Tartuffe Essay Research Paper TartuffeTrue identity is

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Tartuffe Essay, Research Paper Tartuffe True identity is often masked by the personality one wants to portray. This is especially true of Tartuffe, a character in Moliere?s controversial comedy, Tartuffe(1664). In the five-act play, Moliere uses the characters to convey the idea of discernment between religion and false piety. The setting of the play is in Orgon?s house. Orgon is a man who leads a life of wealth and happiness. His family consist of Elmire, his wife, daughter Mariane, and son Damis. Also presiding in the house are Madame Pernelle, Organ?s mother, and Mariane?s witty maid, Dorine. Tartuffe, the antagonist of the play, appears to be a man of piety on the surface. However, buried underneath this falsehood lies a religious hypocrite. With the exception of Madame

Pernelle and Orgon, all of the characters see through Tartuffe?s sham. In Act I Moliere utilizes Dorine to paint a verbal picture of Orgon?s infatuation with Tartuffe. In line 9 Dorine states how Orgon is the ?worse deceived? by Tartuffe. Moliere opens the play by revealing to the audience how gullible Orgon is, He has become so infatuated with Tartuffe that he ?loves him as his life, [p]referring him to mother, child or wife(I.ii.14-15).? When Orgon finally arrives on the scene, Moliere uses his actions to support our preconceived opinion. When Elmire becomes ill, Orgon neglects her well being. Instead he is overly concerned with Tartuffe?s health. A short time later, Orgon is further deceived by Tartuffe to withdraw his blessing from Mariane?s plans to marry Valere. To the

family?s dismay, Mariane is promised to be wed Tartuffe. In Act III, Tartuffe?s true intentions are revealed; His desires are to be with Elmire, not Mariane. During a conversation with Elmire, Tartuffe professes his lustful emotions for her. Unknown to Tartuffe, Damis has been listening to the entire conversation. Upset by what he has heard, Damis goes to inform his father. Tartuffe deceives Orgon once again by begging for forgiveness. Orgon is blinded by Tartuffe?s plea for repentance and immediately disowns Damis. More shockingly, Orgon employs Tartuffe as owner of his estate. Outraged, Elmire declares that Tartuffe?s sinister behavior must be stopped. In an effort to prove that Damis spoke the truth, she devises a plan to trap Tartuffe. Organ is to hide under a table, while

Tartuffe reveals his true feelings of lasciviousness for Elmire. At last Orgon?s eyes are opened and Tartuffe is seen for the hypocrite he really is. The play ends with the imposture being arrested. Moliere?s purpose was to satirize a religious hypocrite in such a manner that the society of his time could be enlightened to their own obsession with religion. Moliere clearly distinguished between Tartuffe?s hypocrisy and true religious piety. In the play, it is stated that one person pretending to be truly religious does not make all religious believers false. What ever the intentions of Moliere were, his use of characterization clearly speak about the discernment between religion and false piety. Bibliography Work Cited Moliere, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. Tartuffe. The Norton

Anthology of World Masterpieces. Vol.2. 7th ed. Eds. Sara Lawall, et al. New York: Norton, 1999. 13-68.