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Molière, engraved frontispiece to his Works

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière (January 15, 1622February 17, 1673), was a French theatre writer, director and actor, one of the masters of comic satire. Public domain image from http://www. ... Public domain image from http://www. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events January 1 - In the Gregorian calendar, January 1 is declared as the first day of the year, instead of March 25. ... February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events The English Test Act was passed. ... Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. ... A theatre director oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a play by unifying various endeavors and aspects of production. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... See comedian Stand up comedian List of Comedians List of British comedians comics comic book comic strip underground comics alternative comics web comic sprite comics manga graphic novel List of comic characters This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject (for example, individuals, organizations, or states) often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ...

Contents

Life

The son of a Parisian artisan, Poquelin lost his mother when still a child and entered the prestigious Jesuits' Collège de Clermont, to complete his studies. There are many stories about his time at the college: It is said that his father was very demanding of him, that he met the prince of Conti, or that he was a pupil of the philosopher Pierre Gassendi, but none of these seem to have any foundation. The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ... The Lycée Louis-le-Grand, in Paris is one of the most famous lycées providing classes for preparing for grandes écoles. ... Pierre Gassendi (January 22, 1592 – October 24, 1655) was a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, best known for attempting to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity. ...


It is certain, however, that Poquelin was a close friend of the abbé La Mothe Le Vayer, son of François de La Mothe-Le-Vayer, in the years in which the abbé was editing his father's works, and it has been suggested that Poquelin may have been influenced by them. Among his first works was a translation (now lost) of De Rerum Natura by the Roman philosopher Lucretius. François de La Mothe-Le-Vayer ( 1588 - 1672) was a French writer. ... Not to be confused with The Nature of Things, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation televison show about natural science. ... Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ...


When Poquelin reached the age of 18, his father passed on to him the title of Tapissier du Roi, and the associated office of valet de chambre, which brought him into frequent contact with the king. Poquelin is claimed to have graduated in law at Orléans in 1642, but some doubts remain as to this. Law (a loanword from Old Norse lag), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments for those who do not follow... This article is about Orléans, France; for other meanings see Orleans (disambiguation). ... Events January 4 - Charles I attempts to arrest five leading members of the Long Parliament, but they escape. ...


In June 1643, together with his lover Madeleine Béjart and a brother and sister of hers, he founded the theatre company or troupe of L'Illustre Théâtre, which became bankrupt in 1645. At this time he assumed the pseudonym of Molière, inspired by the name of a small village in Southern France. The failure of the company caused him to spend some weeks in prison for debt. He was freed by the help of his father, and he left with Madeleine for a tour of villages as a travelling comedian. This life lasted for 14 years, during which he initially played with the companies of Charles Dufresne, and subsequently created a company of his own. In the course of his travels he met the prince of Conti, the governor of Languedoc, who became his patron, and he named his company after him. But this friendship would end later, when Conti joined Molière's enemies in the Parti des Dévots. Events January 21 - Abel Tasman discovers Tonga February 6 - Abel Tasman discovers the Fiji islands. ... Events January 10 - Archbishop Laud executed on Tower Hill. ... Coat of arms of the province of Languedoc, now being used as an official flag by the Midi-Pyrénees region as well as by the city of Toulouse Languedoc (Lengadòc in Occitan) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc...


In Lyons, Mme Duparc, famous as la Marquise, joined the company. La Marquise was courted, in vain, by Pierre Corneille and later became the lover of Jean Racine. Racine offered Molière his tragedy Théagène et Chariclée (one of the first works he wrote after he had left his theology studies), but Molière did not perform it, though he encouraged Racine to pursue his artistic career. It is said that soon after Molière became very angry with Racine when he was told that he had secretly presented his tragedy to the company of Hôtel de Bourgogne too. Lyons), see Lyons (disambiguation). ... Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was one of the three great dramatists produced by France during the 17th century, along with Molière and Racine. ... Jean Racine (December 22, 1639 - April 21, 1699) was a French dramatist, one of the big three of 17th century France (along with Molière and Corneille). ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Tragedy is a form of drama characterized by seriousness and dignity, usually involving a conflict between a character and some higher power, such as the law, the gods, fate, or society. ...


