[FIRST INTERLUDE: The play begins with a pastoral song and dance, telling the story of two shepherdesses, Climene and Daphne, who fall in love with two shepherds, Tircis and Dorilas. Modern productions may cut this.]
Argan, the imaginary invalid of the play’s title, sits alone, cheerfully reviewing his medical bills. He is a dramatic hypochondriac, who believes himself to be suffering from countless ailments, and will take any and all medicines prescribed to him by doctors, whom he wholly reveres. In spite of this, though, Argan’s cheap nature wins out, and he only pays for about half of his bills for countless suppositories, laxatives, and bloodlettings.
Argan rings for his servant, Toinette. When she doesn’t appear as quickly as he would like, he angrily berates her, calling her names and attempting to cow her spirit, but Toinette, who is used to her temperamental master, will have none of it and, unfazed, mocks him in return until he calms down. He asks her how his medical
The Imaginary Invalid guide sections