Moliere's Tartuffe

970 words 4 pages
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword "The most forceful lines of a serious moral statement are usually less powerful than those of satire, and nothing will reform most men better than the depiction of their faults"(Moliere's preface to Tartuffe). Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere's play Tartuffe caused much controversy on its release upon the reigning king of France at that time. This comedy of greed, lust, deceit, hypocrisy, devotion, ardor, and truth had to be rewritten three times before the clergy approved it for public viewing. It especially angered a group called The Brotherhood, which was dedicated to the preservation of very strict religious observances. Moliere was merely finding a way to express his thoughts about several attitudes …show more content…

Some of the ideals in Moliere's play were not necessarily those that he thought needed to be changed because of their degrading purposes, but those that needed to be more emphasized because of their uplifting principles. Moliere took extra care in ensuring that Enlightenment beliefs were expressed in his play Tartuffe. One example would be Cleante's, the brother-in-law of Orgon, rational behavior throughout the play. He represented the ideal that everything should be moderate and of sound reason, something that society needed more of at this time. Another example that showed Enlightenment beliefs was rejection of passion for recognition of one's responsibility and duty as an individual and as part of a group (whether that be a family, congregation, etc.). This can be seen when Mariane, daughter of Orgon, does not initially object to marrying Tartuffe after her father tells her that she will. Even though she is already arranged with another man, who she is deeply in love with, she sacrifices all of this to fulfill her duty as a daughter. Insistence on appropriate behavior and manners is a belief that parallels the former. Tartuffe did try to court Orgon's wife in the play. Orgon's wife believing in appropriate behavior towards males that did not include her husband, refused to take part in any obscene acts that Tartuffe would suggest to her. This act of appropriate behavior and manners was another belief that Moliere believed should be further


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