How we cite our quotes:
The low-brow's grown so powerful and rich,
And risen to a rank so bright and high
That virtue can but blush, and merit sigh. (1.1.135)
In this society, power and money excuses everything, including crime. Sure, Alceste's supposed to be a dupe, but we get the feeling that Molière didn't disagree with him entirely.
Your enemy's influence
Is great, you know...
That makes no difference.
It will; you'll see. (1.1.200)
Alceste doesn't really get the whole power thing. If virtue won over power, the Dalai Lama would be the most powerful man in the world. Oh, and Alceste would still lose, because he's a hypocrite.
I'm sure you won't refuse—if I may be frank—
A friend of my devotedness—and rank. (1.2.10)
Anyone who has suddenly become rich or famous could tell you that power usually comes along with a lot of friends. Excuse us. "Friends." And anyone who's ever needed to get out of a parking ticket can tell that it's good to have friends in high places. And—anyone who knows Alceste should know that Oronte's tactic is guaranteed to fail.