Analysis of Tartuffe based on Aristotelian Methods

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Given CircumstancesThe given circumstances of Tartuffe are few, yet they are essential to the reading of the script. The time of Tartuffe is displayed through several ways: while no specific time is ever mentioned, we know that the play takes place sometime after 1640 because the currency mentioned (the Louis) was established in 1640. And since now specific time references are mentioned, we can assume the play takes in 'modern times' i.e. during the time it was written (the 1660's). The action of the play takes place in a single day.

Tartuffe takes place undoubtedly in France as shown by the currency, the use of French throughout the script and our assumption of it's modernity as mentioned above. The currency points exclusively to France because it is named after King Louis XIII of France and was used only in France. The French language is used throughout the script specifically in the names and was originally written in French. The specific locale of the play is in Orgon's house.

In the society of Tartuffe it is common practice to employ servants and maids and is completely acceptable to hit them as Orgon attempts to hit Dorine and the other characters make nothing of it. Parties are a touchy subject since most of the family think it ok to throw parties while Mme. Pernelle disagrees, thinking them most distasteful. Gambling is unacceptable, seen through Orgon's dismissal of Valère because he has heard Valère gambles. Family is invariably important since the play is centered around a single family.

The society of Tartuffe views social rank as extremely important: Orgon is of high rank and wealth and his family sees it deplorable for him to have befriended a poor beggar. Tartuffe is often put down, ironically by the servant Dorine, because of his low rank and lack of money.

Politics and law play a large part in the play. The ruling authority is a King and his laws are enforced by bailiffs and officers. Treachery is particularly offensive. Harbouring an...
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