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Molire whose real name was Jean Baptiste Poquelin composed 12 of the most durable and penetratingly satirical full-length comedies of all time some in rhyming verse some in prose as well as six shorter farces and comediesJean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris on January 15 1622 His father was one of eight valets de chambre tapissiers who tended the kings furniture and upholstery so the young Poquelin received every advantage a boy could wish for He was educated at the finest schools in Paris But even as a child he found it infinitely more pleasant to poke fun at the aristocracy than to associate with them As a young boy he learned that he could cause quite a stir by mimicking his mothers priest His mother a deeply religious woman might have broken the young satirist of this habit had she not died before he was twelve years old His father soon remarried but in less than three years this wife also passed away At the age of fifteen Jean-Baptiste was left alone with his fatherPoquelin preceded to study law and was awarded his law degree in 1642 but he turned away from both the legal profession and his fathers business never having showed much of an interest for the business of upholstering Fortunately his fathers shop was located near two important theatrical sites the Pont-Neuf and the Htel de Bourgogne At the Pont-Neuf comedians performed plays and farces in the street in order to sell patent medicines to the crowds Although not traditional theatre the antics of these comic medicine-men brought a smile to Jean-Baptistes face on many an afternoon At the Htel de Bourgogne--which the boy attended with his grandfather--the Kings Players performed more traditional romantic tragedies and broad farces Apparently these two theatrical venues had quite an impact on the young Poquelin for in 1643 at the age of twenty-one he decided to dedicate his life to the theatre Jean-Baptiste had
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