Pierre Corneille

(1606-1684 / Rouen)

Pierre Corneille
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Pierre Corneille (6 June 1606 – 1 October 1684) was a French tragedian who was one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. He has been called “the founder of French tragedy” and produced plays for nearly forty years.

Early life and plays

Corneille was born at Rouen, France, to Marte le pesant and Pierre Corneille (a minor administrative official). He was given a rigorous Jesuit education and at 18 began to study law. His practical legal endeavors were largely unsuccessful. Corneille’s father secured two magisterial posts for him with the Rouen department of Forests and Rivers. During his time with the department he wrote ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Oh! how many actions, how many fabulous exploits remain without glory in the midst of the night.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Don Diègue, in The Cid, act 4, sc. 3 (1637). Don Diègue in despair at being too old to fight a du...
  • ''It is only blood that can wash away such an outrage; die or kill.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Don Diègue, in The Cid, act 1, sc. 5 (1637). Don Diègue tells his son to avenge him.
  • ''Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Emilia, in Cinna, act 3, sc. 4 (1641).
  • ''A monarch must sometimes rule even himself: he who wants everything must risk very little.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Emperor Titus, in Titus and Berenice (Tite et Bérénice), act 4, sc. 5 (1670).
  • ''To die for one's country is such a worthy fate that all compete for so beautiful a death.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Horace, in Horace, act 2, sc. 3 (1641).
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Best Poem of Pierre Corneille

Chanson

Si je perds bien des maîtresses,
J'en fais encor plus souvent,
Et mes voeux et mes promesses
Ne sont que feintes caresses,
Et mes voeux et mes promesses
Ne sont jamais que du vent.

Quand je vois un beau visage,
Soudain je me fais de feu,
Mais longtemps lui faire hommage,
Ce n'est pas bien mon usage,
Mais longtemps lui faire hommage,
Ce n'est pas bien là mon jeu.

J'entre bien en complaisance
Tant que dure une heure ou deux,
Mais en perdant sa présence
Adieu toute souvenance,
Mais en perdant sa présence
Adieu soudain tous mes feux (...)

Read the full of Chanson

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