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Click here Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Orgon becomes obsessed with Tartuffe and the religious ideals the trickster supposedly stands for. Many of his plays have similar plots.

Tartuffe - Wikipedia

In each case, the main character's obsession interferes with his daughter's marriage plans — in Le Malade Imaginaire , for instance, he wants his daughter to marry a doctor instead of her lover — which forces his family to intervene. If you've already read Tartuffe , this should sound pretty familiar. The reasons behind the play's fame are simple: That's The King's Troupe. Yeah, let's just say he'd hit the big time.


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As you probably know from VH1 Behind the Music , major success seems to always cause lots of problems. At the time, the Catholic Church was a major political power in France.

As you might imagine, a play about a hypocritical criminal masquerading as a holy man didn't go over too well. Oh, and it didn't help that Orgon, a member of the upper class, was portrayed as a total fool. Tartuffe even gets Orgon to order that, to teach Damis a lesson, Tartuffe should be around Elmire more than ever. As a gift to Tartuffe and further punishment to Damis and the rest of his family, Orgon signs over all his worldly possessions to Tartuffe.

In a later scene, Elmire takes up the charge again and challenges Orgon to be witness to a meeting between herself and Tartuffe. Orgon, ever easily convinced, decides to hide under a table in the same room, confident that Elmire is wrong. He overhears Elmire resisting Tartuffe's very forward advances.

When Tartuffe has incriminated himself beyond all help and is dangerously close to violating Elmire, Orgon comes out from under the table and orders Tartuffe out of his house. But this wily guest means to stay, and Tartuffe finally shows his hand. It turns out that earlier, before the events of the play, Orgon had admitted to Tartuffe that he had possession of a box of incriminating letters written by a friend, not by him.

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Tartuffe had taken charge and possession of this box, and now tells Orgon that he Orgon will be the one to leave. Tartuffe takes his temporary leave and Orgon's family tries to figure out what to do. Very soon, Monsieur Loyal shows up with a message from Tartuffe and the court itself — they must move out from the house because it now belongs to Tartuffe.

Dorine makes fun of Monsieur Loyal's name, mocking his fake loyalty. Even Madame Pernelle, who had refused to believe any ill about Tartuffe even in the face of her son's actually seeing it, has become convinced by this time of Tartuffe's duplicity. Before Orgon can flee, Tartuffe arrives with an officer, but to his surprise the officer arrests him instead. As a reward for Orgon's previous good services, the King not only forgives him for keeping the letters but also invalidates the deed that gave Tartuffe possession of the house and all Orgon's possessions.

The entire family thanks its lucky stars that it has escaped the mortification of both Orgon's potential disgrace and their dispossession. The surprise twist ending, in which everything is set right by the unexpected benevolent intervention of the heretofore unseen King, is considered a notable modern-day example of the classical theatrical plot device Deus ex machina. Though Tartuffe was received well by the public and even by Louis XIV, it immediately sparked conflict amongst many different groups who were offended by the play's portayal of someone who was outwardly pious but fundamentally mercenary, lecherous and deceitful and who uses their profession of piety to prey on others.

Tartuffe' s popularity was cut short when the Archbishop of Paris issued an edict threatening excommunication for anyone who watched, performed in, or read the play. The revised version of the play was called L'Imposteur and had a main character titled Panulphe instead of Tartuffe. Although public performances of the play were banned, private performances for the French aristocracy were permitted. The anonymous author sought to defend the play to the public by describing the plot in detail and then rebutting two common arguments made for why the play was banned.

The first being that religion was not meant to be discussed in theaters; the second being that Tartuffe's actions on stage followed by his pious speech would make the audience think that they were to act as Tartuffe did.

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This section of letter contradicts the latter by describing how Tartuffe's actions are worthy ridicule, in essence comic, and therefore by no means an endorsement. Because of the attacks on the play and the ban that was placed on it, this version was never published, and no text has survived, giving rise to much speculation as to whether it was a work in progress or a finished piece.

Many writers believe it consisted of the first three acts of the final version, while John Cairncross has proposed that acts 1, 3, and 4 were performed. On 11 August, before any additional performances, this version was also banned.