Préciosité and Dandyism: Ages of beauty
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Jean Baptiste Poquelin, Known as Moliere, could not resist the temptation to write a Play based on this movement: Les Précieuses ridicules. Although the author wanted to expose the ridiculous new fashion which many of the ladies of the aristocracy had come to appreciate and follow, he was aware that politically and economically it would be very dangerous to anger that sector of society. Moliere therefore skillfully spread the rumor that the précieuses depicted in the play were not the ones belonging to the salons of Paris, but the one outside the capital. This explanation held some truth in it, as there was even more fun to be had mocking parvenus than mocking established persons, furthermore the same explanation allowed him not only to stage the play on schedule and without interruptions, but also to receive requests for repeated performances at the “hotels” (residences) of the different exponents of the nobility, even if they were part of the societe précieuse. One of the reasons for the success of the play could be that it was not Moliere’s intention to judge harshly; rather he wanted to expose certain fashions or fads and let the public draw their own conclusions.