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Happy 400th Birthday to Molière

Happy 400th Birthday to the genius of comedy Molière - baptized on 15 Jan 1622.

He had a great career while he was alive, mostly, with the support of Louis XIV he avoided serious trouble with the Church, but his importance really took off after 1870 because the French gov't re-did the school system in the wake of the defeat by the Germans, and schools now held him up as the pride of French creative culture. Seeking to restore the glory of France, the leaders of the Third Republic looked to that most French of periods, the age of Louis XIV, and to its most accessible (and entertaining) author, Molière. His theatre was thus proposed as a representation of traditional bourgeois values; at its heart, however, it espoused just the opposite. Nonetheless, the mandating of Molière’s comedies as a core part of the national curriculum served to elevate his status to that of the national symbol of French identity for generations of students.

Molière, who said, "All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing."

Posted by
7566 posts

Bon anniversaire! I wonder, if he was still alive, he’d enjoy a dancer popping out of a cake?

Posted by
4289 posts

Happy birthday! And to take his quote a step further, from the children’s book “Giraffes Can’t Dance”:
“We can all dance when we find music that we love.”

Posted by
10289 posts

Indeed he would appreciate it. Quite the adventurousness, amorous type.

Posted by
1340 posts

As someone who studied French Lit for my M.A. - I can day I am a fan. The highlight for me was seeing Le Misanthrope at the Comédie Française. Talk about feeling history.

Posted by
2528 posts

So many of his quotable quotes apply today, for this moment I'll pick:

"They [zealots] would have everybody be as blind as themselves: to them, to be clear-sighted is libertinism."

Posted by
299 posts

I also saw Le Misanthrope at the Comédie Française several years ago - unfortunately, I was so jet-lagged that I struggled to stay awake. Still, what a thrill it was to be there and watch this play I'd studied in French class at Hempstead High School years before. My wonderful teacher, Monsieur Menza, would have been so pleased!

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4148 posts