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By: (1622-1673)

The Miser is a comedy of manners about a rich moneylender named Harpagon. His feisty children long to escape from his penny-pinching household and marry their respective lovers. Although the 17th-century French upper classes presumably objected to the play's message, it is less savage and somewhat less realistic than Molière's earlier play, Tartuffe, which attracted a storm of criticism on its first performance.

First Page:




Translated into English Prose

With a Short Introduction and Explanatory Notes.



This play was acted for the first time on September 9, 1668. In it, Molière has borrowed from Plautus, and has imitated several other authors, but he far surpasses them in the treatment of his subject. The picture of the miser, in whom love of money takes the place of all natural affections, who not only withdraws from family intercourse, but considers his children as natural enemies, is finely drawn, and renders Molière's Miser altogether more dramatic and moral than those of his predecessors.

Molière acted the part of Harpagon.


HARPAGON, father to CLÉANTE, in love with MARIANNE. CLÉANTE, HARPAGON'S son, lover to MARIANNE. VALÈRE, son to ANSELME, and lover to ÉLISE. ANSELME, father to VALÈRE and MARIANNE. MASTER SIMON, broker . MASTER JACQUES, cook and coachman to HARPAGON. LA FLÈCHE, valet to CLÉANTE. BRINDAVOINE and LA MERLUCHE, lackeys to HARPAGON... Continue reading book >>

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