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Tartuffe Essay

  • Submitted by: lacine
  • on April 26, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 662 words

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Below is an essay on "Tartuffe" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Tartuffe is one of Moliere’s most famous theatrical comedies. The main feature of the comedy resides in the fact that the main character doesn’t make an appearance until the middle of the play. In the two scenes that we will focus on, he first interacts with Dorine the housemaid, and then with Elmire, Orgon’s wife. Although described as being false and hypocrite by all the other characters at the exception of Orgon, Tartuffe seems to be pious at his first appearance; however, he reveals his true personality in the following scene.
For his first appearance in Act III, Scene 2, Tartuffe seems to be pious as he was earlier described by Orgon. When he speaks for the first time, he claims that he’s about to give the rest of his money to those in need. This generous act of charity makes us believe that he’s unselfish. Furthermore, Tartuffe is shocked by the dress that Dorine is wearing: “Cover that bosom, girl. The flesh is weak.” (8). He hands her a scarf and asks her to totally hide her breasts so that unclean thoughts don’t come to his mind. Now that Tartuffe has shown up for the first time, the reader can make a better judgment of the character without referring to the other characters in the play. This first impression that Tartuffe leaves is in total contradiction with the description that most of the characters made of him at the beginning of the story. Not only does he practice alms, he also refuses to sin and does his best to avoid temptation. Considering his early actions, Tartuffe seems to be an extremely pious and devout man of religion.
However, Dorine believes that Tartuffe is a hypocrite. Indeed, she isn’t fooled by his behavior and her attitude shows clearly that she’s suspicious of him. As he claims that he will be doing charity, she says aside: “Dear God, what affectation! What a fake!” (5). This verse clearly shows her feelings toward Tartuffe. As readers we tend to believe everything that the characters say and when Tartuffe claimed that he would...

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