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Book Title: The Imaginary Invalid|
Date of issue: 1900
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Molière
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 580 KB
Edition: Bohn's Standard Library
Read full description of the books The Imaginary Invalid:The imaginary invalid or The Hypochondriac is the last comedy and at the same time the last play written by Molière. It is a comedy-ballet in three acts.
In Molière’s outrageous satire of medicine and its practitioners, the wealthy Argan, to put it mildly, "enjoys" poor health. Laxatives, suppositories, bloodlettings, and second and third opinions from the leading quacks are the order of his day and hell on his wily, back-talking servant Toinette. His daughter Angélique is in love with the impoverished Cléante, but Argan wants to marry her to Thomas Diafoirus, a medical dunce who can assure his father-in-law a lifetime of health care. Cléante disguises himself as a music teacher to gain access to his love, but Béline, Argan’s mercenary second wife, threatens to expose them. A disguised Toinette, sage advice from his brother Béralde, and a faked death scene finally teach Argan where to place his trust.
Read information about the authorJean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known by his stage name, Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known dramas are Le Misanthrope, (The Misanthrope), L'Ecole des femmes (The School for Wives), Tartuffe ou l'Imposteur, (Tartuffe or the Hypocrite), L'Avare ou l'École du mensonge (The Miser), Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Bourgeois Gentleman).
From a prosperous family and having studied at the Jesuit Clermont College (now Lycée Louis-le-Grand), Molière was well suited to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years as an itinerant actor helped to polish his comic abilities while he also began writing, combining Commedia dell'Arte elements with the more refined French comedy.
Through the patronage of a few aristocrats including the brother of Louis XIV, Molière procured a command performance before the King at the Louvre. Performing a classic play by Pierre Corneille and a farce of his own, Le Docteur amoureux (The Doctor in Love), Molière was granted the use of Salle du Petit-Bourbon at the Louvre, a spacious room appointed for theatrical performances. Later, Molière was granted the use of the Palais-Royal. In both locations he found success among the Parisians with plays such as Les Précieuses ridicules (The Affected Ladies), L'École des maris (The School for Husbands) and L'École des femmes (The School for Wives). This royal favour brought a royal pension to his troupe and the title "Troupe du Roi" (The King's Troupe). Molière continued as the official author of court entertainments.
Though he received the adulation of the court and Parisians, Molière's satires attracted criticisms from moralists and the Church. Tartuffe ou l'Imposteur (Tartuffe or the Hypocrite) and its attack on religious hypocrisy roundly received condemnations from the Church while Don Juan was banned from performance. Molière's hard work in so many theatrical capacities began to take its toll on his health and, by 1667, he was forced to take a break from the stage. In 1673, during a production of his final play, Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), Molière, who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, was seized by a coughing fit and a haemorrhage while playing the hypochondriac Argan. He finished the performance but collapsed again and died a few hours later. In his time in Paris, Molière had completely reformed French comedy.
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