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Tartuffe

Molière

Book Overview: 

Tartuffe, a pious fraud who pretends to speak with divine authority, has insinuated himself into the household of Orgon. When Orgon announces that his daughter Mariane is to marry Tartuffe instead of her fiance Valère, the rest of the family realizes the extent of Tartuffe's influence over Orgon. Tartuffe tries to seduce Orgon's wife Elmire, who traps him into revealing to Orgon his intentions toward her. Orgon throws Tartuffe out of the house, Tartuffe returns with an order of eviction for the family, and at the final moment the tables are turned and the play ends happily.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .They use against us weapons men revere,
  And since they make the world applaud their passion,
  And seek to stab us with a sacred sword.
  There are too many of this canting kind.
  Still, the sincere are easy to distinguish;
  And many splendid patterns may be found,
  In our own time, before our very eyes
  Look at Ariston, Periandre, Oronte,
  Alcidamas, Clitandre, and Polydore;
  No one denies their claim to true religion;
  Yet they're no braggadocios of virtue,
  They do not make insufferable display,
  And their religion's human, tractable;
  They are not always judging all our actions,
  They'd think such judgment savoured of presumption;
  And, leaving pride of words to other men,
  'Tis by their deeds alone . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Conned by a Charlatan
18 May 2013

Isn't it interesting that there are some sectors of society that get really upset if you poke fun at them, or even criticise them in anyway. Normally this happens because these particular people are well aware that what they are doing is wrong and that they are si...more

When I read this play for the first time, I had a strange feeling that I'd seen it somewhere before. Cretinous Orgon can't understand what's obvious to the audience and everyone else in the play, namely that the slimy cleric Tartuffe is not only trying to ruin him, but also to get into his wife's...more

El tema principal de la obra es genial. Aborda cómo se puede ser hipócrita usando a la religión. He leído otros libro también hablando de esto, pero lo especial aquí es que todo es obra de Molière, lo que significa que, en la Francia clásica del siglo XVII, eso era casi un crimen. Hablar mal de l...more

Mocking the Heavens

As I read this I was reminded most often of the god-men of India: of their scandals, of their dedicated followers who are so willingly duped, and of the politicians who pretend to be devoted for their own purposes.

I can only imagine what parallel suggestion would have been easi...more

Tartuffe (Imposter), written by French playwright Moliere in 1664, and first performed that same year. It's a comedy, and even though it reads well, I imagine to be truly appreciated it would be better to see the stage production, and see these remarkable characters come to life. It was banned sh...more

Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Tartuffe a play written in 1664 by Molière. I read this play as part of a course on Theatre and Drama several years ago. I also acted in a staged version of this story. I really enjoyed it, especially learning more about the characters and story through the dire...more

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Le Tartuffe, ou L’Imposteur = Tartuffe, or The Impostor, or The Hypocrite, Molière
Tartuffe, or The Impostor, or The Hypocrite (French: Tartuffe, ou l'Imposteur), first performed in 1664, is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière. The characters of Tartuffe, Elmire, and Orgon are c...more

While reading the Chekhov play Ivanoff recently, I became curious about why one character told another not to be a Tartuffe. I Googled and discovered that in French and English, calling anyone a Tartuffe means that they are a hypocrite, especially one who pretends to be overly pious. And I learne...more

What! Will you find no difference between
Hypocrisy and genuine devoutness?
And will you treat them both alike, and pay
The self-same honour both to masks and faces
Set artifice beside sincerity,
Confuse the semblance with reality,
Esteem a phantom like a living person,
And counterfeit as good as hone...more

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