Molière reached Paris in 1658 and played at the Louvre (then for rent as a theatre) in Corneille's tragedy Nicomède and the farce Le docteur amoureux (Doctor in Love), with some success. He was awarded the title of Troupe de Monsieur (the Monsieur was the king's brother) and with the help of Monsieur, his company joined a locally famous Italian company that played Commedia dell'arte. He became firmly established at their theatre Petit-Bourbon, where in November 18, 1659, he gave the premier of Les Précieuses ridicules (The Affected Young Ladies), one of his masterpieces. Events January 13 - Edward Sexby, who has plotted against Oliver Cromwell, dies in Tower of London February 6 - Swedish troops of Charles X Gustav of Sweden cross from Sweden to Denmark over frozen sea May 1 - Publication of Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus by Thomas Browne September... The main courtyard of the Louvre. ... Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. ... Tragedy is a form of drama characterized by seriousness and dignity, usually involving a conflict between a character and some higher power, such as the law, the gods, fate, or society. ... Definition A farce is a comedy written for the stage, or a film, which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely and extravagant yet often possible situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include puns and sexual innuendo, and a fast... Karel Dujardins set his closely-observed scene of a travelling troupes makeshift stage against idealized ruins in the Roman Campagna: dated 1657 (Louvre Museum) Commedia dellarte, (Italian, meaning comedy of professional artists) was a form of improvisational theater which began in the 16th century and was popular until... November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years), with 43 remaining. ... Events May 25 - Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth. ...

Molière, by Antoine Coypel

This was really the first of his many attempts to make fun of certain mannerisms and affectations then common in France. It was Molière, indeed, who coined the phrase that satire castigat ridendo mores (it criticises customs through humour) sometimes mistaken for a genuine Latin proverb. The style and the content of his first success were soon at the centre of a wide literary debate. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Antoine Coypel (1661 - 1722), son of the French painter Noël Coypel, was still more celebrated than his father. ... Humour (humor in American English) is the ability or quality of people, objects or situations to invoke feelings of amusement in other people. ... This page lists English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations, such as and . ...


Works

Despite his own preference for tragedy, Molière became famous for his farces, which were generally in one act and performed after the tragedy. Some of these farces were only partly written, and were played in the style of Commedia dell'arte with improvisation over a canovaccio. He also wrote two comedies in verse, but these were less successful and are generally considered to be less significance. Canovaccio was mainly used in the Commedia dellArte and consisted of the disposition of acts and scenes: a vague plot, and not much more. ... Comedy is the use of humour in the performing arts. ...


"Les Précieuses" won Molière the attention and the criticism of many, but it was not a popular success. He then asked his Italian partner Tiberio Fiorelli, famous for his play Scaramouche, to teach him the techniques of Commedia dell'arte. His 1660 play Sganarelle, ou le Cocu imaginaire (the imaginary cuckhold) seems to be a tribute both to Commedia dell'arte and to his teacher. The theme of marital relationships was here enriched by the insertion of a view of Molière's about the amount of falseness in the human relationships, which he depicted with a degree of pessimism. This was evident in his later works also, and was a source of inspiration for many later authors, including (in a different field and with different effect) Luigi Pirandello. Scaramouche is a historical novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1921 and subsequently adapted into a play by Barbara Field and into feature films in 1923 and 1952. ... Events Expulsion of the Carib indigenous people from Martinique by French occupying forces. ... Luigi Pirandello (June 28, 1867 – December 10, 1936) was an Italian dramatist and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934. ...


In 1661, in order to please his patron (Monsieur), he wrote and played Dom Garcie de Navarre, ou le Prince jaloux (The Jealous Prince), a heroic comedy derived from a work of Cicognini's. Monsieur was Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who was so enthralled with entertainment and art that he was soon excluded from the state affairs. Two other comedies of the same year were the successful L'École des maris (the School for Husbands) and Les Fâcheux, subtitled Comédie faite pour les divertissements du Roi (a comedy for the king's amusements) because it was performed during a series of parties that Nicolas Fouquet gave in honour of the sovereign. These entertainments led Jean-Baptiste Colbert to demand the arrest of Fouquet for waste of public money, and his condemnation to life imprisonment. Events January 6 - The fifth monarchy men unsuccessfully attempt to seize control of London. ... Nicolas Fouquet (1615 — March 23, 1680) was viscount of Melun and of Vaux, marquis of Belle-Isle, superintendent of finance in France under Louis XIV. Born in Paris, he belonged to an influential family of the noblesse de robe, and after some preliminary schooling with the Jesuits, at the age... Jean-Baptiste Colbert Jean-Baptiste Colbert (August 29, 1619 – September 6, 1683) served as the French minister of finance for 22 years under King Louis XIV. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy...


In 1662 Molière moved to the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, still with his Italian partners, and married Armande, whom he believed to be the sister of Madeleine; she was in fact her illegitimate daughter, the result of a flirtation with Duc of Modène in 1643, when Molière and Madeleine were starting their affair. The same year he played L'École des femmes (The School for Wives), another masterpiece. Both this work and his marriage attracted much criticism. On the artistic side he responded with two minor yet elegant and interesting works, La Critique de "l'École des femmes" (in which he imagined the spectators of his previous work attending it) and L'Impromptu de Versailles (about Molière's troupe preparing an improvisation). This was the so-called la guerre comique (Comedy War), in which the opposite side was taken by writers like Donneau de Visé, Boursault, Montfleury. Events March 18 – Short-timed experiment of the first public buses holding 8 passengers begins in Paris May 3/May 2 - Catherine of Braganza marries Charles II of England – as part of the dowry, Portugal cedes Bombay and Tangier to England May 9 - Samuel Pepys witnessed a Punch and Judy...


