Molière (1622-1673)

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière (; French: [mɔ.ljɛːʁ]; 15 January 1622 – 17 February 1673), was a French playwright, actor and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language and universal literature. His extant works include comedies, farces, tragicomedies, comédie-ballets and more. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed at the Comédie-Française more often than those of any other playwright today. His influence is such that the French language itself is often referred to as the "language of Molière".

Born into a prosperous family and having studied at the Collège de Clermont (now Lycée Louis-le-Grand), Molière was well suited to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years as an itinerant actor helped him polish his comic abilities while he began writing, combining Commedia dell'arte elements with the more refined French comedy.

Through the patronage of aristocrats including Philippe I, Duke of Orléans—the brother of Louis XIV—Molière procured a command performance before the King at the Louvre. Performing a classic play by Pierre Corneille and a farce of his own, The Doctor in Love, Molière was granted the use of salle du Petit-Bourbon near the Louvre, a spacious room appointed for theatrical performances. Later, he was granted the use of the theatre in the Palais-Royal. In both locations Molière found success among Parisians with plays such as The Affected Ladies, The School for Husbands and The School for Wives. This royal favour brought a royal pension to his troupe and the title Troupe du Roi ("The King's Troupe"). Molière continued as the official author of court entertainments.

Despite the adulation of the court and Parisians, Molière's satires attracted criticism from churchmen. For Tartuffe's impiety, the Catholic Church denounced this study of religious hypocrisy followed by the Parliament's ban, while Don Juan was withdrawn and never restaged by Molière. [1] His hard work in so many theatrical capacities took its toll on his health and, by 1667, he was forced to take a break from the stage. In 1673, during a production of his final play, The Imaginary Invalid, Molière, who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, was seized by a coughing fit and a haemorrhage while playing the hypochondriac Argan. He finished the performance but collapsed again and died a few hours later.

Metadata for this record is currently incomplete. Click Contribute to submit information for inclusion on this page. See the User Guide to learn more about Contributing.
Molière Library Average
Circulation records from 1793-1799 are lost.
Books by subject area
As classified in the 1813 Library Catalog.

Check out duration
Circulation Activity
Books by subject area
Check out duration
Molière Library Average
Back to Top

The New York
Society Library

53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
212.288.6900
reference@nysoclib.org

Hours of Operation

Monday / Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday / Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Holiday Closing: Christmas

The Library closes at 5:00 PM on Thursday, December 24 and is closed Friday, December 25, Saturday, December 26 and Sunday, December 27, for Christmas. Otherwise we observe normal hours.
 
© Copyright The New York Society Library | Privacy Policy