Savannah's Theatre Blog

Theatre in France – the 1600s

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on June 14, 2010

Before the late 1500s/1600s theatre was only devised for the aristocracy with the prime motive of entertaining, no or few plays “survived” but as time went on, theatre in France began to change. It was in 1957 that things began to change and they did so with the help of Alexandre Hardy who introduced such things as five-act form and poetic dialogue. The theatre world in France didn’t really change until the period of Moliere.
Who was Moliere?
Born on January 15 1622, Moliere strived to achieve “lasting greatness” both for his political and theatrical stands. He was a playwright as well as an actor and it can be said that “what Shakespeare is to the English, Moliere is to the French”. He incorporated his passions to educate; he showed the corruption of the French nobility. He was banned from performing his plays on stage and threatened those who might want to act in plays such as Tartuffe. It wasn’t until 1669 until Moliere was granted permission to, again, perform his plays in public. Moliere had not wasted his time though; he polished his skills to come back with more vigilance.
He suffered brow a lung ailment in the late 1600s and finally collapsed during The Imaginary Invalid and he died later that evening.

C.D Merriman, 2006, Moliere: Biography, Jalic In., internet site, viewed on 3/6/2010,
Thomson Gale, 2005-2006, Tartuffe Study Guide: Historical Context, Thomson corporation, internet site from BookRags and Gale’s For Students Series, viewed on 3/6/2010,
Scott R. Robinson, 2000-2010, Theatre in France – 1500 – 1700, CWU Department of Theatre Arts, internet site, viewed on 3/6/2010,


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