Moliere's Treatment Of Women In Tartuffe

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Analysis of the Women and Tartuffe in Tartuffe, by Moliere, and Whether They Were Created to Cause Conflict in the Book or the Society during this Era. Tartuffe by Moliere was written in 1664 in France; however the play was not very popular when it made its debut. This play presented a highly controversial issue to the viewers because Moliere’s intentions were to create uproar. Tartuffe is about a man who claims to be a Priest, while he is everything but that. French society during this time was very religious; the Catholic Church had equal status to the King, causing outrage. Dorine and Mariane were created to present debate while the characters of Elmire and Tartuffe served both to create conflict as well as support the story line. Tartuffe,…show more content…
In the play he lives in the household of Orgon and has him to believe he is truly a man of God, yet he takes all he can from Orgon and also seeks his wife. Upon hearing Orgon and Tartuffe's idea of joining Mariane and Tartuffe in Holy matrimony, Elmire requests to speak to him alone in order to persuade him differently. At this conference between Elmire and Tartuffe, Tartuffe proclaims his lust for Elmire, while Tartuffe was unaware that Elmire’s son, Damis, was hidden in the wardrobe, “My love hopes all things from your perfect goodness, and nothing from my own poor weak endeavor. You are my hope, my stay, my piece of heart…” (III.III). Moliere uses Tartuffe to create conflict while also supporting the story line because although not all the priests of the Catholic Church at this time were not corrupt, there have been instances of corrupt priests who take advantage of their followers. For example, using the money collected in the offering for their own personal desires, which Tartuffe does in a way due to signing over Orgon’s estate and the attempt of incarcerating Orgon as well. Tartuffe attempting to ignite an affair between Elmire and himself also serves as an example of a corrupt priest who has affairs with members of the…show more content…
Moliere's characterization of Tartuffe as a man of God, but also a phony and a corrupt Church icon was unheard of in the era of this society. This play and the bizarre idea to create a corrupt priest led the people to believe that Moliere was using Tartuffe to stand for the Prime Minister at the time, which happened to be Cardinal Richelieu. Cardinal Richelieu founded the Academie Francaise in 1635, approving literature, art and architecture. Because art was censored by the Prime Minister, Moliere was antagonizing the Church through the character Tartuffe. The play was able to be performed because Moliere was close with the King. King Louis XIV was a patron of the arts. Moliere and he had a very close relationship; Moliere even made the King the godfather of his son. Therefore, Moliere incorporated the King at the end, when Tartuffe was plotting to get Orgon arrested, as the "Prince", which would earn the King's support since his character resolves the conflict via Deus ex Machina. Moliere portrayed the “Prince” as a noble character who sees all and is not able to be fooled by Tartuffe, thus giving the Prince God like qualities, “We live under a Prince who is an enemy to fraud, a prince whose eyes penetrate into the heart, and whom all the art of imposters can’t deceive…”

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