Is truth historical, and therefore relative, or is it universal? Every period and has defined it, pursued it, and questioned it in own context. Through the study of major thinkers and playwrights of 17th century France such as Corneille, Racine, Moliere, Descartes and Pascal, we shall explore the relationship of truth to illusion (fiction), religion, politics, science, social norms and the inner self. Excerpts from theatrical performances will bring the plays closer to us. Texts read in French and in translation, class discussions and papers in French.