Pierre Corneille was a French tragedian, and one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists. As a young man, he earned the valuable patronage of Cardinal Richelieu, trying to promote classical tragedy along formal lines, but later quarreled with him, especially over his best known play Le Cid about a medieval Spanish warrior, which was denounced by the newly formed Académie française for breaching the unities. He continued to write well-received tragedies for nearly forty years.
Broadway produced works include Le Cid (Broadway Theatre). Off-Broadway works include The Illusion (Peter Norton Space) and Rodogune (American Place Theatre). Regionally produced works include The Liar (Studio Theatre) and Polyeucte Martyr (Dover Theatre). Other works include Médée, Sertorius, Cinna, The Death of Pompey, (Théâtre du Marais), The Next, Suréna, Sophonisbe, and L'Illusion Comique (Hôtel de Bourgogne), Tite et Bérénice (Théâtre du Palais-Royal), and The Golden Fleece (Académie Royale de Musique).