Jean Racine (December 1639 – April 21, 1699) was a French dramatist, one of the "Big Three" of 17th century France (along with Molière and Corneille), and one of the most important literary figures in the Western tradition. Racine was primarily a tragedian, producing such 'examples of neoclassical perfection' as Phedre, Andromaque, and Athalie, although he did write one comedy, Les Plaideurs, and a muted tragedy,Esther, for the young.

Racine's plays displayed his mastery of the dodecasyllabic alexandrine; his verse is renowned for elegance, purity, speed, and fury, and for what Robert Lowell described as a 'diamond-edge', and the 'glory of its hard, electric rage'. Racine's works are widely considered to be untranslable, although many eminent poets have attempted to do so, including Lowell, Ted Hughes, and Derek Mahon into English, and Schiller into German. Racine's dramaturgy is marked by his psychological insight, the prevailing passion of his characters, and the nakedness of both the plot and stage.

Jean Racine's Works:

* La Thébaïde (1664)
* Alexandre le Grand (1665)
* Andromaque (1667)
* Les Plaideurs (1668)
* Britannicus (1669)
* Bérénice (1670)
* Bajazet (1672)
* Mithridate (1673)
* Iphigénie (1674)
* Phèdre (1677)
* Esther (1689)
* Athalie (1691)

Poems by Jean Racine

Poet of the day

Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poets. His "Poems from the Trenches" are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War.

Isaac Rosenberg was born to Barnet...
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Poem of the day


Who will away to Athens with me? Who
Loves choral songs and maidens crown'd with flowers,
Unenvious? mount the pinnace; hoist the sail.
I promise ye, as many as are here,
Ye shall not, while ye tarry with me, taste
From unrinsed barrel the diluted...
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