Jean Racine was born on October 22nd,1639 in France. He was a play writer who mostly wrote tragedies and before he died he wrote one comedy. His contemporaries were Moliere and Corneille.
He was born in La Ferté-Milon and two years after he got a sister his both parents died. His grandparents from the father’s side took care of his education and his sister was taken care of by the mother’s parents.
After his grandfather passed away Jean went with his grandmother to Port Royal des Champs where he received the education that allowed him to read Latin and Greek texts.
His first two tragedies, La Thébaïde and Alexandre le Grand, had classical themes but contained a lot of controversy. He was accused of intoxicating the mind of his audience. He continued with the tragedy Andromaque in which he wrote about Hector’s widow and her faith after the Trojan War.
He made a lot of enemies, including Pierre Corneille and his brother Thomas. The dramatists often competed writing about the same themes: Michel le Clers wrote Iphigénieiste the same year Racine did; Jacques Pradon wrote Phaedra when Racine did. The success of Pradon’s work made Racine quite his playwriting. He wrote Phaedra in 1677.
He is considered to be one of the most famous French play writers in the time of Classicism. He died on April 21st, 1699 in Paris where he was buried.