"Tartuffe"is a French satire authored by Molière in 1664. The author usescharacters to illustrate that humans has a variety of unreasonableissues intended to help humans perceive and refrain from unreasonablethings. The objective of the satire is to illustrate in a comic waythat cheating, lying, dissimulation and disguise are natural humancharacteristics that shows an outward that is different from reality.
Basedon the reading of this play, characterization is more essential toMoliere. This is because he uses the behaviors of his primarycharacter, "Tartuffe" to communicate the central theme inthe story. The author has strived so much to describe the charactersin the book extensively to help the readers visualize thehypocritical nature of people. For example, Tartuffe pretends to bean honest and reliable person, but he is a hypocrite looking for anopportunity to swindle Orgon. Orgon does not suspect that Tartuffe isplanning to harm because he pretends to be truthful and pious.
Inchapter II, the play focuses on the children’s obligation to obeytheir parents. Mariane had declared her lover for Valere, but shedecides to marry Tartuffe because it was the fish of his father. Theauthor describes Mariane’s dilemma towards getting to Tartuffe, butshe could not resist, as it was the wish of her father. Her younglover and the servants in her house attempts to convince Mariane todecline getting married to "Tartuffe", but she is adamantthat she must marry him to conform to his father’s wish(Rancour-Laferriere 17). In Act III, the play focuses on trickery thecharacters use against each other. The first trick occurs betweenElmire and Tartuffe. Dorine conspires with Elmire to blackmailTartuffe into not marrying Mariane through having an illicit affair.However, he had to renounce his love to Mariane so that she couldgive in. Damis overhears the conversation between the two, and theensuing commotion attracts his father, Orgon. However, Tartuffe wearshis innocent and pious nature, and then denies the allegations(Molière 243). As a result, Orgon believes him. He approves him tomarry his daughter, as well as become his heir.
ActIV is the climax of the story since Orgon discovers the true natureof his trusted servant and potential heir – Tartuffe. He discoversthat he is a man double standard as he pretends pious, but he is ahypocrite. However, the story goes to a tragic level after Orgonattempts to chase Tartuffe away from his house since he hadestablished that he was a hypocrite. However, Tartuffe refuses toleave because he was already in possession of a strong box and thehouse’ deed that could lead to many problems for Orgon. In otherwords, Orgon was no longer the legal owner of his residence andessential property that he depended upon for his livelihood (Molière224).
Theending of the play does not resolve the conflict of the playefficiently. It is a copout ending because it does not explain howthe king discovered that Tartuffe was a liar. Besides, it does notexplain why the King did not punish Orgon if he knew that his friendwas disloyal to the kings (Molière 217). Besides, it does notexplain whether Orgon reacquired his house, and the role Valerieplayed in rescuing his home and strongbox. The revelation ofTartuffe’s true nature that he was a hypocrite supports the thesisof the paper that cheating, lying, dissimulation and disguise arenatural human characteristics that shows an outward that is differentfrom reality. Tartuffe was a con artist, but he had managed toconvince Orgon that he was an honest and authoritative pious man thathe could trust with his confidential information.
Rancour-Laferriere,Daniel. Self-analysisin Literary Study: Exploring Hidden Agendas.New York: New York University Press, 1994. Print.
Molière,. Tartuffe.Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Pub, 2010. Print.