Comparing Tartuffe 'And' A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Moliere’s Tartuffe and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream are comedies that use dishonesty and foolish love to teach life lessons. Each begins its lesson from the title (Miller, Reinert, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Molière, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Čehov, Shaw, Glaspell, O'Neil, Williams, Miller, Hansberry, Fugard, Jones, and Wilde 1). The title to Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, suggests a sense of imagination, whimsy, and fantasy. The title provides an appropriate description of the magical forests and wood in which the characters experience a series of fantastical events that also teach life lessons, largely about foolishness, jealousy, and self respect. The word “tartuffe” refers to an individual considered a…show more content…
Damis catches Tartuffe, whose character he describes as black, seducing his mother, and believes he has adequate proof to make his father punish Tartuffe. However, his father refuses to believe that Tartuffe is a hypocrite and insists Damis must be wrong. In fact, he argues that his son’s claims are motivated by Damis’s desire to taint Orgon’s reputation and purity. Foolishly, Orgon trusts a stranger over his family. Tartuffe, of course, is a third party pretending to have Orgon’s well-being at heart in order to prioritize his own needs. Orgon’s blindness and poor judgment results in this powerful disagreement between father and son. Orgon continues to make mistakes by insisting that his daughter should marry Tartuffe rather than Mariane, even though his daughter prefers Mariane. Orgon wants to help Tartuffe attain a better social position through the marriage and remain within the house forever. Clearly, Tartuffe holds some level of control over Orgon, despite the negative things Orgon hears. Here, the reader learns that it is important to listen to and consider the opinions of others in order to understand the true nature of the people in their…show more content…
Early on, the narrator refers to Tartuffe as a hypocrite. Even though he does not physically appear until ACT 3, other household members discuss Tartuffe at great length. His hypocrisy becomes obvious as the reader becomes more familiar with Tartuffe’s nature. For instance, he has much pretense as a holy man, a performance Orgon and Pernelle fall for. In fact, Pernelle guarantees that Tartuffe has great goodness. Through these failures of judgment, the reader learns that things are not always what they seem. As much as Tartuffe portrays attributes of holiness on the outside, his true character contains elements of deceit, lies, and hypocrisy. Thus, it is important to take time to understand others and the things they stand for rather than draw hurried, trusting conclusions. Most importantly, the Tartuffe teaches that it is important to reveal the truth to those we love. To show Tartuffe’s true nature, Elmire seduces him while Orgon hides from view. Upon finally seeing Tartuffe’s true nature, Orgon asks him to leave the household. Tartuffe refuses and even attempts to blackmail Orgon. Ultimately, Tartuffe fails and is arrested. Orgon finally accepts the truth after placing trust in his wife, Elmire. Perhaps in the future Orgon will more easily trust his family

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