- Molière's comedy about the evils of greed andselfishness. The play, inspired by Plautus's Aulularia, wasfirst produced in Paris in 1668, with Molière's young wife,Armande Béjart playing the part of Elise. It has remained popular.
The plot concerns a rich miser, Harpagon, who opposes themarriage of his daughter, Elise, to his steward, Valere. He, himself,intends to marry his pretty neighbour Mariane, unaware that his son,Cleante, is in love with her. To prevent this disaster, Cleante'sservant steals Harpagon's gold, holding it as a ransom until he breaksoff the match. Harpagon meanwhile discovers that Mariane and Valereare the long-lost children of his friend, Seigneur Anselm. He allowshis children to marry their sweethearts and recovers his gold.