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Tartuffe By Moliere 

                     In Moliere’s comedy Tartuffe, we are introduced to the family of Orgon. Orgon is a wealthy man with a beautiful daughter named Mariane. Valere is a man in love with Mariane but the hypocrite Tartuffe gets in the way through manipulation. Throughout the play Orgon is totally dedicated and won over by Tartuffe who adds to the comedy of it all. Throughout, Tartuffe continues to be obviously villainous and yet Orgon continues to trust him with his most precious possessions. Also comical is the fact that Mariane and Valere are in love but this continues to be foiled by Tartuffe’s greed and Orgon’s stupidity. In the end, Orgon finally discovers that Tartuffe is a fraud but not before he signs all he owns over to him. The comic devices in this story are evident throughout. First, many of the scenes in the play are comical just in the storyline. In scene four Orgon has a conversation with Dorine about the day’s events, Dorine tells Orgon of all the trials and tribulations of the day. With each description, Orgon asks about Tartuffe, who is perfectly fine and celebrated with each bad occurrence. Orgon seems to just ignore all the bad news and only be concerned with Tartuffe’s well being. This scene becomes even more comical with Dorine following up with a statement about telling Orgon’s wife about his “keen concern.” This sarcasm adds to the comedy. The play really becomes comical in scene one of the second act. It is here that Orgon actually asks his daughter, Mariane to marry Tartuffe. Mariane thinks her father is kidding and even Dorine feels it must be a hoax. Dorine even kids that Mariane “deserves to be tartuffified.” Dorine however dead set against Tartuffe, continues to work to get Mariane together with Valere against the wishes of Orgon. The comedy continues as we are given an up close and personal view of Tartuffe. In scene two of act three, Tartuffe speaks to Dorine. He actually thinks that Dorine is attracted to him as he really shows his arrogance. It is hysterical when Dorine states that “ if I saw you naked as a beast, Not all your hide would temp me in the least.” But in the next scene, Tartuffe changes his tune and pulls the wool over the eyes of Orgon’s wife. He acts genuinely concerned about her health and well being. Then he professes love for Elmire. Unbelievably, he convinces her through flattery not to tell Orgon. The comedy lies in Tartuffe’s ability to fool everyone. However Elmire is not as easily fooled as Orgon and his mother Madame Pernelle. The scenes continue to be comical as in scene six of act three where Orgon’s son Damis, insults Tartuffe and is thrown out of his own house. The stupidity of Orgon to trust Tartuffe over his own family in unbelievable. Moliere takes the laughter a step further by having Orgon go so far as to sign all his money over to Tartuffe. He says “ Poor fellow! Come, we’ll go draw up the deed. Then let them burst with disappointed greed.” Orgon continues to be a fool until act four, scene seven where he finally realizes the greed of Tartuffe and asks him to leave. He is shocked to hear, “No, I am the master, and you’re the one to go! This house belongs to me, I’ll have you know.” Orgon has been swindled and it is funny to see how stupid he really was. The play ends when the tables are turned on Tartuffe and he is arrested by order of the King who was on to Tartuffe’s terrible ways. Damis reconciles with his father and the wedding of Mariane and Valere is announced. The ending adds to the comic device first in that the tables turn on Tartuffe just when you think he has gotten away with his crime. It is also comical that Orgon just seems to shrug his misfortune away and goes on with his normal routine. Moliere comic devices are not the only things that carry this play. The characters add to the comedy in many ways. Orgon and his mother Madame Pernelle are completely taken with Tartuffe. Orgon is truly a fool who cannot see the obvious right in front of his face. Both he and his mother are so foolish that you want to scream at them to open their eyes. His family must go behind his back to show Tartuffe for the villain he really is. Tartuffe himself is such an obvious crook that you laugh every time he opens his mouth. His downfall is that Orgon’s family is on to him. The family of Orgon seem to play the best parts. With Orgon demanding that everyone trust Tartuffe, the family schemes to expose him. Dorine brings Mariane and Valere together and convinces them to fight for their love. Damis tells his father exactly what he thinks of Tartuffe despite the consequences. Orgon's wife Elmire even plots to set a trap for Tartuffe exposing his villainous actions. Elmire is the one who finally convinces Orgon to confront Tartuffe. In the end, Moliere keeps the comedy in storyline fashion by ending it with Tartuffe being exposed and punished. Moliere’s use of comic devices in Tartuffe make for a witty story with very funny characters. As you read the play, you can’t help but laugh at Orgon’s stupidity, Tartuffe’s arrogance and the family’s plots. In the end, you are even satisfied with Tartuffe getting what he deserved. Perhaps Moliere uses this comedy to show how it never pays to be bad or maybe he is stressing to open your eyes to the world around you. Either way, his comedy is a fun story that is loved by all who read it.

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