|Balzac, Honore De|
|Hofmansthal, Hugo von|
|Marivaux, Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de|
|Molière, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin de|
Arguably the prime example of French classicism, at least from the tragedian's point of view, he was the tragic mask alongside Moliere's comic mask during the same time period. His third play, Andromache (there are several monologues from the original Greek versions of this tragedy in the series) established him as France's leading playwright, displacing Corneille and earning him the patronage of Louis XIV. He enjoyed several years of glory until his interpretation of Phedre (the Greek tragedy of quasi-incest) brought about attacks similar to Moliere's suffering as a result of Tartuffe, and Racine quit the theater. He returned briefly under the guidance of a great courtesan of the period, Madame de Maintenon. Under her aegis, he wrote two Biblically inspired works, Esther and Athalie, before his death.