Hypocrisy In Molière's Tartuffe

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Religion–it is something that has been in existence since the beginning of time. It brings meaning to life and death. It creates a sense of belonging in the world. On the other hand, religion, or lack thereof, has also been, in many instances, the cause of oppression, warfare, and even terrorism. Sometimes religion is used to the advantage of one’s self. This can lead to extremism, which some might label as false piety or religious fanaticism. Looking at how these ideas might come into play can help us to better understand where Tartuffe and Orgon stood throughout the story, and to decipher what Molière was truly trying to project in this story of hypocrisy. Piety is defined as “devotion to God; fidelity to natural obligations; dutifulness …show more content…

In fact, the text before the actual story explains that Molière uses satire and humor to “comment on his own immediate social scene, imagining how universal patterns play themselves out in a specific historical context” (Molière). Because of this, the king of France was made by the Catholic Church to have Tartuffe banned. He is seen, at first, by some of the household members, specifically Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle, as this pure, kind-hearted man. As the story progresses, it slowly becomes apparent that Tartuffe is not the person some characters have made him out to be. For example, the first time we get a feel for the idea is in scene 1.4 where Dorine begins to list off Tartuffe’s action as Orgon asks, “Ah, and Tartuffe?” (Molière). The responses were: “Rosy-nosed and red cheeked, drinking your wine,” “…Not holding back, he ate with great delight, A brace of partridge, and a leg of mutton. In fact, he ate so much, he popped a button,” “…Tartuffe slurped down red wine, all at your cost” (Molière). Orgon always responded, “Poor man!” While all of his actions may have not been a sin, they would be uncommon to see in someone that is a self-proclaimed religious devotee. This is where the notion of false piety takes shape. In scenes 4.6-4.7, Orgon finally sees Tartuffe for who he really is, but he is not holding back after being exposed. He explains that Orgon’s property is now his own and that Orgon must repent because he has offended Heaven by offending him. A statement like that seems it could come from the mouth of an

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