French Literature

French Authors
  • Victor Hugo
  • Marcel Proust
  • Jules Verne
  • Charles Baudelaire
  • Molière
  • François Rabelais

Molière (1622 - 1673)

Molière was a well-known French dramatist and comic playwright, considered a genius of his time. The name Molière was in actual fact a pseudonym used by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. Born in 1622, Molière was the son of a wealthy tapestry maker and upholsterer. Molière had a strict upbringing, studying with the Jesuits at the Collège de Clermont. In 1643 he left his upbringing and the future plans of his family behind, to lead the life of the theatre, founding the Illustre Théâtre with his friends.

The theatrical troupe played in France’s capital until 1645 and then embarked on a tour of the provinces for the following 13 years. Once back in Paris, King Louis XIV supported the troupe, offering them the use of Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon and later the playhouse in the Palais-Royal.

After this, Molière spent the rest of his days writing comic theatre and producing, directing and even acting in his plays. Molière wrote over 30 plays for his company, using a lot of satire. His comedies were directed at his contemporary France, subtly criticizing social conventions, human nature's weaknesses and the attitudes and behavior of typical members of society.