The Would-Be Gentleman

by Moliere

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Moliere’s The Would-Be Gentlemen consists of eight distinct characters presented in pairs:

  1. Mr. / Monsieur Jourdain: a middle-aged member of the bourgeoisie who inherits a large sum of money from his father, a wealthy cloth merchant. Jourdain decides that he will transcend his status as a member of the middle class and attempt to become a noble (or so he thinks).
  2. Mrs. / Madame Jourdain: Mr. Joudain’s wife. A sensible woman who believes that Mr. Jourdain’s pursuit of nobility is foolish. She is quick to remind him of his foolishness.
  3. Lucille: Mr. and Mrs. Jourdain’s daughter who is in love with Cleonte, a member of the middle class.
  4. Cleonte: A member of the middle class who is in love with Lucille.
  5. Dorimene: A marquise who is in love with Dorante.
  6. Dorante: A down-on-his-luck nobleman who is in love with Dorimene.
  7. Nicole: A servant of Mr. Jourdain who is in love with Covielle.
  8. Covielle: Cleonte’s valet, or manservant.

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