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by Molière

Tartuffe Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Richard Wilbur's translation.

Quote #1

Madame Pernelle:
"And you, his sister, seem so pure,
So shy, so innocent, and so demure.
But you know what they say about still waters.
I pity parents with secretive daughters." (1.1.11)

Madame Pernelle accuses her own granddaughter of being a liar and, perhaps some other less savory things. She presumes that she is guilty of something even though she clearly has no evidence.

Quote #2

"Ah no, Grandmother, I could never take
To such a rascal, even for my father's sake.
That's how I feel, and I shall not dissemble.
His every action makes me seethe and tremble
With helpless anger, and I have no doubt
That he and I will shortly have it out." (1.1.21)

Damis is firmly opposed to any kind of deceit. We see later on that his commitment to telling the truth causes a lot of trouble.

Quote #3

"Oh, yes, she's strict, devout, and has no taint
Of worldliness; in short, she seems a saint.
But it was time which taught her that disguise;
She's thus because she can't be otherwise.
So long as her attractions could enthrall,
She flounced and flirted and enjoyed it all,
But now that they're no longer what they were
She quits the world which fast is quitting her,
And wears a veil of virtue to conceal
Her bankrupt beauty and her lost appeal." (1.1.33)

Here, virtue is worn as a kind of make-up, to cover over the signs of aging. It is a mask, a way of deceiving those who might have found some cause for criticism.

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