Kassia's Reviews > Tartuffe

Tartuffe by Molière
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Jun 04, 11

bookshelves: 2010-2011

As a Christian myself, I read Tartuffe with close precision. Taking apart each verse, I tried to figure out if the play was really an attack on Christianity and my faith. However, after close examination of the play, I found that the play doesn’t really try to attack the Christian faith. Rather, it tries extremely hard to avoid such an attack, and instead simply targets the hypocrites in the Church at the time.

Many parts of the play show the respect that Moliere had for religion. An example of this is when Cleante is speaking to Tartuffe. He says, “No, no; let’s simply do what Heaven ordains, / And let no other thoughts perplex our brains.” (IV.1.43-44) Here, Cleante is not making fun of religion. Instead, he is trying to emphasize the most important aspects of Christianity. On the other hand, Moliere attacks hypocrites by attacking the character of Tartuffe in his play. Tartuffe says, “No one shall know our joys, save us alone, / And there’s no evil till the act is known.” (IV. 5.117-205) Here, Tartuffe twists the teachings of the Bible around. He’s saying that if nobody catches them committing the sin, then it’s not considered a sin. I found Tartuffe to represent a lot of problems in both the Church and the world.

By portraying Tartuffe as a hypocrite and as an antagonist, Moliere effectively attacks the problem in society. I agree with Moliere in that even today, there are many hypocrites in the many religions and cultures. However, hypocrites only have power and influence when a person gives it to them. I believe that as people become more aware of the people around them, nobody will fall into the trap of hypocrites, who only do things to suit their selfish needs.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken Moten I think your review said everything I realized after I first read this book and I want to thank you for putting it more eloquently than I could. Cleante's confrontation of his brother is my favorite part of this play by far.


Audrey I am a Christian, too--a Catholic no-less!--and I agree with your analysis. This play attacks hypocrisy, which in my opinion ought to be exposed. The play does delineate between true piety and it portrays it as a good thing.


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