Molière was a 17th century playwright and actor who left his mark on the French language. He wrote Le médecin malgré Lui or ”the doctor in spite of himself”. It is one of his hilarious and satirical literary works. He is one of the few writers of his time who was not censored or executed despite his works criticizing the mores of society and especially of high society. He was able to criticize the king and his court as well as the bourgeoisie without forgetting the scientists who, according to him, were useless. Indeed, his mother died when she was ill and he was very angry at the doctors who could do nothing. He was one of the King’s protégés and seduced the public with his humor.
Le médecin malgré lui tells the story of a drunkard who beats his wife. In order to take revenge, his wife makes an aristocratic family whose daughter is ill and mute believe that her husband is the ideal person and the ultimate healer capable of performing miracles. She testifies that the greatest scientists of the time are nothing compared to her husband Sganarelle.
She points out that he will never assume that he is a doctor and that he only works with a stick. So she suggests that he be beaten with a stick every time he denies being a doctor. The story makes each character ridiculous and above all makes medicine and its ignorance of the sick bodies of the time ridiculous too. For you cannot imagine with what remedy; Sganarelle has managed to make the aristocratic girl talk and come out of her silence! the disease that no doctor has managed to cure! Well, he made her talk with vanity and bread! Assuming that parrots only talk all day, all the time, on vanity and bread! Well, maybe if he gave her a lot of bread and vanity, she would start talking like a parrot. And it worked. In the end, she wasn’t really sick, and no doctor noticed, but what do you think caused her to pretend to be mute?
I’ll let you discover all the intrigues and the denouements of each character’s story by reading the book and having a good time enjoying the rude character of Sganarelle the drunkard who becomes a doctor despite himself. The other characters such as the servants or the nurse are more endearing and funny. The theatrical format of this work makes the story clearer and easier to read despite the old French. There are also other versions in several languages.