Molière (1622 - 1673)
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, (French pronunciation: [mɔ'ljɛʁ]; baptised January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673) was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known works are Le Misanthrope (The Misanthrope), L'École des Femmes (The School for Wives), Tartuffe ou L'Imposteur (Tartuffe or the Imposter), L'Avare (The Miser), Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Bourgeois Gentleman). Born into a prosperous family and having studied at the Collège de Clermont (now Lycée Louis-le-Grand), Molière was well suited to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years as an itinerant actor helped him polish his comic abilities while he began writing, combining Commedia dell'arte elements with the more refined French comedy.
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