Tartuffe by Molière: Review and Analysis
Molière’s play Tartuffe, written as far back as 1664, has left its mark on the history of world literature forever. Many are still pondering what the author meant by this or that part of the work. It is studied in schools and universities, and many try to repeat the success of the great writer by making films and putting on plays, and every time it is revealed in a new way.
The plot is quite simple: at a certain point in time, a man named Tartuffe appears in the house of a relatively wealthy man. He does not look very handsome or rich, but his charisma captivates the house owner called, Orgon. So much so that Orgon does not trust anyone except the stranger, promising his daughter in marriage to him and giving him all his wealth (Molière 48). However, she is already engaged to another man, but he dares not to defy her father and will do as he wishes. In the end, Orgon’s wealth is saved with the monarch’s intervention, and Tartuffe is sent to prison.
Despite the simplicity of the plot, one can safely say that the play is full of allegories and metaphors for what is happening in 17th-century France. Moliere wanted to show how easy it is to gain the trust of others with nothing more than sweet words and talent. He also wanted to show the real life of France, with its pluses and minuses, precisely what the whole bourgeois system looks like within the state itself (Michele 448). Unfortunately, Molière’s views on society’s problems at that time were perhaps too progressive. Tartuffe was banned for six long years because of religious zealots against the way the work deceives a deeply Christian man.
Molière’s play has been staged on the stages of many theatres worldwide more than a dozen times. If one analysis at least a few productions, one can see that they all differ from each other. One author may have emphasized the dynamics of what is going on, the other on a more static narrative of the story. But there is one thing that all followers of Molière have in common: the reverence with which they treated the images in Tartuffe. You can often see how strange the work’s protagonist looks, how compliant Orgon is, and how blindly he succumbs to Tartuffe’s words (Wilbur & Mckowen 6). The only problem with theatrical adaptations can only be that they concentrate more on the images than on the meaning of what is going on. The directors try to entertain the audience through strange characters and their actions, and the essence of the work is lost. It becomes more entertaining than philosophical.
Molière himself, when writing his work, could hardly see the future and did not think that Tartuffe would be relevant so many years after it was written. The play’s relevance could be argued for a long time, as everyone sees it differently. Nevertheless, scoundrels always were, are, and will be if you look at the work more flatly, as the story of a scoundrel who almost tricked a wealthy Frenchman into taking over his property. However, if one looks more deeply, such as the theme of bourgeois France, it has lost its relevance and is more of a historical value.
Leon, Michele. The Poet and the Prince: Revising Molière and Tartuffe in the French Revolution Mechele Leon. 2017, Web.
Molière, et al. Tartuffe. Stuttgart Ernst Klett Sprachen, 2018.
Wilbur, Richard, and Scott Mckowen. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 2018 TARTUFFE: Know-The-Show Guide Tartuffe Know-The-Show Audience Guide Researched and Written by the Education Department of Artwork By. Web.