If Shakespeare was the master of the English language and theatre, Moliére was undoubtedly the master of the French. Born into an upperclass family, he was involved with theatre from a young age and soon went on to write his own plays. Often receiving royal commissions for work, he gained fame for his comedies, which are still popular material for the world’s stages today. However, despite — or perhaps because of — his background, he began criticising the aristocracy and religion through his subversive use of humour, drawing ire from moralists and condemnation from the prevailing Catholic Church. Some of his plays were considered so insidious that the Church banned them — which only went to further his fame in the long run, of course.
Moliére’s most famous plays include Tartuffe,
The Misanthrope and
The Imaginary Invalid