Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Molière (1622- 1673) was a French playwright and actor who is considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. He studied at the Jesuit Clermont College, then left to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years on the road as an actor helped him to polish his comic abilities, while he also began writing combining Commedia dell'Arte elements with the more refined French comedy. Through the patronage of a few aristocrats including the brother of Louis XIV, he procured a command performance before the King at the Louvre. He was granted the use of the Salle du Petit-Bourbon at the Louvre and the Palais-Royal. He found success among the Parisians with plays such as The Affected Ladies, The School for Husbands and The School for Wives. This royal favour brought a royal pension to his troupe and the title "Troupe du Roi" (The King's Troupe). His satires attracted criticisms from moralists and the Church. Tartuffe; or, The Hypocrite roundly received condemnations from the Church while Don Juan was banned from performance.
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