Moliere's Tartuffe

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The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
"The most forceful lines of a serious moral statement are usually less powerful than those of satire, and nothing will reform most men better than the depiction of their faults"(Moliere's preface to Tartuffe). Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere's play Tartuffe caused much controversy on its release upon the reigning king of France at that time. This comedy of greed, lust, deceit, hypocrisy, devotion, ardor, and truth had to be rewritten three times before the clergy approved it for public viewing. It especially angered a group called The Brotherhood, which was dedicated to the preservation of very strict religious observances. Moliere was merely finding a way to express his thoughts about several attitudes and traditions, such as religious hypocrisy, abuse of power and authority, and enlightenment beliefs of his time. What better way to do this than through a light, comedial, representation of society, titled Tartuffe, better known as The Hypocrite.

"In keeping with their lofty custom, they have used the cause of God to mask their private interests.", states Moliere in his Preface to Tartuffe. One of the problems in Moliere's society was that of religious hypocrisy. Moliere exposed the clergy for the religious hypocrites they were and their pious facades that mask their true evil. This was shown in Tartuffe when Tartuffe, a hypocritically pious impostor posing as a religious zealot, took on the image of being a religious figure, which he truly was not. He further shows his hypocrisy by using this deceitful image of religion to forgo things that are only for his self-benefit. Moliere's use of irony is shown in the fact that a religious man uses his religion, which is a beautiful and sacred thing, to obtain things that are low and appalling to all that can be called sacred and beautiful. Orgon, the man who does everything he can for the well being of the hypocrite finds out that, in the end, Tartuffe is doing everything to...
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