But more serious and less artistic opposition was brewing. A so-called parti des Dévots arose in French high society, protesting against Molière's excessive "realism" and his irreverence, which were causing some embarrassment; these people accused him also of having married his daughter; the Prince of Conti too, once his friend, joined them. Molière had other enemies, too, among them the Jansenists and some traditional authors. However, the king expressed his solidarity with the author, granting him a pension and agreeing to be the godfather of Molière's first son. Boileau also supported him through statements that he included in his Art poétique. Jansenism was a branch of Christian philosophy founded by Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), a Flemish theologian. ... A pension (also known as superannuation) is a retirement plan intended to provide a person with a secure income for life. ... Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, commonly called Boileau, (November 1, 1636 - March 13, 1711) was a French poet and critic. ...


Molière's friendship with Jean Baptiste Lully influenced him towards writing his Le Mariage forcé and La Princesse d'Élide (subtitled as "Comédie galante mêlée de musique et d'entrées de ballet"), written for royal "divertissements" at Versailles. Jean-Baptiste Lully, originally Giovanni Battista Lulli (November 28, 1632–March 22, 1687), was an Italian-born French composer, who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. ... Versailles, formerly the capital city of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. ...


Le Tartuffe, ou L'Imposteur was also performed at Versailles, in 1664, and created the greatest scandal of Molière's artistic career. Its description of the general hypocrisy of the dominant classes was taken as an outrage and violently contested. The same king allegedly suggested that he suspend the performances, and Molière rapidly wrote Dom Juan, ou le Festin de Pierre to replace it. It was a strange work, derived from a work by Tirso de Molina and inspired by the life of Giovanni Tenorio, rendered in a prose that still seems modern today; it describes the story of an atheist who becomes a religious hypocrite and for this is punished by God. This work too was quickly suspended. The king, demonstrating his protection once again, became the new official sponsor of Molière's troupe. Events March 12 - New Jersey becomes a colony of England. ... A scandal involves widely publicized allegations of wrong-doing, disgrace or moral outrage. ... Tirso de Molina (October, 1571 - March 12, 1648) was a Spanish dramatist and poet. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ...


With great music by Lully, Molière presented L'Amour médecin; subtitles on this occasion reported that the work was given "par ordre du Roi", by order of the king, and this work received a much warmer reception than its predecessors.


In 1666, Le Misanthrope was produced. It is now widely regarded as Molière's most refined masterpiece, the one with the highest moral content, but it was little appreciated at its time. It caused the "conversion" of Donneau de Vasé, who became fond of his theatre. But it was a commercial flop, forcing Molière to immediately write the Le Médecin malgré lui (A Doctor Despite Himself), a satire against the official sciences; this was a success despite a moral treatise by the Prince of Conti, criticizing the theatre in general and Molière's in particular. In several of his plays, Molière depicted the physicians of his day as pompous individuals who speak (poor) latin in order to impress others with false erudition, and know only clysters and bleedings as (ineffective) remedies. Events September 2 - Great Fire of London: A large fire breaks out in London in the house of Charles IIs baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. ... Le Misanthrope is a 17th century comedy of manners written by French playwright Moliere. ... Categories: Stub ... Bleeding is the loss of blood from the body. ...


After the Mélicerte and the Pastorale comique, he tried again to perform Tartuffe in 1667, this time with the name of Panulphe or L'imposteur. But as soon as the king left Paris for a tour, Lamoignon and the archibishop banned the play (the king finally imposed respect for this work a few years later, when he had gained more absolute power over the clergy). Events January 20 - Poland cedes Kyiv, Smolensk, and eastern Ukraine to Russia in the Treaty of Andrusovo that put a final end to the Deluge, and Poland lost its status as a Central European power. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ...


Molière now ill, reduced his output. Le Sicilien, ou l'Amour peintre was written for festivities at the castle of Saint-Germain, and was followed in 1668 by a very elegant Amphitryon, obviously inspired by Plautus's version but with evident allusions to the king's love affairs. George Dandin, ou le Mari confondu (The Confounded Husband) was little appreciated, but success returned with L'Avare (the miser), now very well known. Events January - The Triple Alliance of 1668 is formed. ... Titus Maccius Plautus was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ...


With Lully he again used music for Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, for Les Amants magnifiques, and finally for Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Would-Be Gentleman), another of his masterpieces. It is claimed to be particularly directed against Colbert, the minister who had condemned his old patron Fouquet. The collaboration with Lully ended with a tragic ballet, Psyché, written with the help of Thomas Corneille (brother of Pierre). Thomas Corneille (August 20, 1625 - December 8, 1709) was a French dramatist. ...


