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by Molière

Tartuffe Religion 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

"He used to come into church each day
And humbly kneel nearby, and start to pray.
He'd draw the eyes of everybody there
By the deep fervor of his heartfelt prayer;
He'd sigh and weep, and sometimes with a sound
Of rapture he would bend and kiss the ground;" (1.5.6)

Orgon seems to have missed this passage in the Gospel of Matthew: "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:5-6).

Quote #2

"And just as there is nothing I more revere
Than a soul whose faith is steadfast and sincere,
Nothing that I more cherish and admire
Than honest zeal and true religious fire,
So there is nothing that I find more base
Than specious piety's dishonest face – " (1.5.11)

Cléante may seem more rational than religious, but he certainly prizes piety.

Quote #3

"They [men like Tartuffe] cloak their spite in fair religion's name,
Their private spleen and malice being made
To seem a high and virtuous crusade,
Until, to mankind's reverent applause,
They crucify their foe in Heaven's cause." (1.5.11)

Cléante criticizes those who sin in the name of religion while still praising religion itself as "fair."

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