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Molière Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Paris, Kingdom of France [now France]
Died in Paris, Kingdom of France [now France]  (tuberculosis)
Birth NameJean-Baptiste Poquelin

Mini Bio (1)

Born between January 13 and January 15 of the year 1622, from a 25yo tapestry-maker, Jean Poguelin (who worked for the King of France from 1631), and a 20yo woman, Marie Cresé, in Paris, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin lost his mother when he was 10. From 1638 to 1640, he studied in the Jesuit college of Clermont, then started a brief lawyer career and pursued his father's work under Louis XIII, especially in Narbonne, until the King's death in 1643, when Jean-Baptiste co-founded L'Illustre Théâtre, installed at the jeu de paume des Métayers (faubourg Saint-Germain, Paris). He chose his nom-de-plume Molière in 1644 but his company had some financial difficulties due to a lack of success: Molière was imprisoned twice in 1645 for debts. The troupe moved several times in different parts of France (Lyon, Grenoble, Dijon, Narbonne...) and they became the troupe of the Prince de Conti in 1653 (in Pézenas, Languedoc).

In 1654, Molière presented his first play, "L'Etourdi", in Lyon, then "Le Dépit amoureux" in Béziers in 1656. But the same year the troupe lost its grants from de Conti, who was becoming extremely unfavorable to theater creation. Back to Paris in 1658, under the protection of the King's brother, they played "Nicomède" and "Le Docteur amoureux" at the Vieux-Louvre in front of the King (Louis XIV) and his court. Louis XIV offered Molière to play at the Petit-Bourbon where his first 2 plays eventually had great success. In 1659, Molière presented his third play, "Les Précieuses Ridicules". After his younger brother's death, Molière re-took in charge the familial tapestry-making business and kept it until his death. The same year, he presented "Sganarelle ou le Cocu imaginaire" and the troupe was moved to the Palais-Royal. Rival comedians tried to divide Molière's troupe but failed. Molière successively presented "L'Ecole des maris" in 1661 and "L'Ecole des femmes" in 1662.

He married Armande Béjart in 1662 (the year Molière and his troupe were accepted at the King's court), they had a son Louis in 1664 (Louis XIV was his godfather) but the latter died before his first birthday. The same year, members of the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement tried to ban Molière's play "Le Tartuffe" but it was shown in May. Molière's troupe also presented Jean Racine's first play "La Thebaïde" then "Alexandre" the following year, but the troupe learnt that Racine made his play been performed elsewhere too, which brought a tension between the two authors. Armande gave birth to their daughter Esprit-Madeleine in 1665. Molière premiered "Dom Juan" in 1665, "Le Misanthrope" and "Le Médecin malgré lui" in 1666. In 1667 the troupe plaid Pierre Corneille's "Attila" and Molière's "L'Imposteur", which was only presented once because immediately banned. Molière had his first health problems. The troupe presented "Amphitryon", "George Dandin" and "L'Avare" in 1668, "Tartuffe" again in 1669 (the year Molière's father died), "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" in 1670, "Les Fourberies de Scapin" and "Psyché" in 1671, "Les Femmes savantes" in 1672.

Molière had a quarrel with Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1672 over the right of using music in plays since Lully ruled the music utilization with his "académie royale de musique". Molière's second son, Pierre-Jean-Baptiste-Armand, was born the same year but died a few days after his baptism. In February 1673, during the 4th performance of his last play, "Le Malade Imaginaire", Molière fell and died a few hours later in his house (rue de Richelieu, Paris). His wife obtained from the King the right to bury his corpse in a cemetery, which was normally unauthorized for a comedian. Her daughter was his only child to live long enough to have children but didn't, therefore Molière had no direct descendants.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Raph JULLIEN

Spouse (1)

Armande Béjart (20 February 1662 - 17 February 1673) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trivia (4)

His grave is situated in the Père Lachaise cemetery (Paris, France)
He died shortly after leaving the stage, where he recently had been performing in his show, The Imaginary Invalid.
His father was tapestry-maker of King Louis XIV
[14th March 2005 - 4th April 2005] Voted in 8th place in France 2's poll-then-show about the 100 "Greatest French Persons of All Time" (2005).

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