Molière, Le Libertin
Dr. Brigitte Hamon-Porter
In the seventeenth century, French theatre experienced a flourishing like no other. Molière, the Father of French Theatre, would come to dominate his sphere of arts. Having developed a new comedic style – satire – the playwright captured the attention of Parisian audiences, the clergy, and even the king, and became a polarizing figure in the process. This research explores the varied reactions of Molière’s contemporaries to his works. Firstly, the research delves deeper into the nature of satiric style to understand why there was so vast a scope of reactions. Next, it seeks to identify Molière’s friends (most notably the king) and his enemies, and characterizes how the differences in opinion impacted authoritative relationships, societal hierarchies, and even worldviews. In conclusion, the research examines the influence that Molière’s friends and enemies had upon the evolution of his work, his reputation, and the context in which we view the playwright today.
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