died due to pulmonary tuberculosis on stage during the fourth performance. Because of his problems with the church, he was not allowed to be buried in a church cemetery.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bermel, Albert (2000). "Biography of Molière - French Dramatist". Discover France. The Warton Group. Retrieved 2009-03-07.

Other websites[change | change source]