Jean Racine

Jean Racine was a prominent 17th-century French dramatist, one of the 'big three' of French classical theatre alongside Molière and Corneille. Known for his mastery of the French classical tragedy, his works are renowned for their intense emotional and psychological depth. Racine's plays often revolve around characters from ancient Greek and Roman history as well as Biblical figures, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and fate. Some of his most famous plays include 'Phèdre', 'Andromaque', and 'Athalie'.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Phèdre

    "Phèdre" is a classic French play that explores themes of love, guilt, and retribution. The story revolves around the tragic heroine, Phèdre, who falls passionately in love with her stepson, Hippolytus. Battling with her forbidden desires, she eventually confesses her feelings to Hippolytus, leading to a series of devastating events. The play is renowned for its exploration of human emotions, moral dilemmas, and the destructive power of uncontrolled passion.

    The 662nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Complete Plays of Jean Racine

    This collection presents all the dramatic works of a renowned 17th-century French playwright, known for his mastery of French classical tragedy. The plays explore themes of love, power, tragedy, and the complex dynamics of political and personal life. The author's poetic style, psychological depth, and exploration of classical themes have made him one of the most influential figures in French drama. The collection includes both his well-known and lesser-known works, providing a comprehensive look at his contribution to theatre.

    The 3017th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Andromache

    The play is a tragic drama set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, focusing on the fate of Andromache, the widow of the Trojan hero Hector, who is now a captive of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. Pyrrhus is torn between his obsessive love for Andromache, who remains faithful to the memory of her slain husband, and his betrothal to Hermione, the daughter of the Spartan king Menelaus. The play explores themes of love, duty, and vengeance as Andromache struggles to protect her son, the last heir of the Trojan line, amidst the dangerous political machinations of the Greek victors, leading to a series of tragic events fueled by jealousy, pride, and the inescapable grip of fate.

    The 6956th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Britannicus

    The play is a tragic depiction of the struggle for power in ancient Rome, focusing on the young emperor Nero's rise to tyranny. It portrays Nero's manipulation and betrayal as he seeks to consolidate his rule, eliminating any threats to his authority. The drama unfolds around his toxic relationship with his mother Agrippina, his ruthless disposal of his stepbrother Britannicus, who is the rightful heir to the throne, and his obsessive love for Britannicus's betrothed, Junia. The narrative is a classic example of political intrigue, moral decay, and the destructive nature of absolute power, highlighting the psychological complexity and emotional turmoil of its characters as they navigate a dangerous and duplicitous court.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Athaliah

    "Athaliah" is a classic French tragedy that revolves around the eponymous character, a queen who has seized the throne of Judah and is determined to eradicate the Davidic line to secure her power. The play explores themes of tyranny, faith, and divine justice, as Athaliah's reign of terror is challenged by the discovery of a surviving heir, the young Joash, who has been secretly raised in the temple by the high priest Jehoiada. As the plot unfolds, the characters navigate a tense and dangerous political landscape, leading to a dramatic confrontation between the forces of despotism and righteousness, ultimately culminating in a resolution that reinforces the providential order.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Bérénice

    "Bérénice" is a tragic play set in Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The story revolves around a love triangle between the Roman Emperor Titus, his lover Berenice, Queen of Palestine, and his best friend Antiochus, King of Commagene who is also in love with Berenice. Titus loves Berenice but his duty as Emperor forces him to send her away, while Antiochus' unrequited love for Berenice leads to his own destruction. The play explores themes of love, duty, sacrifice, and the tragic consequences of unfulfilled desires.

    The 7960th Greatest Book of All Time