Molière, Jean Baptiste Poquelin (16221673)

Molière, Jean Baptiste Poquelin, great French comic dramatist, born in Paris; studied law and passed for the bar, but evinced from the first a proclivity for the theatre, and soon associated with actors, and found his vocation as a writer of plays, which procured him the friendship of Lafontaine, Boileau, and other distinguished men, though he incurred the animosity of many classes of society by the ridicule which he heaped on their weaknesses and their pretensions, the more that in his satires his characters are rather abstract types of men than concrete individualities; his principal pieces are, “Les Précieuses Ridicules,” “L'École des Femmes,” “Le Tartuffe,” “Le Misanthrope,” “George Dandin,” “L'Avare,” “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,” “Les Fourberies de Scapin,” “Le Malade malgré Lui,” “Les Femmes Savantes,” and “Le Malade Imaginaire”; though seriously ill, he took part in the performance of this last, but the effort was too much for him, and he died that night; from the grudge which the priests bore him for his satires on them he was buried without a religious service (16221673).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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