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Le Misanthrope

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  11,416 ratings  ·  181 reviews
Rêver de vivre dans un désert. Détester tous les hommes, et plus ou moins les femmes... Faire son coléreux dès que l'occasion se présente. Refuser la moindre concession à la société. En un mot, être Alceste. Une hauteur d'âme respectable et qui impose le respect ; mais peut-on fréquenter un tel homme sans le railler ? Un dilemme que les autres protagonistes de la comédie d ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 13th 2000 by Gallimard (first published 1666)
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Je n'avais plus lu Molière depuis le collège. Quelle erreur! Cette pièce écrite en 1666 nous place à Paris dans l'ambiance des salons parisiens, où la noblesse se retrouve pour se livrer à ses activités favorites: la conversation, l'amour et le dénigrement. Le héros, Alceste (le fort, en grec), semble avoir été jeté la veille dans ce milieu tant il y détonne; doté d'une sensibilité à fleur de peau, il ne peut souffrir d'être le témoin des caresses hypocrites que toute cette société policée se pr
This play was written in the 17th century and it is so contemporary, because of that feeling of rejection towards society and almost everything that surrounds it. And... the subsequent isolation that the person feels, of course.

It happens all the time. People that are sick of other people but then, they can't stand that deep loneliness they find. They were never ready for it, and they end up believing they are indeed cursed or something and kind of give up, accepting that miserable existence; v
Why has it taken me so long to read this? What entertainment! Hilarious, dramatic entertainment! I'm sorry I'm gushing a little too much, but I was not expecting this to be so funny and good. After watching Alceste à Bicyclette (thank you again to a classmate of mine from French for the recommendation), I planned on reading The Misanthrope and Molière's other works. I'm delighted that I did. Every time I thought things were going to calm down with its dramatics, it kept escalating more, and more ...more
Molière, or Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, satirizes french 17th century social hypocrisy. The main character despises all forms of false, insincere remarks and thinks people’s pride should be about honesty and not good behavior and proper welcome. The comical situations that arises are a consequence of such an opinion. He gets into trouble for being truthfully honest, which border on rudeness and earn him enemies.


The funniest thing is that the woman who might be the worst of them all, who lo
Alison ☆彡
Yet again, I had to read this for school.

A couple of months ago, I read my first Molière book ever, which was L'École des Femmes. It was better than what I expected so I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, I didn't found it as good.

The thing I liked the most in L'École des Femmes was the plot-twist and sadly, there was none in this one. Or at least, I didn't found one... That's the main reason why I gave it three stars.

I love how it is written, Molière is really a genius in that,
I have a hard time rating books or plays when I want to throttle the characters near to death. I know that this means the author did an amazing job capturing the hypocrisy of the characters. However, maybe he did too good a job if the characters of Alceste and Celimene are able to make me so angry it spills over toward the work. I think the character of Alceste reminds me of how I acted when I was in high school and that I was "cool" to be sarcastic and find fault with movies or books, rather th ...more
David Sarkies
Oct 20, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of French comedy
Recommended to David by: A bookshop
Shelves: comedy
The philosopher and the aristocratic woman
25 March 2013

One of the things that I like about reading plays is that they tend to be short and are easy to get through in a short amount of time. However the problem I have is that since they tend to be written so as to be performed on stage (in the same way that poetry is generally written to be read aloud) it makes it difficult to actually follow what is happening. With regards to many of Shakespeare's plays this is not a problem because you can fin
This play, first presented in 1666, was not initially well received by its audience which felt that it was too gloomy and intellectually challenging. It is in fact thought-provoking as well as being timeless in the issues it raises, dealing with honesty and integrity vs social politeness and expediency. The plot is simple and without much nuance, pitting the rather austere and rigid honesty of Alceste against the more accommodating and flexible social interactions of his sometime friend Philinte ...more
I tend to side more with critics who deem this play a comedy rather than a tragicomedy. Molière refused to conform with the traditional comedic structure of his time, and ended his play by ending the relationship of the central couple... and I'm thankful for that. Alceste's exhausting, relentless railing of mankind's hypocrisy and feigned sincerity is juxtaposed with Célimène's desperate attachment to a society of individuals she finds repulsive - where knowing the right person is important only ...more
Mar 12, 2013 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda, Carey
From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3
How to lose friends and infuriate people - a mockery of manners and morals set amid 17th century French aristocracy. Disgusted with French society, where powdered fops gossip in code and bejewelled coquettes whisper behind fans, poet Alceste embarks on a one-man crusade against fakery, frippery and forked tongues. But could the woman he adores be the worst culprit of them all? And in this rarefied world will his revolution prove merely revolting..?

