The tragedy "Cid" is the most famous work by Pierre Corneille. It was written in verses in 5 acts. The plot is set in Spain in the 11th century. The main character of the story is the Spanish national hero Cid and the whole plot is taken from the play "Cid's youth" by the Spanish […]
Pierre Corneile was born in 1601 in Rouen, Normandy. He was a famous French dramatic who lived in a modest family on the verge of poverty and he was the seventh child.
He was schooled in Jesuit schools and he studied law which he never practiced because his love for literature was much bigger.
He was only 23 when his play "Melite" was premiered in 1629 in Paris. The play was a great success and it encouraged him to keep on writing.
From 1630 to 1634 he wrote several new comedies which were: "Clitandre", "La Veuve", "La Galerie du Palais", "La Palace Royal".
In 1635 his tragedy "Medee" was premiered and it wasn’t a big success. His comedy "L’Illusion comique" was a success and he became famous because of “Cid” in 1636.
He was inspired by the play "Cid’s youth" by Guillen de Castro in which the main character is Cid also known from the Spanish national epic "Cantar de Mio Cid".
Even though the audience liked his tragedy he was hit by critics that noticed the absence of rules in the play. He drifted away from the theater but not for long. Soon he wrote: "Horace", "Polyeucte", "La Mort de Pompee", and the comedy "Le Menteur".
In 1652 he published his tragedy "Pertharite" that was a complete failure which made him stop writing for the theatre for a few years.
He spent his last days in Italy, forgotten by everyone and living on the verge of poverty. He died in 1684.