Le Tartuffe A Comedy Analysis

1977 Words8 Pages
Comedy plays an important role in the majority of Molière’s writing. It sets the tone for the play, entertains the audience and most importantly helps the playwright to achieve their theatrical objectives. In Le Tartuffe the nature of the comedy used is satirical. This essay will examine why Molière was inclined to use this style of comedy and how the comedic techniques accentuate the main theme of the play.
Molière was one of France’s most successful playwrights of the 17th Century. Due to this fact, the nature of Molière’s comedy is a product of his time. During this period, theatre audiences were vastly different to spectators of today’s time, as they were often unruly and impatient. Theatre had to immediately capture the audience’s attention
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One of Molière’s main objectives as playwright was to analyse and often criticise the society in which he lived in. Theatre, for Molière, was a vehicle which allowed him to provide a social commentary on issues of the time and to highlight the faults of society. For this reason, Molière’s use of comedy was highly satirical. The combination of dramatic and satirical comedy, not only emphasises the flaws of the world at the time, but also accentuates the shortcomings of human nature. In Molière’s case, comedy was not a mere device used for the entertainment of the audience, as it played an integral role in delivering the message that he wanted to convey in his plays. According to Moore, comedy for Molière ‘was not a veneer nor a quick look taken at something, which if fully displayed, would prove disagreeable and unesthetic, it was a fundamental human category, the exploration of which would lead to the roots of the human condition’ (Moore, 1948, 47) . Comedy acted as a device for Molière to explore serious themes relating to society and human behaviour, which may often be too delicate or controversial to discuss in a different context. The function of comedy in Molières work is particularly evident in L’impromptu de Versailles when Brécourt states that ‘l’affaire de la comédie est de représenter en général tous les défauts des hommes, et principalement des hommes de notre siècle’ (Molière, 1890, 29) . The dramatic and satirical style of comedy used, creates extreme situations so that the faults of society are remarkably
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