Summary “The philistine in the nobility”

About the work

The comedy of Moliere “The philistine in the nobility” was written in 1670. The work was created within the literary realism direction. In the comedy “The Bourgeois in the Nobility” the author ridicules the typical bourgeois – the ignorant Mr. Jourdain, who tried to join the “upper class”, but he could only clumsily imitate the lives of the nobility.

Main characters

Mr. Jourdain is a philistine who wanted to be a nobleman. The surrounding people laughed at him, but played up to him for his own benefit.

Mrs. Jourdain is the wife of Mr Jourdain; did not share his desire to become a nobleman.

Cleonte – Young man, in love with Lucille.

Coviel is the servant of Cleonte.

Dorant is a count, an acquaintance of Jourdain, who constantly borrowed money from the burgher. He is in love with Dorimen.

Other characters

Lucille is the daughter of Mr and Mrs. Jourdain, in

love with Cleonte.

Nicole is the servant of Lucille.

Dorimena is the marquise; Jourdain was trying to achieve her location through Dorant.

Teachers dancing, music, fencing, philosophy, which hired Jourdain.

Action first
Phenomenon 1

Paris. Mr. Jourdain’s house. The music teacher and dance teacher are preparing for the evening performance and discuss that although Jourdain does not understand art at all, “money straightens the curvature of his judgments, his common sense is in his wallet.”

Phenomenon 2

Jourdain boasts to his teachers with his new robe, they flatter him in everything.

The philistine seems mournful to the sound of the violin. Teachers say that Jourdain should learn the arts, because “all the quarrels, all the wars on earth”, “all misadventures, which are full of history” come from ignorance of music and the inability to dance.

The second action
Phenomenon 1

Jourdain decides that by the evening the ballet was ready, since a person will arrive, for which he

is all happy. The music teacher, anticipating a good payment, advises the bourgeois to give concerts on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as all the notable gentlemen do.

Phenomena 2-3

The newly arrived fencing master teaches the petty bourgeois, explaining that “the whole secret of fencing is to” … strike the enemy “and” do not get oneself like that “. The master of fencing expresses the idea that dancing and music are useless sciences. Between teachers begins a dispute.

Phenomena 4-5

Jourdan asks the visiting teacher of philosophy to reconcile the quarreling. Referring to Seneca’s treatise on anger, the philosopher tries to reassure them, but he himself gets involved in a dispute that turns into a fight.

Phenomenon 6

The lesson of philosophy. The teacher proposes to teach Jourdain the wisdoms of philosophy: logic, ethics and physics, but they do not arouse the interest of the petty bourgeois. Jourdan asks to be taught his spelling. The teacher tells him that there are vowels and consonants.

Jourdain asks the philosopher to help him write a love note, but in the end they stop at the original version of the philistine: “Beautiful marquise, your beautiful eyes promise me death from love.” Unexpectedly, the petty bourgeois learns that he expressed prose all his life.

Phenomena 7-8

Tailor brings Jourdain a new suit. The bourgeois remarks that the suit is sewn from the same fabric as the clothes on the tailor, and the pattern is placed upside down. The tailor calms him down by being so fashionable in high society.

Phenomena 9-10

Dancing around Jourdain, apprentices put on a new suit. They call the philistine “Your Grace,” “Your Excellency,” “Your Grace,” for which they receive a generous fee.

Action third
Phenomena 1-3

Seeing the new outfit Jourdain, Nicole can not help laughing. Mrs. Jourdan is outraged by the appearance of her husband, who “dressed up as a jester”, and above him everyone laughs. Jourdain decides to boast to his wife and Nicole the knowledge gained, but nothing surprises women. Moreover, fencing with a man, the maid with ease several times pricks him.

Phenomena 4-5

Dorant praises the new costume of Jourdain and mentions that he spoke of him “in the royal bedchamber”, than the petty bourgeois vanity.

Dorant asks Jourdain “two hundred more pistoles” to round off the amount of his considerable debt. The outraged Mrs. Jourdain calls her husband a “cash cow”, and Doranta is a “crook”.

