Character Analysis in Tartuffe

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Andrea Gismond
9/25/12
World Lit
Reason Vs Passion
In the play Tartuffe by Jean-Baptiste Moliere, the characters within the story are mostly driven either by reason or by passion. The two characters that stand out the most as being either the most passionate or reasonable are the servant, Dorine and the father of the house, Orgon. The views of these two characters are completely opposite, which result in the arguing of the two throughout the story. Although Dorine is able to provide evidence for the accusations she has against Tartuffe, such as his lying, Orgon refuses to believe her or anyone else for that matter. Orgon, blinded by the deception of Tartuffe, can only rely solely on his own feelings and the lessons Tartuffe has instilled into him. Orgon acts as though he can no longer think for himself. His actions are driven by the things Tartuffe wants. Orgon believes everything Tartuffe does is for the good of himself and his family, and in order for them to be free of sin they must accommodate all of his needs. This being said, Orgon stands behind Tartuffe in the first of the story, in hopes that his actions will save his soul. This play makes as a perfect example that when a person is driven too much by passion, the truth is masked and emotions take over, yet if driven too much by reason, morals and values can be lost. Therefore, it would seem that in order to obtain a decent outlook on situations and by making the best decisions, there must be an equal balance of the two.

In the first half of the play there is an argument between Dorine and Orgon that clearly represents both of their views on a dilemma. Orgon proposes his daughter Marianne marry Tartuffe, so that her soul will be forever saved and Tartuffe will always be in their lives. Orgon’s decisions are based off of the fact that he believes Tartuffe is some great holy man who was sent to him and his family by God. Orgon attempts to persuade his daughter that she and Tartuffe’s relationship...
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