Hypocritical Characters In Orbury's Tartuffe

1092 Words5 Pages
Without a doubt, Tartuffe is one of the most ostentatious, hypocritical characters anyone can encounter in literature. He is a textbook definition of a hypocrite with his behaviors contradicting the morals he claims to hold. Furthermore, based on Tartuffe’s dialogue and decisions, he is an embodiment of irrationality, yet somehow Tartuffe justifies all his contradictions between what he says and what he does by presenting rational-like defenses. It is here where a distinction can be made about Tartuffe’s motivations. Is Tartuffe merely a hypocrite by deceiving others with a facade of piety? Or has Tartuffe deluded himself into buying into his deception as well? One interpretation of Tartuffe paints him a cult-like figure, dominating Orgon’s…show more content…
Arguably, Tartuffe is not only a hypocritical buffoon, but also a delusional cult leader who has somehow bent his claimed morals into excusing his irrational behavior. In Act I, Scene I of Tartuffe, Dorine asserts one of the first characterizations of Tartuffe, which is “everything [Tartuffe] does is hypocrisy” (35). Before Tartuffe even enters the stage, the audience can already infer what type of man he would be, one that presents himself as a pious saint while behaving sinfully. Tartuffe warns of the dangers of the flesh, and the mere sight of Dorine’s uncovered chest offends him to the point of asking her to cover up, but he is more than willing to engage in unholy activities with Elmire’s flesh. Simply put, Tartuffe would make a religious claim, which would be accurate in nature, implement it strictly to the point of being overly prudent,…show more content…
During the moments where Tartuffe reveals his true intentions, he retains his religious rhetoric. Tartuffe does this when he intends to be involved with Elmire, when he does not allow Damis to return, when he brings the household under his ownership, and finally when Tartuffe attempts to have Orgon arrested. In each of these scenarios, Tartuffe defends his actions with his religious speak even after his mask of being a simple, pious beggar was ripped away. For example, when Tartuffe threatens the family with his newfound mastery of the estate, he mentions how he would punish them for attempting to kick him out, and how he had a way “of avenging [the] affront to Heaven” in order to cause the family regret trying to get him to leave (77). As Tartuffe comes closer to nearly conning the family, he becomes more unrestrained and acts invincible as though he got away with his plan before its completion. Ultimately, Tartuffe becomes as bold as to attempt to arrest Orgon, so he could have complete mastery over the house. Since he was blinded sided by his own power, he neglected the consequences of bringing the King into the situation. Due to his past crimes, the tide quickly turned on Tartuffe, and when the officer went to arrest him, Tartuffe could only respond with a surprised, “Who, me?” (87). Tartuffe deluded himself into believing and trusting in a seemingly

More about Hypocritical Characters In Orbury's Tartuffe

Open Document