Moliere Essay

1284 words - 5 pages

Moliere is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and famous French
writers ever. His comedic plays capture the reader with a a perfect blend
of intelligent and slap stick jokes. He mastered the "strange enterprise of
amusing decent people"(Guicharnaud, 2) with this simple philosophy: "Nothing
is more effective(in making people laugh) then holding up the mirror to
nature."(Guicharnaud, 21)
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris on January 15, 1662. His father
and Mother where both interior decorators for the king, although his mother
died when Jean-Baptise was ten years of age. He was sent to College de
Claremont, an aristocratic Jesuit institution. Poquelin took a degree in law,
which he never used in practice, and moved back to work with his father. When
he turned of age, he shocked his family by declaring he would not succeed his
fathers position. Instead , he took the stage name "Moliere", and began his
career as a thespian. He spent a short time in a debtor's prison and then
immediately fled Paris. Thus began the most important stage in Moliere's
young life.
Moliere wondered about France, learning the trade of which he would
eventually master, and become famous for. He learned how to handle everything
about the stage. From writing, to acting, to controlling unhappy crowds that
where armed with fruits and vegetables as missiles. Immediately, his own
skits and plays where a success. His entire career was almost one of
continuous success. He worked his own theater, with his own
troupe(organization of actors) of which he was president. Louis the XIV was
one of his biggest patrons. For fifteen years he managed, wrote, acted and
organized performance at his theater. On February 17, 1673 Moliere suffered a
lung hemorrhage in the final seen of Le Malade,his last written play. He
finished the last play, but had to be carried home. His death came about
within a few hours. His wife frantically searched for a priest to give him
his last rights, but to no avail. "God was displaying his anger against
Moliere," said Bishop Bossuet.(Bishop, 10)
Moliere's plays are some of the most popular and produced French plays in
the world. Despite defects in the plot and character development of Moliere's
plays, his works remain popular today because the basis of his comedy deals
with human nature, relationships, and hypocrisy.
Tartuffe was Moliere's most performed and popular play. When it was
presented to the king in 1664 he liked it, but forbade Moliere to publicly
produce it under pressure from the church. For 5 years he pulled every string
he could to get the play in production. For reasons unknown, King Louis
lifted the ban and Tartuffe became a instant hit.
The play consisted of 5 acts, in which surprisingly the main character
did not even appear until the third. Simply put, the plot had the man of a
house-hold in love with a stranger named Tartuffe he had taken in to his
care. The rest...

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