Les Plaideurs

Les Plaideurs, or The Litigants, written in 1668 and published in 1669, is a comedy in three acts with respectively 8, 14, and 4 scenes in alexandrine verse by Jean Racine. It is the only comedy he wrote. It was inspired by The Wasps by Aristophanes, but Racine removed all political significance. His play, which he wrote after Andromaque and before Britannicus, was a farce that was unexpected in his work amongst the tragedies.

Les Plaideurs was first performed late in 1668 at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris.[1]


  • Dandin ("ninny"), a judge
  • Leandre, his son
  • Chicanneau, a bourgeois. His idée fixe is to hold trials, and he finally turns his own home into a court of inquisition, where his servants and pet animals plead and are convicted.[2]
  • Isabelle, daughter of Chicanneau
  • La Comtesse ("The Countess")
  • Petit Jean ("Little John"), porter
  • L'Intime, secretary
  • Le Souffleur ("The Prompter")


  1. Joseph E. Garreau, "Jean Racine" in Hochman 1984, p. 194.
  2. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Chicaneau" . New International Encyclopedia. 1905.


  • Hochman, Stanley, editor (1984). McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama (second edition, 5 volumes). New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-079169-5.
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