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Eugène Scribe was born in Paris, France, the son of a silk merchant and his wife. He was well educated as his parents wished him to become a lawyer. However, after their deaths, he abandoned his law studies to pursue a career as a dramatist. He wrote several plays before achieving success in 1815 with Encore une Nuit de la garde national (Another Night in the National Guard), in collaboration with Delestre Poirson. Many of his later works also were written in collaboration with others. Scribe was prolific, turning out dramas, comedies, tragedies, and vaudeville. Eventually he developed a formula for the construction of popular pieces with elaborate plots featuring clever twists and turns, and usually centered on a misunderstanding that is revealed to the audience but not realized by the protagonists until the final scenes. He wrote opera libretti for many major composers of his time, including Giacomo Meyerbeer, Giuseppe Verdi, Vincenzo Bellini, Daniel Auber, Frontal Halévy, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini. His work influenced such playwrights as Alexandre Dumas fils, Georges Feydeau, Henrik Ibsen, and George Bernard Shaw. He was elected to the Académie française in 1834 and the rue Scribe in Paris, which runs in front of the Opéra Garnier, was named in his honor.  His complete works appeared in 76 volumes between 1874 and 1885.
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