Why was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin called Molière?

Why was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin called Molière?
Why was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin called Molière?

400 years ago to the day, on January 15, 1622, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born. This was the true identity of the famous playwright known to all as Molière. Why Moliere? What is the origin of this pseudonym? RTL.fr answers you.

In the 17th century, comedians used toto borrow war names. When he was only 22 years old, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin took that of Molière, a choice he would never explain, “even to his best friends”, writes his biographer Grimarest quoted in the Review of the French Comedy in February 1991.

Many hypotheses have been put forward. Some claim that he would have taken his name from Molier dancer which he would have known in his youth. Others believe he borrowed the name of a village in the south of France. Last possibility put forward: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin would have chosen Molière in reference to a rural lexical field, in this case ivy, the climbing plant. Many comedians liked these references to plants at that time.

Beyond the secrecy around his name, 400 years after his birth, Molière is still relevant since Valérie Pécresse said she wanted to “pantheonize” him, which according to her, “embodies the spirit of France”. The presidential candidate LR assured in We are not live, that culture will be an “essential” part of its program.

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