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by Molière

Tartuffe Morality and Ethics 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:
"What he reproves deserves reproof,
He's out to save your souls, and all of you
Must love him, as my son would have you do." (1.1.34)

Madame Pernelle treats Tartuffe as a supreme moral authority. His power is reinforced by the endorsement of both Madame Pernelle and Orgon.

Quote #2

Madame Pernelle:
"I tell you that you're blest to have Tartuffe
Dwelling, as my son's guest, beneath this roof;
That Heaven has sent him to forestall its wrath
By leading you once more, to the true path;
That all he reprehends is reprehensible,
And that you'd better heed him, and be sensible." (1.1.34)

Madame Pernelle repeats what she said earlier, but this time she claims that Tartuffe has the authority of Heaven behind him.

Quote #3

"To keep his precepts is to be reborn,
And view this dunghill of a world with scorn.
Yes, thanks to him I'm a changed man indeed.
Under his tutelage my soul's been freed
From earthly loves and every human tie:
My mother, children, brother, and wife." (1.5.4)

Is there anything of true moral worth in this sentiment? Is there some valid philosophy embedded in there that has, perhaps, been twisted?

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