Google Doodle pays homage to patron saint of satire — French playwright Molière



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Updated: Feb 10, 2019, 01:38 PM IST

Sunday's Google Doodle is celebrating the works of French actor and playwright Molière, who is widely considered the world’s foremost comic dramatist and perhaps the greatest artist in the history of French theatre.  

On February 10, 1673, Molière premiered his final play -- a three-act satire-ballet about medical profession titled Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid). Molière starred in the title role of Argan, a severe hypochondriac who tries to convince his daughter to forsake her true love and marry his doctor’s son, so as to save on medical bills.

Google Doodle's GIF gives a glimpse into important scenes from Le Malade Imaginaire, School for Wives, Don Juan, and The Miser.

Molière,' in the preface to his religious satire play Tartuffe, wrote, "The duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them." A lot of new age comedians or late night show hosts all over the world seem to be living by these words. These words by Molière always found him on the wrong side of the influential people of his time. He never received support from the French royal family. His satire Tartuffe was banned by the court of King Louis XIV in 1664. When the ban was lifted after five years, this piece of writing became one of Molière's masterworks.

Molière is the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. Baptised in Paris in 1622, the son of a successful furniture maker and upholsterer in French royal court. Instead of carrying on with the family tread. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin chose theatre in the 1640s. His career wasn't immediate success having been imprisoned for debts. He finally broke through in 1658 when he performed in front of the royal audience at the Louvre.