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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is a slippery thing. To some, it's obvious: Tartuffe is called a hypocrite pretty much right off the bat. The more we're told about him, the more noticeable his hypocrisy becomes. At the...

Foolishness and Folly

Orgon may be the king of fools in Tartuffe, but he's not the only one that's off his rocker. As Dorine points out, Mariane and Valère are suffering from a bit of what the French call l'amour f...

Religion

Religion was a touchy subject back in Molière's day…but Molière himself didn't seem to have any qualms with making some jokes about it. The thing is, Molière's play Tartuffe do...

Women and Femininity

Considering Tartuffe was written in the 17th century, you might expect the female characters to be soft-spoken, demure, and generally pretty dull. But that couldn't be further from the truth –...

Lies and Deceit

Here's a question for you: should one always tell the truth under all circumstances? Molière seems to think not. Sure, Tartuffe is the one that does most of the lying, but what are we to make...

Morality and Ethics

So, on one hand we've got Tartuffe. He acts like a moral authority while doing tons of immoral and unethical things: he lies, steals, blackmails, attempts to commit adultery…the list goes on...

Marriage

Marriage is many things in Tartuffe. It's political; that is, it's just as much about making alliances as it is about love. It is about love, of course, but the workings of love are hampered throug...

Sin

We hear some strange opinions about sin in Tartuffe. Madame Pernelle tells everyone that Tartuffe is the authority as far as sin's concerned. Nobody listens of course…well, except for Orgon....
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