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Classical Contributors
Balzac, Honore De
Fletcher, John
Hofmansthal, Hugo von
Marivaux, Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de
Molière, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin de
Racine, Jean
Regnard, Jean-François
Rostand, Edmond
Schnitzler, Arthur
Shakespeare, William
Zola, Emile

Original Contributors
Castellano, Deborah
Gilbert-Hill, Richard
Lindsay, Barbara
Podgorski, Leigh
Ripley, David
Thomas, Freyda
Racine, Jean

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.

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