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Molire Molire pseudonym of JEAN BAPTISTE POQUELIN 1622-73 French dramatist and one of the greatest of all writers of comedies His universal comic types still delight audiences his plays are often produced and have been much translated Molire was born in Paris on January 15 1622 the son of a wealthy tapestry maker From an early age he was completely devoted to the theater In 1643 he joined a theatrical company established by the Bjarts a family of professional actors he married one of the members of the family Armande Bjart in 1662 The troupe which Molire named the Illustre Thtre played in Paris until 1645 and then toured the provinces for 13 years returning to Paris in 1658 On their return Louis XIV lent the troupe his support and offered them occasional use of the Thtre du Petit-Bourbon and in 1661 use of the playhouse in the Palais-Royal Secure at the Palais-Royal Molire for the rest of his life committed himself entirely to the comic theater as dramatist actor producer and director Encarta 96 In 1659 the company presented Molires Les prcieuses ridicules The Affected Young Ladies Written in a style similar to that of the older farces it satirizes the pretensions of two provincial girls The work took Paris by storm and from that time until his death at least one of Molires comedies was produced each year Comptons 95 Lcole des femmes The School for Wives 1662 marks a break with the farce tradition Considered the first great seriocomic work of French literature it deals with the part women played in society and their preparation for it the play constitutes a bold satire on contemporary materialistic values and as such was denounced for impiety and vulgarity Encarta 96 In Tartuffe first version 1664 third and final version 1669 Molire invented one of his famous comic types that of a religious hypocrite The audacity of this play is attested to by the
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