Enlightenment Pope and Moliere

Topics: Molière, Tartuffe, Entertainment Pages: 4 (1296 words) Published: November 30, 2012
Teachers and Entertainers of the Enlightenment Period
During the Enlightenment Period authors found their roles in life were to teach and entertain their audience. In Jean-Baptist Poquelin Moliere’s Tartuffe and Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man, both artist achieve the Enlightenment’s goal, to teach and entertain. Both writers use satire, optimism, and emphasis on reason to inform and keep the attention of their audience. There are some regards that Moliere and Pope sacrificed art, creativity, or entertainment just for educations. Readers of both works will realize that there are no other works like the two and the two works are entertaining and teach audiences valuable lessons. Therefore, both Moliere and Pope effectively fulfill the Enlightenment obligations of teaching and entertaining.

Both writers use satire to teach and entertain. Moliere uses satire to make fun of how people, like Orgon, who basically fall for hypocrites, like Tartuffe. Orgon falls for Tartuffe’s tricky ways because Orgon assumes that Tartuffe is pious due to his reverent actions. In scene five Orgon reveals everything about Tartuffe that made him Holy in Orgon’s eyes. Orgon rambles how Tartuffe comes into the “church each day (Moliere 1.5 25)” and pray sometimes aloud drawing the “eyes of everybody there (Moliere 1.5 27).” Orgon assumed that since Tartuffe came to the church and prayed aloud it made him Holy. According to the Bible, Matthew 6:5 reads “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” According to the Bible, God has seen Tartuffe as the hypocrite he already is seen to be. So Moliere uses his Biblical knowledge in order to teach his audience. When entertaining his audience Moliere uses the sassy character, Dorine. Dorine has many lines that show how she speaks her mind when she wants, no matter the situation. Dorine’s sassiness is what entertains the audience....

Cited: Pope, Alexander. “An Essay on Man.” Epistle I.
Moliere, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. “Tartuffe”. The Norton Anthology of World Literature 1650 to 1800. 2nd ed. New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2001. 313-361
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