Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. His plays often attacked hypocrisy in social behavior and the french upper classes. Moliere trained as a lawyer but shunned the law to go into theatre instead. Since the theater life was not considered very respectable, he assumed the name "Molière" in order to spare embarrassment to his family. Among Molière's best-known works are The Misanthrope, The School for Wives, Tartuffe, The Miser, The Imaginary Invalid, and The Bourgeois Gentleman.