A literary analysis of the classic story tartuffe by moliere

The story of an unrepentant womanizer who is dragged to Hell in the grasp of a stone statue was given its literary debut in by a Spanish monk, Tirso de Molina, in a novel titled "The Joker of Seville and the Guest of Stone. Moliere's version of the story, written in prose rather than his usual verse, is a true tragi-comedy focusing on Don Juan's relationship with his moralizing valet, Sganarelle Mozart's Leporellowho disapproves of his foppish master's profligate lifestyle but is fond of him all the same. Both Don Juan and Sganarelle are psychological types recognizable in modern society, and the clash in their philosophies is still relevant to today's audiences. Emphasizing the tension between the individual ego and the moral constraints of society and the church, "Don Juan" immediately ran into religious opposition when it was first produced in France in and was withdrawn after 15 performances.

A literary analysis of the classic story tartuffe by moliere

It is the female characters in Tartuffe who recognize the hypocrite and his malice, demonstrating their clear sense of right and wrong. This happens despite the power exercised by Orgon and the social world of the time where women exist in utter subordination to fathers and husbands.

The patriarchal position of power held true in the domestic household as well, and this is demonstrated by the attempts of the father, Orgon, to exert authority over it. It is his power as the father that allows him to make such demands, and he perhaps make such demands to reinforce that patriarchy.

Unfortunately, because of his foolishness and failure to reason, this authority also creates the dilemma that must be resolved. Indeed, Orgon, acting with authority in his foolish manner, forces his own son Damis out of the house.

Further in the play, he even hands over the deed of his household to the hypocritical Tartuffe. The female members of the household are forced to dissuade Orgon from following through with his irrational and arrogant plans.

At this point, the conflict of the play could be resolved, as Elmire has Tartuffe trapped; either he must renounce his marriage into the family or she will reveal his hypocrisy. Unfortunately, this moment, and the opportunity to resolve the conflict, is ruined by the entrance of Damis, who tosses accusations at Tartuffe to reveal his deceit.

That this near-resolution to the conflict, set up by a female, was ruined by the overly zealous actions of a man is a strong critique of the contemporary perceptions of female capabilities versus male capabilities. Yet, unlike the women, they are ineffective in trying to subvert patriarchal authority and resolve the conflict.

A literary analysis of the classic story tartuffe by moliere

Damis, in his zeal against Tartuffe, is disowned by Orgon and forced out of the household. As it is they who reveal the hypocrisy of Tartuffe and not the men of the house, his unmasking is a testament to female reason and cleverness.

Who can edit: He is not sure whether his father will consent the marriage between her and the person she loves who is Mariane.
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This trick is incredibly cunning, and because Elmire was able manipulate a man it is demonstrated that women are capable of using more reason and more cleverness than men. By having Orgon finally recognize the foolishness of his beliefs and accordingly end his demand that Tartuffe marry Mariane, the women have successfully subverted his patriarchal authority.

They have prevented him from carrying out his will. In doing so, they have broken down the hierarchal structure which had previously opposed and suppressed them. He is putting forth the idea that women can successfully subvert the subordination which society at the time demanded of them, and that perhaps they should.

It is thus no small wonder that Tartuffe was such a controversial work. By the time the women are able to reveal his true character, Orgon has already signed away the deed to his house because of his arrogance and ignorance.

Yet this is not the fault of the women; instead, it further demonstrates and critiques the failures of irrational patriarchal authority.

Of course, without his foolishness, the conflict would never have happened in the first place.Tartuffe is a neoclassic comedy which is also known as the imposter. The play was written by Moliere and is seen to be one of the greatest theatrical pieces that have ever been done. Get free homework help on Moliere's Tartuffe: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes.

Molière's Tartuffe reveals how a religious hypocrite — an imposter — almost succeeds in his plot to jail a naive friend and his family and thereby cheat them out of their home.

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Romanian director Lucian Pintilie has given Moliere's ''Tartuffe'' a good swift kick and bounced the 17th-century satire squarely into the 20th century.

Such an interpretation chimes with Molière’s own defence of Tartuffe, in his Lettre sur la comédie de l’Imposteur, in which he argued that comedy is a physical, external embodiment of ‘the unreasonable’, and so the play of reason against the irrational is the right – indeed, necessary – stuff of comedy.

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A literary analysis of the classic story tartuffe by moliere