Goodle celebrated the life and work of actor and playwright Molière with a Doodle on February 10, 2019, who is widely considered the world’s foremost comic dramatist and perhaps the greatest artist in the history of French theater. His satirical plays fearlessly lampooned human folly and blended ballet, music, and comedy into a new genre that transformed buffoonery into witty social critique.
On this day in 1673, Molière premiered his final play, Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), a three-act comédie-ballet satirizing the medical profession.
Molière is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language and literature of any language. The writer’s works include comedies, farces, tragicomedies, comédie-ballets, and much more. In classic Molière fashion, the play’s dialogue pushes his characters’ vices and pretensions to the point of absurdity.
Google Doodle description made a special mention of his satirical plays and wrote in tribute from The Imaginary Invalid and other classics like School for Wives, Don Juan, and The Miser.
Baptized in Paris in 1622 as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Molière was the son of a successful furniture maker and upholsterer to the royal court.
Rejecting his father’s offer to take up the family trade, he assumed the stage name Molière and began a lifetime in the theater during the 1640s. Enduring years of financial hardship, Molière was imprisoned for debts before his breakthrough in 1658, when his company performed for a royal audience at the Louvre.
Despite royal support, Molière’s unsparing pen offended powerful interests who sought to censor his work. His religious satire Tartuffe was first performed in 1664 and immediately banned by the court of King Louis XIV. Five years later the ban was lifted and Tartuffecame to be considered one of his masterworks.
Inspiring future generations of comedians, Molière’s spirit lives on today through the work of humorists and satirists who share a fearless commitment to skewering hypocrisy with sharp-edged insights. As Molière wrote in the preface to Tartuffe, “The duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them.”