Docu: Hypocrisy and Tartuffe Essay

Submitted By emad07306
Words: 1072
Pages: 5

Conflicts in Drama: The Character of Orgon in "Tartuffe" Tartuffe, the main character of Moliere’s comedy under the same name, became a symbol of hypocrisy. The comedy was written in the 60-s of the XVII century but the problem it arises is still very topical for today too. From the point of view of the Bible, hypocrisy is one the nastiest of the human vices. The Bible states that it is better to have a straightforward enemy than a hypocritical friend. Most often hypocritical people disarm us by their pseudo sincerity that causes bitter disappointment when we learn the true essence of a hypocrite. Classic comedies reveal, as usual, only one dominant feature of the character, so Tartuffe personifies hypocrisy. But from the first act of the comedy we learn that the power of Tartuffe over Orgon lays in his inexplicable ability to dazzle the owner of the house making him look like idiot and dunce to the rest of the family. The strange link between two characters of the comedy, that will be studied later, allows assuming that the main focus of Moliere’s attention is more Ogron than Tartuffe. Though Moliere was struggling for his “Tartuffe” being staged from 1664 till 1669, this comedy became the greatest success in his lifetime. Moliere was not only a dramatist but usually played the longest and most difficult roles in his plays. He played the role of Orgon which covers all five acts of the comedy and is 100 rows longer than Tartuffe’s. The first public associated the character of Orgon with Moliere himself. At that time he was 42-47 years old at that time, neither too plump nor too slender with the noble posture and gait. The characters of Tartuffe and Orgon are inseparable. But if “tartuffe” in one of the dialects of South France means “a cheater” then the name “Orgon” that can be associated with “pride” and “arrogance” is somewhat artificial, indicating some form of generalization or abstraction from the life of the French society of 1660-s. In Orgon and Tartuffe Moliere reveals the contradiction between the visible and authentic essence of people. Orgon looks really hubris and self-confident but his naïve credulity makes him vulnerable to hypocrisy of Tartuffe. Orgon is committed to virtuous, pious life instilled to him by his mother since childhood. However, he lives quite an earthly life: he has two children Damis and Mariana from his first wife and married Elmira, who suits his daughter, for the second time. At the same time, Orgon embodies lack of spiritual self-sufficiency typical for children; he needs a tutor who would lead him in his life. As soon as he meets such a tutor, Orgon feels boundless gratitude to Tartuffe and trusts him more than his devoted relatives perhaps because Tartuffe shows him the path to piety and salvation. Tartuffe positions himself as a truthful man and blames young people for all sins and evils and this makes him attractive to the older people like Orgon’s mother. Orgon compensates the deficiency of his own inner content by his faith in the godliness and infallibility of Tartuffe. With a total dissimilarity (social level, age and appearance) of Orgon and Tartuffe, there is something that unifies them - their narcissism. With his plump figure and a tendency to voracity Tartuffe is not Don Juan in spite of his firm belief that he is irresistible to women. And this self-confidence eventually ruins his fortune. Only through the spiritual (or may be not only spiritual…) love relations with Orgon Tartuffe can physically assert himself in sex and sets up his control over the fate of others. The desire for power combines Tartuffe and Orgon. Both regard each other as a means of achieving their mutual goal to become tyrants. Moliere presents several stages of evolution in Orgon’s insight to the true nature of Tartuffe. It starts from the state of complete hypnosis when Tartuffe for Orgon is the embodiment of an ideal person. Then he is ready to inherit his…