Phenomena 6

Dorant reports that he persuaded the Marquise to come to the burgher today, giving her a diamond-a gift from Jourdain. Nicole accidentally hears part of the conversation between the men and finds out that the philistine sends his wife to visit his sister in the evening so that nothing “does not bother them”.

Phenomena 7-11

Mrs. Jourdain is confident that her husband “will hit someone for someone”. A woman wants to betray her daughter for the love of Cleonte. Nicole is delighted with her mistress’s decision, since she likes the servant Cleonte.

Mrs. Jourdain advises Cleonte today to ask for the hands of her daughter from Mr Jourdain.

Phenomenon 12

Cleonte asks for Lucille’s hands with Mr. Jourdain. The petty bourgeois is only interested in whether the future son-in-law is a nobleman. Cleonte, not wishing to deceive, admits that he is not. Jourdain refuses, because he wants his daughter to be a Marquise.

Phenomena 13-14

Coviel calms the frustrated Cleonte – the servant thought up how to “circle our dumb-bell around our finger.”

Phenomena 15-18

Dorimen did not want to meet Dorant at her house or at his house, so she agreed to lunch with Jourdain. All the gifts of the philistine earl gave the marquis on his own behalf.

Phenomena 19-20

Meeting the marquis, Jourdain bowed absurdly, which amuses the woman very much. Dorant warns the philistine that he does not mention the gift of Dorimene to the diamond, since this is incorrigible in a secular society.

Step Four
Phenomenon 1

Dorimena is surprised that for her sake, a “magnificent feast” was arranged. Jourdain, drawing attention to the diamond on the hand of the marquise, calls him “a real trifle,” considering that a woman knows that it is a gift from him.

Phenomena 2-4

Unexpectedly, Mrs. Jourdain appears. The woman is outraged that by escaping his wife, her husband arranges a “feast” for another lady. Dorant tries to justify himself, explaining that he arranged dinner. Mrs. Jourdain does not believe this. The upset marquise is gone, Dorant is after her.

Phenomena 5-8

The dressed-up Cowiel pretends to be an old friend of Jourdain’s father. Koviel says that the father of the bourgeois was not a merchant, but a nobleman. However, the main purpose of his visit is to report that the son of the Turkish Sultan has long been in love with Jourdain’s daughter and wants to marry her. Soon they are joined by the disguised Cleonte by the Turk and through an interpreter-Coviele announces their intentions.

Covier asks Dorant to play along with them.

Phenomena 9-13

Turkish ceremony. The Mufti with his entourage, dervishes and Turks sing and dance, conducting the dedication of Jourdain, dressed in Turkish clothes, to the Turk. The Mufti puts the Koran on his back, calls upon Mohammed.

Step Five
Phenomenon 1

Jourdain explains to his wife that he has now become mamamushi. The woman decides that her husband has gone mad.

Phenomena 2-3

Dorant persuades Dorimen to stay to support the idea of ​​Cleonte with a masquerade and see the ballet arranged for her.

Phenomena 4-7

Lucille initially refuses to marry, but when she finds out in the Turk of Cleonte, she agrees.

Mrs. Jourdain was also against marriage, but when Covel quietly explained to her that what was happening was just a masquerade, she ordered to send for a notary.

Dorant announces that he and the Marquise have also decided to marry. Jourdain thinks that the Count said this for a reason. Joyful philistine gives Nicole “interpreter” Koviel, and his “wife – anyone.” Koviel is surprised that “there is no other such madman in the whole world!”.

“Comedy ends with ballet.”


The comedy of Moliere “The philistine in the nobility” is among the most famous dramatic works. The play was staged by more than twenty leading theaters, it was screened four times. Bringing the brightness of the described characters and subtle humor, the brilliant work remains interesting for modern readers.

We advise you not to limit yourself to a brief retelling of “The Bourgeois in the Nobility”, but to read the comedy in its full version.

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Summary “The philistine in the nobility”