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Analysis

Literary Devices in Tartuffe

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

You may have heard of this little thing called the Tower of Babel. Yeah, it's referenced in the name of that Brad Pitt movie, but it's also in Tartuffe. In Act 1, Scene 1, Madame Pernelle slams eve...

Setting

Tartuffe is about rich people with rich people's problems. Sure, the action all takes place in one room, but it's a darn nice room in what we have to assume is a darn nice house. Molière doesn...

Genre

Let's break it down now, word by word. Let's start with comedy: as that famous English playwright said, "all's well that ends well," and, well, Tartuffe definitely ends well. Catch our drift? Like...

Tone

Molière chose to write Tartuffe in rhyming verse. ("Chose" is key here, for sometimes, as with his follow up play, Don Juan, he wrote in prose.) As a result, things can sound a bit silly and n...

Writing Style

Translations are like snowflakes: no two are exactly alike. Molière wrote Tartuffe in French in verse. Each line is twelve syllables long. It's what we academic, poetical types call an alexand...

What's Up With the Title?

Tartuffe. Sounds like some kind of fancy dessert, no? Well, it isn't. It is, however, the name of a character in the play. Now, let's take a look at the list of characters. Ah! There it is. If we w...

What's Up With the Ending?

Tartuffe ends just like a good old-fashioned comedy should: happily. The villain is carted off to jail. The lovers get married. Wrongs are righted. Justice is served. The truth prevails. This is al...

Tough-o-Meter

Tartuffe makes for a funny, zippy little read/watch, especially when it's in verse. This doesn't mean it's insubstantial, though. There are lessons to be learned her – mostly from Cléant...

Plot Analysis

Orgon, the head of a prosperous family, has taken in and been taken in by Tartuffe, a man who purports to be holy, but is really a fraud. Orgon and his mother are the only ones to have fallen under...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

Orgon, the patriarch of a rich Parisian family falls under the spell of Tartuffe, a self-righteous hypocrite. The family's attempts to convince Orgon of Tartuffe's unsavory nature fail, and Orgon d...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Orgon is duped by Tartuffe; he loves him more than he loves his family. He wants to give him his only daughter. Orgon's family hates Tartuffe and wants him gone.Even after Tartuffe attempts to sedu...

Trivia

Molière collapsed on stage during a performance of his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac). Turns out it wasn't just his imagination. (Source)After Louis XIV banned Tartuffe, Moli...

Steaminess Rating

Sex there is not, but there's plenty of pining and frustration. Mariane and Valère are in love, but there are obstacles at every turn. Tartuffe really wants Elmire, so much so that he can't he...

Allusions

the tower of Babel, Genesis 11 (1.1.34)Life of Jesus (1.2.4; could refer to any number of books)Moses (1.2.4)Oronte – there's a character named Oronte in Molière's Misanthrope (1.5.11)C...
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