Tartuffe, the Impostor and the Hypocrite

Tartuffe, the Impostor and the Hypocrite, is a classic French play that was first performed in 1664. Written by Molière, the play features characters such as Tartuffe, Orgon, and Elmire. These characters are considered some of the greatest classical theatre roles ever written.

Orgon’s rescue from Tartuffe’s gullibility
Tartuffe has the power to manipulate Orgon and his family. The gullibility of Orgon leads him to become the victim of Tartuffe’s con game. Tartuffe is a hypocrite who uses people to get what he wants. Orgon’s family warns him about Tartuffe, but he does not listen. Later, Orgon finds out that Tartuffe is hitting on his wife. This scene is a reminder of how powerful Tartuffe is and how easily he can manipulate people.

Orgon is the husband of Elmire and father of Damis. His family has several houseguests, including Tartuffe. The play begins in Orgon’s house. Earlier, Orgon had met Tartuffe at a church, and Orgon is impressed by his piety. He treats him much better than his family, but he is not aware that Tartuffe is a deceiving man.

At one point, Tartuffe tries to trap Orgon in a “legal maze,” but Orgon manages to escape and reaches the other side. During the time he is in the house, a man arrives who claims to have a message from Tartuffe. However, he turns out to be a bailiff, who serves the writ of court on Orgon.

Orgon’s relationship with Cleante
Cleante, a servant in the temple, has a difficult time understanding Orgon. He is worried that Tartuffe might influence his father. At the same time, he wants to marry Valere’s sister. However, he cannot find out Orgon’s true feelings about Tartuffe.

The first sign of a misunderstanding is the way Orgon describes Tartuffe. While the priest describes Tartuffe as a good man and performs pious acts, he does not see the pious aspects of Tartuffe. He accuses Cleante of a false piety and says that he has a limited perspective. However, he points out that a religious man does have good deeds.

Cleante’s speech is incredibly long. While he tries to convey his point to Orgon, he is not able to do so quickly. In addition, he adds unnecessary details and implies that Orgon does not understand his own mistake. Cleante speaks in a pompous tone, and it is difficult for him to communicate his message clearly.

Orgon’s relationship with Mariane
The relationship between Orgon and Mariane Tartuffe begins with the former being engaged to another man, Valere. When Orgon cancels the engagement and forces Mariane to marry the hypocrite Tartuffe, she is not happy. She feels that as a proper daughter, she should obey her father, while Valere is headstrong and madly in love with Mariane. The two eventually reconcile and declare their love for each other.

Tartuffe and Orgon have four children. Their first child, Damis, is born to Orgon and Elmire. But the children of the Tartuffes are secluded and unable to leave their father’s home. However, Orgon is still in love with the daughter and wants to marry her. Damis is angry with him for not telling him about the flirtation between Damis and Tartuffe. Despite the conflict, Damis is still loyal to his mother and sister.

In another episode, Tartuffe’s son, 1139, is disinherited. His tyrannical rule enables him to have tyrannical control over his family. If his daughter or son disobeyed, they could be thrown into prison or sent to a convent. As a result, his delusion becomes comic. Meanwhile, Orgon is furious, angry, and upset at the death of his son, and he is scheming to seduce his wife, Mariane.

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