Friday, 15 January 2010

On this day...

French actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known by pen name Moliere, was born in 1622. Born into a wealthy family, Moliere attended College de Clermont, widely regarded as one of the most demanding schools in the French system, and so set himself up for a position in office. Yet at the age of 21, he decided to forgo his social standing, and instead pursue a career in theatre; founding 'L'Illustre Theatre' and so creating a new troupe of actors. After twelve years and several failed companies, Moliere finally found success; obtaining the patronage of Philippe I, Duke of Orleans and brother of Louis XIV, subsequently earning the title 'The King's Troupe'. Throughout his acting career, his own particular penchant for tragedy was displaced by his increasing comic ability, and indeed his most famous works are those of a farcical nature. Among his best known dramas, are 'The Misanthrope', currently on stage starring Keira Knightley, and 'Tartuffe'. A film biopic, released in 2007, can be seen here

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