EWL Book Editorials--

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tartuffe by Moliere (French, 1664)

Humorous satirical verse play about a hypocritical scoundrel who attempts to use his false religious fervor to steal the young wife of a gullible man.


  • Tartuffe
    By Moliere
    The theme of the play is hypocrisy. To be more specific it is about a priest named Tartuffe that is taken in by a man named Orgon. Orgon has complete trust in Tartuffe and will go to great extents to make him apart of his family; he goes as far as forcing the marriage of his daughter upon Tartuffe. While all of this is going on, Tartuffe is planning on taking Orgon’s life, family and estate. As the play goes on you come to learn that Tartuffe, although very holy, is also very greedy, greedy for lust, money and Orgon’s life.
    This play, although strange at times, is very interesting. I thought it had a great plot and was very humorous. It becomes an easy read once you get into it, the beginning can be hard trying to keep the characters straight, but throughout the book it becomes clearer. This play would be good for a student who enjoys old humor, and for a person that isn’t a very fast reader because it’s quite short. My recommendation to you is to not wait till the last minute to start your project and not to look so hard for ideas to do a report about, pick topics that go throughout the book, there are quite a few! Have fun!

    By Blogger DAdams, at 7:46 PM  

  • Tartuffe was written by a guy by the name of Moliere. It is a play that criticizes the acceptance of falsely pious men by those who desire to be pious in their own life. There are two versions of the book: the original is written in poetic form, the translated version in Modern English. I would recommend the translated version, but both are easy reads.

    Tartuffe is a man who pretends to be very pious (religious, devoutness to God) in order to dupe Orgon, the master of the estate, into trusting him. Tartuffe uses this trust to turn Orgon against his family, and gain power. However, Tartuffe’s underlying goal is to make a move on Elmire, Orgon’s wife. When Orgon finally realizes what is going on, it is too late.

    Although Tartuffe is not a cliffhanger, it is interesting in the sense of the ways that Tartuffe dupes Orgon, and gains his trust.

    Moliere wrote the play in order to raise awareness of people like Tartuffe. However, when the original version was published, the Catholic Church interpreted it as a satirization of organized religion and religious people. This is because in his anger, Orgon falsely accuses all holy people instead of the ones who feign holiness in order to take advantage of innocent people. Through revisions, Moliere was able to make his intent clearer.

    I agree with Moliere, it is not all people who are out there to take advantage, but as the saying goes, “one rotten apple spoils the bunch.” One always hears of the newest scandals and scams, but seldom hears of the positive work religious people do.

    Being catholic, I found the book quite entertaining. It was easy for me to identify with some of these points because I know people who feign their piety to God for the sake of pleasing others.

    This book would be good for people who understand satires, have knowledge of religion, and do not like to read long books. This is especially good for procrastinators, like myself, because the book is a short read. I am not condoning procrastination though. I strongly recommend starting this project immediately. It is not very difficult, just time consuming, and you do not want to work on the project for three days straight in order to finish!
    Have fun!

    By Blogger katiec, at 9:38 AM  

  • Tartuffe by Moliere is a French play that was written in the 17th century. It is fictional as well as satirical. THe book's themes include lust, seduction, envy, deception, and greed. The play is very short and a quick read.

    The story is about a wealthy man named Orgon who is tricked by Tartuffe into believing that he is a holy man with good intensions. As it turns out Tartuffe is quite the opposite and begins to betray Orgon. He attepmts to have sex with his wife and eventually Orgons discovers his treachery.

    I found the book to be interesting but not very detailed. This may be because it is a play, but over all the book is mostly plot.

    I agree with Moliere in that when he wrote this book he had the Catholoic church in mind. It mocks the lies, coruption, and greed of the church during the time period.

    This play reminds me of Shakepeare's comedies because it contains that old, old humor that is now sort of hard to find funny. THe language is alot easier to understand than Shakespeare and as I mentioed before the play is very short, just over fifty pages.

    My opinions about the Catholic church have not been affected by reading this play because I thought of the church as corrupt already.

    Over all the play was not my favorite of all time, but I definately enjoyed it. It is a good book to choose for this particular project and I recomend it to anyone who likes old sexual humor or enjoys reading about a Frenchman being duped.

    The best advice I can give to future English World Literature students is to start the project early and ask your teacher alot of questions.

    By Blogger rickl, at 9:20 PM  

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