The Misanthrope on its appearance had twenty-one successive performances (a rather long run for any play in those days, when each one of the three theatres in Paris necessarily had a varied and constantly changing repertory).
The play satirizes the hypocrisies of French aristocratic society, but it also engages a more serious tone when pointing out the flaws which all humans possess. The play differs from other farces at the time by employing dynamic characters like Alceste and Célimène as opposed to the traditionally flat characters used by most satirists to criticize problems in society.
The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, claimed (in his Letter to M. D'Alembert on Spectacles) that it was Molière's best work
Molière played the role of Alceste.