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by Molière

Tartuffe Women and Femininity 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:
"And you, his sister, seem so pure,
So shy, so innocent, and so demure.
But you know what they say about still waters.
I pity parents with secretive daughters." (1.1.11)

Madame Pernelle's comments suggest not only that Mariane is deceitful and, possibly, promiscuous, but that all "secretive daughters" are similarly disposed.

Quote #2

Madame Pernelle:
"You're much too free with money, and I'm distressed
To see you so elaborately dressed.
When it's one's husband that one aims to please,
One has no need for costly fripperies." (1.1.13)

Madame Pernelle seems to think that married women should avoid any kind of luxury.

Quote #3

"Oh, yes, she's strict, devout, and has no taint
Of worldliness; in short, she seems a saint.
But it was time which taught her that disguise;
She's thus because she can't be otherwise.
So long as her attractions could enthrall,
She flounced and flirted and enjoyed it all,
But now that they're no longer what they were
She quits the world which fast is quitting her,
And wears a veil of virtue to conceal
Her bankrupt beauty and her lost appeal." (1.1.33)

Dorine's is an interesting proposition. In this case, virtue and religious observance seem to be a mere replacement for beauty and charm.

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