Who was Molière? Iconic French playwright celebrated with Google Doodle

MOLIERE is widely regarded as one of France’s best writers and is known as a playwright, actor and poet.

He found great success during his lifetime thanks to help from French aristocrats, particularly Philippe I, Duke of Orleans who was the brother of Louis XIV.

Moliere was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in 1622
Getty – Contributor

Who was Moliere?

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris on January 15, 1622 and died at the age of 51 in the French capital on February 17, 1673.

After initially studying to become a lawyer he gave it all up when he was 21 and decided to pursue a career on the stage and founded the Illustre Theatre with the actress Madeleine Bejart but the troupe went bankrupt in 1645.

After setting up a new troupe he gained the patronage of Philippe I, Duke of Orleans and he started writing plays.

It was around this time that he started using the pseudonym Moliere.

Moliere’s preference was for tragedies but his farces brought him the most success – including The Jealous Prince, The School for Husbands and The School for Wives.

Although Le Misanthrope is widely regarded as his masterpiece.

Moliere suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis and he collapsed on stage in a fit of coughing and haemorrhaging while performing in The Imaginary Invalid, a play he had written.

He eventually completed his performance but collapsed again before being taken home where he died a few hours later.

His reputation has lasted to this day and is considered to be the creator of modern French comedy.

The French dramatist has been celebrated by Google Doodle
Google Doodle

What is a Google Doodle?

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to show that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the ‘o’s for Halloween the following year.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

His most widely known work is Le Misanthrope
Getty – Contributor


Google kicked off 2019 with an animated Doodle of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

On January 11, the life of the first black singer on BBC Radio, Evelyn Dove, was celebrated.

Sake Dean Mahomed, who was the first to open an Indian restaurant in the UK, was also honoured with  a Google Doodle on January 15.

And on February 5, 2019, the Chinese New Year was celebrated with a hand animation transforming into a pig.

 

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