Under the reign of Louis XIV, "the Sun King," the French poetic genius reached its height with the drama of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, or better known as Moliere. This playwright is best known for his comedies, which were poignant commentaries on the shortcomings of the French upper class. The Misanthrope is one of the best of Moliere's plays. The theme centers on the pretensions that people display in society. At the same time, direct and unpretentious honesty is shown to have adverse consequences as well.