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The Story of Tartuffe by Moliere - Essay Sample

3 pages
679 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Moliere presents the story of Tartuffe who hides in religion to hide his ambitions, greed, and desires. It can be perceived that he uses his hypocrisy to win trust from both Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle. At the beginning of the play, it is quite evident that, as the boarder of the family, Tartuffe is highly valued by Madame Pernelle who engages in frequent criticism of his sons household. The same case applies to Orgon who disinherits his son, Damis after Damis tries to convince him of Tartuffes hypocrisy, the attempt to seduce Elmire (Orgons wife). Furthermore, everyone else can see Tartuffes hypocrisy apart from Orgon and his mother. In other words, Tartuffe is all over the play from the time that Madame Pernelle praises him to the time of his conviction.

A word that appears in Moliere that explains Orgons perception of Tartuffe before recognizing his hypocrisy is poor. The word is repeated multiple times in the play in which it is mostly used when referring to Tartuffe. It can be viewed to illustrate the aspect of concern on Tartuffes status by Orgon who is blinded by his hypocrisy. The term is repeated severally during a conversation between Dorine and Orgon in which he keeps referring to Tartuffe as poor man. In scene IV of act I, Dorine attempts to inform Orgon severally on his wifes medical condition. Be that as it may, he does not show any sympathy for his but rather focuses on Tartuffes welfare. Tartuffe, on the other hand, is busy eating food that amounts to a portion that can be eaten by several men, heavily drinks wine and sleeps comfortably. When Dorine begins conversing about Elmires disturbing headaches and fever, Orgon echoes, The poor man! and Ah Tartuffe. During another encounter with Dorine, Orgon tells her, As poor as he is, hes a gentleman, and the estate he was born to be not inconsiderable, (Moliere). The statement indicates that Orgon was moved by the fact that Tartuffe was poor and hence others should consider his state. Orgon also uses the word poor during his conversation with Cleante explaining why he accommodated Tartuffe. Orgon states, And when I refused to take it again, he would go and give it among the poor before my face, (Moliere). From his perspective, he was drawn to the fact that Tartuffe took what had been given to him to the poor and hence making Orgon take him home with him. The word is also used during Tartuffes conversation with Orgon when signing his property rights to Tartuffe. Orgon states, Poor man! Come, lets get the writings drawn up, and then let envy burst itself with spite, (Moliere). He also uses the term poor when defending Tartuffe against his wife, Elmire. He states, I know your complaisance for my rascal of a son, and you were afraid to disavow the trick he would have played the poor man, (Moliere). When he finally discovers Tartuffes hypocrisy and pious nature, he tells Cleante, And that I, who took him in poor and indigent, (Moliere).

As mentioned earlier, the term poor can be viewed to illustrate the aspect of concern on Tartuffes status by Orgon who is blinded by his hypocrisy. Orgon uses it whenever defending Tartuffes as per the complaints presented to him by his family members. The term also connects to some of the plays major themes that include foolishness and hypocrisy as per Orgons ignorance and Tartuffes conniving nature. From a personal perspective, the term can be interpreted as representing Orgons perception of Tartuffe. Also, if a reader could focus on the word, he or she might learn about Tartuffe and how Orgons perception of him blinded Orgon from realizing Tartuffes true motives through the term. It makes one comprehend why Orgon favored him despite the allegations. Every person in the household apart from Orgon and his mother knew Tartuffes motives. The analysis does not present something new but rather focuses on the term "poor" that highly contributes to the themes of foolishness and hypocrisy.

Work Cited

Moliere. Tartuffe.

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