Skip to navigation
Skip to content
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
We Speak Student
Cart: 0 ($0.00)
All of Shmoop
Cite This Page
Cite This Source
Cite This Source
Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Tools of Characterization
Best of the Web
Meet the Cast
There are many words that could be used to describe Orgon: idiot, dunce, sucker, chump, chucklehead, chowderhead, dunderhead – hmmm, what's with all these head words…? Anyway, you get t...
Tartuffe's reputation precedes him. His name is the title, and the characters of this play spend all their time talking about him – but he doesn't even show up in person until Act 3. By this...
Dorine is Mariane's maid. She's also saucy, sassy, and streetwise. She's always ready with a snappy comeback and some good advice. Without Dorine, Mariane probably would have folded under pressure...
Cléante is both a wise man and a wise guy: he's a perceptive, learned, intellectual, you name it. He's also a big talker, one who never seems to doubt the truth of anything he says. Cléan...
Elmire is what you might call a strong woman. And we're not talking 17th century strong, no sirree. She could go toe to toe with a 21st-century lady and hold her own. Now, this kind of "modern" spi...
Mariane is daddy's little girl. She loves her guy, Valère, there's no doubt about it, but she's used to saying yes to everything her father Orgon asks. So, as you might expect, she's a little...
Damis lays it all on the line in Act 1, Scene 1, when he tells Madame Pernelle that Tartuffe's "every action makes me seeth and tremble/ with helpless, anger, and I have no doubt that he and I will...
Madame Pernelle is Orgon's mother. Like her son, she's enamored with Tartuffe. She eats up every word he utters and spits it back out at Elmire, Cléante, Mariane, and the rest of the family. A...
Valère is a nice guy who very nearly finishes last. Sure, he and Mariane have a little lovers' spat, but there's not much else wrong with him as far as we can tell. He's simply a victim of cir...
Monsieur Loyal is a bearer of bad news and a lackey for Tartuffe. Which makes sense: he's just as much of a hypocrite as his master. After serving Orgon with an eviction notice on behalf of "the go...
The officer is responsible for arresting Tartuffe in the play's final scene. More importantly, he acts as the mouthpiece for the King. He lets everyone know that Orgon has been exonerated, that Tar...
Flipote is Madame Pernelle's maid. She gets slapped and generally disrespected by Pernelle at the end of Act 1, Scene 1.