Molière

(1622-1673) (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin)
   playwright, actor
   France's greatest comic dramatist, Molière also produced, directed, and acted in the plays that he wrote. He was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in Paris, the son of a well-to-do upholsterer who worked at the royal court. He lost his mother at a young age (1631) and was sent to be educated at the Jesuit College at Clermont (1636)to prepare for a career in law. But after meeting the actors Tiberio Fiorelli (known as scaramouche) and Madeleine Béjart, he left the study of law for a career in the theater. With Béjart and her brothers and nine other actors, he founded the Illustre-Théâtre (1643). But the debuts of their company were disastrous, and Molière, as he was now known, was imprisoned for debt at Châtelet (1645). Meanwhile, Madeleine, Joseph, and Geneviève Béjart, who had remained faithful to Molière, rejoined him and together with members of the Dufresne troupe, left Paris for the provinces. Molière became the leader of this group that had gained powerful patrons (the duke d'Epernon, governor of Guyenne, and the prince de Conti, governor of Languedoc). It was at this time, in lyon, that Molière produced his first comedy, L'Étourdi (1651).
   After these fruitful years of apprenticeship, the troupe returned to Paris (1658) and, in the presence of the king, performed pierre corneille's Nicomède and the farce Docteur amoureux, the latter enjoying great success. Monsieur, the King louis XIV's brother, took the actors under his protection and the triumphant reception that the public gave to Molière's Précieuses ridicules (1659), one of his first major comedies, established his reputation in Paris. There, at the Palais-Royal, they presented such works as Sganarelle, ou le Cocu imaginaire (1660), Don Garcie de Navarre, L'École des maris, and his first ballet comedy, Les Fucheux (1661). Now married to Armande Béjart, he had another success with L'École des femmes (1662), which also caused much jealousy among his rivals. in response, Molière satirized them in La Critique de l'École des femmes and L'Impromptu de Versailles (1663). Molière, who had the king's favor, then produced plays that were early versions of Tartuffe, but before the final work could be presented, members of the church and the court obtained an interdiction, because of the play's critique of religious hypocrisy. Finally, in 1664, the play was presented, as was his new comedy-ballet, L'Amour médecin, which pleased the king, who then took the troupe under his protection and granted Molière a pension. ill and separated from his wife, Molière left the theater for a while to write his masterpiece, Le Misanthrope. The work upset the public, but his next play, Médicin malgré lui (1666), was better received. Molière then did other versions of Tartuffe (1667-69), which again caused trouble with the church, and wrote in this period his other great works, including Dom Juan (1665), Les femmes savantes (1672), and Le Malade imaginaire (1673). it was directly after Molière had acted in the fourth performance of the latter that he died. Molière's comedy is inseparable from his genius and understanding of human nature, and his many innovations had enormous influence on the French theater (the comédie-française is referred to as the "house of Molière"). Later playwrights were much indebted to him, and he has influenced the French language in the way Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, and Miguel Cervantes influence theirs.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MOLIÈRE — Dans la longue tradition de la littérature comique, qui naît avec Aristophane et qui n’a cessé de se développer depuis la Grèce classique jusqu’au XXe siècle, le nom de Molière figure parmi les plus grands. Il n’est pas question de ramener tout… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Moliere — Molière Pour les articles homonymes, voir Molière (homonymie) et Jean Baptiste …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Molière — Jean Baptiste Poquelin Nacimiento 15 de enero de 1622 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Molière —   [mɔl jɛːr], eigentlich Jean Baptiste Poquelin [pɔ klɛ̃], französischer Dichter, Schauspieler und Theaterleiter, getauft Paris 15. 1. 1622, ✝ ebenda 17. 2. 1673, Sohn eines Tapezierers und königlichen Kammerdieners; erhielt am Collège de… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Molière — (spr. molljǟr ), eigentlich Jean Baptiste Poquelin, der größte franz. Lustspieldichter, geb. 15. Jan. 1622 in Paris, gest. daselbst 17. Febr. 1673, erhielt seine Bildung auf dem Collège de Clermont (später Louis le Grand), genoß den Unterricht… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • molière — 1. (mo liè r ) adj. f. Carrière molière, carrière d où l on tire les meulières. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Voy. meulière. SUPPLÉMENT AU DICTIONNAIRE 1. MOLIÈRE. Ajoutez : 2°   S. f. •   Nom donné, dans le XVe siècle, aux boulets en pierre lancés par la poudre …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Molière [1] — Molière (spr. Moliähr), Jean Baptiste Pocquelln, genannt de M., Sohn eines Kammerdieners bei Ludwig XIII., geb. 15. Jan. 1630 in Paris; mußte, als sein Vater schwach geworden war, dessen Amt versehen u. begleitete 1641 den König nach Narbonne.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Molière [2] — Molière (la Tourde M.), alter Thurm im Broye Bezirk des Schweizercantons Freiburg, 2090 Fuß über dem Meere, der letzte Uberrest des alten Schlosses M., welches ehedem der Sitz eines freiherrlichen Geschlechts war u. von den Eidgenossen im… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Molière — (spr. ĭähr), Jean Baptiste Poquelin, genannt M., franz. Lustspieldichter, geb. 15. Jan. 1622 zu Paris, Schauspieler, zog seit 1646 als Leiter einer Truppe in der Provinz umher, durfte sich 1658 in Paris niederlassen (seit 1661 im Palais Royal),… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Molière — (Moliähr), Jean Baptiste de, eigentlich Poquelin, ein unübertroffener Lustspieldichter und ausgezeichneter Schauspieler, geb. 1622 zu Paris, Sohn eines Trödlers, kam erst spät zum Studieren im Jesuitencolleg zu Narbonne und bald wieder davon ab,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Molière — Nom porté en Languedoc. C est un toponyme très courant ayant le sens de prairie humide, marécageuse. Variante : Molières …   Noms de famille

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