The 400th birthday of Molière
This week marks the 400th birthday of Molière - a playwright who many consider as the French Shakespeare.
A/ Who is Molière
- He was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in January 1622.
- Before being a successful playwright, Jean-Baptiste was trained in law and became a notary.
- Molière met actress Madeleine Bejart and together they started the Illustre Theatre.
- She was co-director and by all accounts a very capable administrator of the theatre.
- He was a writer, producer, lead actor and financial manager.
- He was the mentee of king Louis XIV and was in charge of entertaining him.
- And he enjoyed antagonising people, even those from his inner aristocratic circle, making fun of infidelity and such.
- His play, Tartuffe, poked fun at religious hypocrisy and, at the time, caused a huge controversy.
- Moliere was a genius.
- Moreover his sense of opportunity and his gift for improvisation allowed him to change tack easily.
- Both Molière and his wife often acted in his plays as principal characters.
- Sadly he died shortly after playing in The Imaginary Invalid, a play which ridiculed medicine and doctors.
- But he was denied a Christian burial due to the lowly status of theatre at the time.
- Even nowadays, Molière is considered one of the most important playwright who ever lived.
- His works are still among the most played in the world.
B/ What you need to know about him
Amazing facts about Molière:
8 of the Most Amazing Facts about Molière - Discover Walks Blog
He remains central to French culture today:
Molière: 400 years as master of the French stage (thelocal.fr)
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