In 1671 Madeleine Béjart died, and Molière suffered from this loss and from the worsening of his own illness. Nevertheless, he gave a successful Les Fourberies de Scapin (Scapin's Schemings), a farce and a comedy in 5 acts; the following La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas was however not at his usual level. Events May 9 - Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempts to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. ...


Les Femmes savantes (Learned Ladies) of 1672, was a masterpiece born of the end of possible use of music in theatre, since Lully had somehow patented the opera in France, so Molière had to go back to his traditional genre. It was a real success, and it led on to his last work, which was also one that is held in high esteem. Events England, France, Munster and Cologne invade the United Provinces, therefore this name is know as ´het rampjaar´ (the disaster year) in the Netherlands. ... This article is about opera as an art form. ...


One of the most famous moments in Molière's life is the last, which became proverbial: he died on stage, while performing Le Malade imaginaire. Strictly speaking, he collapsed on stage, and died a few hours later at his house, without sacraments because two priests refused to visit him and the third arrived too late. It is said that he was wearing yellow, and because of that, there is a superstition that yellow brings bad luck to actors. A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... Roman Catholic priest LCDR Allen R. Kuss (USN) aboard USS Enterprise A priest or priestess is a holy man or woman who takes an officiating role in worship of any religion, with the distinguishing characteristic of offering sacrifices. ... This article is about good and bad fortune. ...


As an actor, he was not allowed by the laws of the time to be buried in an ordinary cemetery, in sacred ground. It was his wife Armande who asked the king Louis XIV to allow a "normal" funeral celebrated at night. Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York A cemetery is a place (usually an enclosed area of land) in which dead bodies are buried. ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné) (September 5, 1638–September 1, 1715) reigned as King of France and King of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death. ...


In 1792 his remains were brought to the museum of French monuments and in 1817 transferred to Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, close to La Fontaine. 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris, and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. ... Jean de La Fontaine (c. ...


Impact on French culture

Many words or phrases used in Molière's places are still used in current French:

  • A tartuffe is a hypocrite, especially a hypocrite displaying affected morality or religious piety.
  • The statue of the Commander (statue du Commandeur) from Dom Juan is used as a comparison for implacable rigidity (raide comme la statue du Commandeur).
  • Don Juan is used as a depreciative qualificative for males who seduce women with false pretenses, then drop them.
  • In Les Fourberies de Scapin, Act II, scene 7, Géronte is asked for ransom money for his son, allegedly held in a galley. He repeats, "What the devil was he doing in that galley?" ("Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère?") The word galère ("galley") is used in French nowadays to mean "a cumbersome, painful affair", often with this sentence from Les Fourberies de Scapin.

Tartuffe is a comedy by Molière, and is one of the most famous French plays of all time. ... A French galley and Dutch men-of-war off a port by Abraham Willaerts, painted 17th century. ...

List of major works

  • La Jalousie du Barbouillé
  • Le Médecin volant
  • L'Étourdi
  • Le dépit amoureux
  • Les Précieuses ridicules
  • Sganarelle
  • Dom Garcie de Navarre
  • L'École des maris
  • Les Fâcheux
  • L'École des femmes
  • La critique de l'École des femmes
  • L'Impromptu de Versailles
  • Le Mariage forcé
  • La Princesse d'Élide
  • Tartuffe
  • Dom Juan
  • L'Amour médecin
  • Le Misanthrope
  • Le Médecin malgré lui
  • Mélicerte
  • Pastorale comique
  • Le Sicilien
  • Amphitryon
  • Georges Dandin
  • L'Avare
  • Monsieur de Pourceaugnac
  • Les Amants magnifiques
  • Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
  • Psyché
  • Les Fourberies de Scapin
  • La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas
  • Les Femmes savantes
  • Le Malade imaginaire

Les Précieuses ridicules (1659) is a one-act satire of the Précieuses, written by Molière. ... Lecole des Femmes (The School of Women) is a play written by Moliere Lecole des Femmes was a comedy played for the first time in Palais Royal theatre on December 26, 1662 for the brother of the King. ... Tartuffe is a comedy by Molière, and is one of the most famous French plays of all time. ... poonany feels good! ... Le Misanthrope is a 17th century comedy of manners written by French playwright Moliere. ... Amphitryon, or Amphitrion, in Greek mythology, was a son of Alcaeus, king of Tiryns in Argolis. ... LAvare is a five-act satirical comedy by French playwright Molière. ...

External link

  • Project Gutenberg e-texts of Molière's works (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/author?name=Moliere)
  • Molière's works online (http://www.site-moliere.com/pieces/) at site-moliere.com
  • Molière's works online (http://www.inlibroveritas.net/auteur30.html) at InLibroVeritas.net

 
 

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