The Misanthrope it is said is one of Molière's best known works, and as this is the fourth Molière play that I've read, I find that a shame, as I found Tartuffe and The School for Wives both superior to this work. Unfortunately, best known does not always mean the best developed or the smartest; we could point just as well here to the well-knownness of Marx's The Communist Manifesto as well, his most famous but perhaps least developed work. These two examples are both excellent works in their ow ...more
My first Moliere and what I wanted to know was can a play written by a Frenchman in 1666 amuse an American 350 years later? In other words is this comedy written in such a different place and time it might as well be another planet still funny?
I'm happy to say the answer is "Mais oui!" This book made me laugh out loud several times. I loved Alceste's bitter but witty rants about how horrible everybody he knows is. His review of a rival's sonnet is so scathing he lands in court.
"But gentlemen, I
Après avoir assisté à un cours sur cette pièce grâce auquel j'ai davantage réfléchi sur celle-ci et qui m'en a montré toute la richesse, je l'ai davantage appréciée qu'à la première lecture. Alceste, qui m'agaçait, m'apparaît à présent plus complexe que je ne le pensais, de même que Célimène. Cela a facilité mon identification aux personnages et m'a fait prendre plus d'intérêt aux souffrances des personnages. Molière ne m'amuse néanmoins toujours pas: je perçois dans ses comédies l'aspect de dén ...more
Une chouette comédie, où Alceste devient un véritable caractère, un original contradicteur qui reste malgré tout intégré à la société, où on ne connait pas la profondeur des sentiments de Célimène. Le plus intéressant dans cette comédie est à mon avis la façon dont Molière parvient à tourner en ridicule "l'atrabilaire amoureux".
Emilie Andersen
I'm not quite sure why this is a comedy? I didn't really laugh at all and the ending wasn't exactly happy :b. I enjoyed the play but not much happened so I can't give it more than 2 stars :).
Ala'a  Muhammad
The main reason why I liked this play is that I can relate to it, and it is really funny xD This comedy of manner takes place in France the 17th century while im here, KSA, the 21st century.
I also love the way the characters are presented and may I announce my latest OTP; Alceste and Philinte <3
Anh Quan
"[..]et Boileau écrira à propos du Molière des Fourberies de Scapin, « je ne reconnais plus l’auteur du Misanthrope »"
Me too buhro.
John Gaynard
Some months ago, I went to see Molière's play Le Misanthrope at the Théâtre du Ranelagh in Paris. I last saw it a few years ago but, with the help of age, I had forgotten some of the details. So, even if the production wasn't that great it was good to hear this masterpiece of social satire once again.

I won't repeat the whole plot of The Misanthrope, but here are some lines from the Wikipedia resume (Alceste is the misanthrope):

"The plot... involves a trial before the Royal Court of France that r
Maan Kawas
A very beautiful play by the great French playwright Moliere that shows his wittiness as well as mastery of use of language and depiction of characters! The play addresses a very important social aspect in human nature in general- although it seems to give hints to the French Society then – which is social hypocrisy and gossiping. The protagonist Alceste seems so rigid in his attitude against hypocrisy and doubled-faced people, which is reflected in his intolerance toward such a behavior in othe ...more
I was expecting dry and I got witty. I thought it would be stilted and instead I got clever rapid-fire barbs. Moliere’s cheeky play pokes fun at French aristocracy and social norms of the time. The main character, Alceste, despises the superficial French aristocracy. He refuses to pay false compliments and makes himself unpopular with the court.

