Tartuffe (MOLLIERE) Essay, Research Paper
HUM1020 MWF 10-10:50
Tartuffe is a classic story of deceit by one who is trusted and respected. Tartuffe,
the deceitful holy man, is living in the house of Oregon. Oregon has opened his doors to
Tartuffe, and he greatly respects him for being the good holy man he was thought to be.
The rest of the family believe that Tartuffe is a fake and a con. Oregon and Madam
Parcelle are the two which believe in his holy reputation. Tartuffe convinces Oregon that
he is an incredible man of great holy stature, and Oregon proceeds to sign over to Tartuffe
all his possessions.
Outward Appearances can sometimes be deceiving. This is evident in the way
Oregon looked at Tartuffe. Tartuffe was thought to be a man of great holy influence.
Oregon thought Tartuffe was a high holy figure, who was admirable because of his
devotion to God. Tartuffe is actually a two- faced con artist who has no interests but that
of his own welfare. Oregon is blinded by these ideals. Tartuffe takes advantage of this
blindness and attempts to seduce Oregon?s wife and con Oregon out of all his
Another action by Tartuffe was the first steps of seducing Oregon?s wife. He uses
his rosary to pull her in closer. In this episode, Tartuffe is using a symbol of purity and
holiness as a tool of lust and sin. At some points, he?d be eloquent and dignified, but at
times he would be as if he was going after her.
There is another aspect to the seduction by Tartuffe of Oregon?s wife. Molierre
has Oregon hiding under a table when Tartuffe is trying to physically seduce his wife.
Oregon had never believed his family that Tartuffe was two faced. Oregon, seeing with
his own eyes what Tartuffe was doing, finally believes them. This shows that sometimes
people don?t believe something until they see it with their own eyes.
Moilere succeeded in making Oregon and Madam Parcelle stubborn and
unmoving. Oregon was stubborn when he did not believe his family over Tartuffe. It was
a bold action the wife undertook to convince Oregon that Tartuffe was a fake. Only an
action so bold would convince him. Oregon felt the affect of this stubbornness when he
was trying to convince Parcelle of Tartuffe?s deceitfulness. He was outwardly frustrated
at her remarks about him and Tartuffe. Again, she needed outward proof, and she
received it when the eviction notice came as Oregon was trying to convince her.
The voice of reason and control in this play comes from a character by the name
of Cleante. This character counters Oregon?s stubbornness and irrationality by providing
stability and control over the situation. Cleante is Oregon?s brother- in- law. When
Cleante notices that Tartuffe has taken over the household, he organizes a meeting to
come up with a solution or plan to the situation.
The actor playing Tartuffe would frequently face the camera and make faces
showing his deceitfulness toward the camera. This gives the audience and insight which
is not seen by the rest of the characters in the play. These actions lead to dramatic irony
which introduces new aspects to the play.
Camera angles played an important and interesting role in this production of
Tartuffe. During the scene of the attempted escape by Oregon, the camera angle was shot
in the first person of Oregon. It showed Oregon?s point of view as he was exiting. This
method was used a couple more times in the production. Also, camera angles were oddly
placed at times. While the family was planning, the camera at one point was shooting
between two chairs at the table, giving a different perspective of the planning period.
Also, the Camera would sometimes be moved and hurried, giving a sense of confusion.
Lighting played a small role in this production. The most prominent example of
the use of variation of light was in the speech given by the guard towards the end of the
production. A bright white light was cast from behind making what he had to say more
catching and seemingly important. The light also gave him a look of being omnipotent at
the time of his speech.
Tartuffe is a play emphasizing deceit, reputations, integrity, stubbornness, and the
ability to be blinded by something that we see as good, but really is harmful. Outward
appearances are sometimes misinterpreted. This is what happened to Oregon and
Tartuffe. This play contains many conditions which are evident in real life situations, and
that is what has made it a classic.