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Tartuffe Sin 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

Dorine: "To hear him talk – and he talks all the time –
There's nothing one can do that's not a crime.
He rails against everything, your dear Tartuffe." (1.1.19)

If Dorine has it right, Tartuffe's moral compass is way off. Even if he weren't sinning, that kind of attitude speaks to a misunderstanding of sin and religion in general. Also, she might have added "except the stuff he does" after everything if she wanted to be a bit more accurate.

Quote #2

Madame Pernelle:
"Well, mark my words, your souls would fare far better
If you obeyed his precepts to the letter." (1.1.23)

Once again, if we believe Dorine – and we must – following his precepts would really mean doing nothing at all.

Quote #3

Madame Pernelle:
"You all regard him with distaste and fear
Because he tells you what you're loath to hear,
Condemns your sins, points out your moral flaws,
And humbly strives to further Heaven's cause." (1.1.27)

Madame Pernelle's argument might be valid in another case – there are plenty of prophets that were ignored because people simply didn't want to change their ways. In this case, however, Orgon's family is right not to listen.

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