Despite his high moral standards and distain for those around him, he’s still deeply flawed. He falls in love with a chronic gossip and flirt, Célimène.
Fabulous and still totally relevant and applicable hundreds of years after it was written. In fact, I'd love to see a "Clueless"-style film adaptation which updates the action to an American high school. The cat fight between Célimène and Arsinoé in Act 3 Scene 5 is priceless.
Le misanthrope par excellence déteste l'humanité et avec raison; stupidité, cupidité, superficialité et j'en passe. Puni pour être honnête envers lui-même et ses proches, Alceste a une haine générale pour les humains sans cibler une personne en particulier.

Malgré cela, il se laisse prendre et tombe amoureux d'une femme frivole et dénuée de sentiment profond. Malheureusement, et sans grande surprise, tout fini un peu mal pour lui.

Ce commentaire peu flatteur sur notre société, tant applaudie, est
Rosa Ramôa

"A estima assenta sempre em qualquer fundo, e não se estima ninguém quando se estima todo o mundo".
Rafael Montenegro-Fausto
'' parfois il me prend des mouvements soudains
de fuir dans un désert l' approche des humains.''
Je l'ai lu pour les cours, alors évidemment ce n'est pas une lecture exceptionnelle haha
Mark R.
Highly enjoyable play about a man who has a perfectly negative outlook on just about everything. His friends challenge his feelings of tenderness towards a woman in his life, for how can someone who hates so much find it in himself to be in love with anyone?

The play presents five acts in which the Misanthrope of the title discusses with his friends; with a man who considers himself a poet, whom the Misanthrope is unable of critiquing without extreme rudeness; and with the woman he desires; amon
Recently I watched the French movie Bicycling with Moliere (Alceste à bicyclette), which suddenly made me yearn to re-read The Misanthrope, which I did. Brilliant! It is amazing how contemporary is this story about a man who is being strangled by the conventions of his time! Luckily for him he did not live at the age of political correctness...
The french version of the play I ADORED. The English version was just so-so--the rhyming couplets were really forced--it's hard to take a play seriously when it sounds like Dr. Seuss. Keep in mind, this IS a French play, so there's a lot of talking and not very much action (most of the action takes place off stage). I half wonder if it should only be seen in French--this play has much delight in the French language as Shakespeare has in the English. Wouldn't Shakespeare be somehow. . .cheaper. . ...more
Meine zweite Komödie von Molière und das mir, die ich doch eigentlich gar keine Komödien mag, aber ich liebe seine Komödien!
Ich habe die Handlung sehr gut verstanden und konnte ihr sehr leicht folgen, sie ist auch nicht wirklich komplex.
Alceste ist ein sooo toller Charakter, der am Ende meiner Meinung nach die richtige Entscheidung trifft, was ich nicht erwartet hätte. Ich konnte ihm auf jeden Fall immer beipflichten. Wir sind beide wohl sehr negative Typen :D Alceste ist gegen Falschheit und Ge
This is one of the famous plays of Moliere. It is written in Alexandrine verse, iambic hexameter, but the English translation is in iambic pentameter. It is about the hypocrisy of 17th century French society. Alceste is the main character, whose greatest flaw is his inability to flatter people and not to tell the truth. Oronte, a Marquis of the Court, wants to befriends him. When the Marquis asks him to review his sonnets, he dismisses his writings as bad, and he advises him to forget that caree ...more
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Proto-Nietzchean Passion in the Misanthrope 1 11 Sep 06, 2013 12:04PM  
  • Phèdre
  • Polyeucte
  • Le Barbier de Séville, ou La Précaution inutile
  • Le jeu de l'amour et du hasard
  • The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze Di Figaro): Vocal Score
  • The Infernal Machine and Other Plays
  • Hernani
  • Frogs
  • Maxims
  • Les caractères
  • La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu
  • Philoctetes
  • Antigone
  • Le neveu de Rameau
Jean-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 ...more
More about Molière...
Tartuffe Le Bourgeois gentilhomme Don Juan L'Avare Le Malade imaginaire

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“Betrayed and wronged in everything,
I’ll flee this bitter world where vice is king,
And seek some spot unpeopled and apart
Where I’ll be free to have an honest heart.”
“My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds.”
More quotes…