Study Guide

Tartuffe Act 1, Scene 4

By Molière

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Act 1, Scene 4

  • Orgon rolls in, having just come from a trip out of town.
  • He proceeds to ignore Cléante.
  • He wants to hear about what's happened to the family in the time since he left.
  • Dorine tells him that Elmire has been sick with a fever, but all Orgon really wants to hear about is Tartuffe. Every time Dorine tells him anything about his wife – all about how she's felt sick and suffered – he says, "And Tartuffe?"
  • Dorine tells him that he's been doing fine, eating, drinking and sleeping altogether too much for such a pious guy.
  • That doesn't stop Orgon from exclaiming "Poor fellow!" again and again. This goes on for a while. It's what a comedian might call a "routine" or a "bit."
  • When Dorine has had enough, she goes off to tell Elmire how "sympathetic" Orgon has been.

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