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by Molière

Tartuffe Act 5, Scene 4 Summary

  • Monsieur Loyal enters. He's looking for the master of the house.
  • As it turns out, Loyal has been sent by Tartuffe.
  • Before going to meet him, Orgon asks Cléante for some advice. Cléante tells him that he just needs to keep a cool head.
  • When Loyal greets Orgon kindly, Orgon takes this as a sign of good will, and hopes Tartuffe is willing to compromise.
  • Instead, Loyal serves him with a writ, a written court document, calling for the eviction of Orgon and Co. from their own home.
  • Orgon can't believe it, so M. Loyal elaborates. The house, he tells Orgon, is now the property of Tartuffe. He produces a deed to prove it.
  • Hotheaded Damis attempts to intervene, but he's talked down by Loyal.
  • Loyal is sure that, with Orgon's compliance, everything will go off without a hitch. He tries to appeal to Orgon, to remind him that he is a wise and "temperate" man, and tells him that he loves "all men of upright character."
  • Orgon appeals to Loyal.
  • Out of the kindness of his heart, Loyal agrees to give Orgon a reprieve…until the next day.
  • Loyal will, he tells Orgon, need to spend the night…and bring a bunch of men to move out stuff…and kick Orgon and everybody else out early in the morning, but he'll do it in the most pleasant way possible.
  • At this point Orgon starts to lose his temper; he's ready to sock Loyal right in the nose.
  • Cléante steps in and tells Orgon to chill.
  • Damis, of course, wants to kick his butt.
  • And Dorine tells Loyal to his face that she'd like to see him whacked with a stick. Loyal warns that he might have to take her in if she continues to act like that.
  • Cléante tells Loyal to give him the paper and leave, which he does. Orgon curses him as he walks out the door.

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