The playwright Molière (1622-1673) was born Jean Baptiste Poquelin on this day in Paris. He received the finest education possible at a Jesuit college and his family expected him to join the family business or become a lawyer. Instead, he chose the then-scandalous life of the stage.
"I live on good soup, not fine words," he once said and pursued acting with a passion, changing his name and joining a troupe of actors to master every aspect of the theater.
He wrote his satirical full-length comedies in verse and poetry. A master of language and farce, the playwright founded the Illustre Theater in 1643 and was sponsored by King Louis XIV. Molière caused an uproar in 1664 with his play Tartuffe, a juicy indictment of the religious hypocrite.
The brilliant artist once observed, "Doubts are more cruel that the worst of truths."
The Misanthrope, what many consider his masterpiece, was written in 1666. Other famous satires include The School for Wives (1662), The Doctor in Spite of Himself (1666), The Miser (1668), and The Imaginary Invalid (1673). He lived and breathed the theater, directing all the productions and starring in the most demanding roles.
"It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I’m right,"explained the man who has been called the greatest of all French playwrights.
Pause for the cause; don't be so impatient!