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.
A MAGISTRATE and his CLERK.
ÉLISE, daughter to HARPAGON.
MARIANNE, daughter to ANSELME.
FROSINE, an intriguing woman.
MISTRESS CLAUDE, servant to HARPAGON.
The scene is at PARIS, in HARPAGON'S house.