What changes? In space, time, the natural world, the social world, etc. What does that change tell you about the “myth” of the play?Though we don’t see it, Tartuffe being welcomed into the home and Orgon becoming less rational and sane and beginning to ignore his family’s wishes and wellbeing are two of the first changes. The first actual thing we see that changes is Madame Pernelle leaving Orgon’s home.
We also see the “strength” of Tartuffe’s deceit, when Orgon enters and asks Dorine about the family, Dorine: “Your wife, two days ago, had a bad fever and a fierce headache which refused to leave her.” Orgon: “Ah. And Tartuffe?” D: “Tartuffe? Why he’s round and red, bursting with health and excellently fed.” Orgon: “Poor fellow!” Other changes include when Orgon decides Mariane is to marry Tartuffe instead of her fiance Valere and because she lacks a sort common sense, this leads Mariane to feel and see her situation as hopeless. We are made aware of the feelings that Tartuffe has for Elmire and his hypocrisy is revealed when he makes the comment about hanging up his hairshirt in act three. Damis is also made aware of Tartuffe’s hypocrisy when he is hiding in the closet and listens to Tartuffe admit feelings for Elmire, which are a slight surprise to the reader/viewer. Damis’ reveal also seems to ruin the plan that Elmire had in order to convince Tartuffe to reject the proposed marriage.
Another change is when Orgon disinherits his son and signs the deed to his home over to Tartuffe. Finally Tartuffe is confronted by Orgon after he and Elmire make a plan for him to hide while Elmire gushes to Tartuffe. Throughout the entire work there seems to be references to the difference between appearances and who people actually are. What effect does the play attempt to have on you? How did you respond to the play?I think that this work and along with using comedy, shows how easily it is to manipulate and create or fall into the trap of outward appearances and is also criticizing religious/holy individuals, trying to make the reader/viewer think about how religion is more about your actions and not loudly preaching your sins. I thought it was quite funny, towards the end though, the absurdity of Orgon began to become frustrating.
Theatrical mirrors? Does this play speak to any other you’ve read?Due to the deus ex machina role of the king in this, it makes me think of Euripides’ Alcestis. Alcestis decides to die in order to save her husband. And at the end, Heracles shows up, in deus ex machina fashion and catches/saves Alcestis from death, bringing her to life and back to her husband. How do the characters fit this pattern? How do they stand out from this pattern?When thinking about this world, I think that Tartuffe and Dorine share it in a way.
Tartuffe has such a firm grip and control of Orgon who is head of the home and therefore has control over the rest of the family while also ignoring their wishes/wellbeing. So in that sense, Orgon fits into this world, his absurdity and faith in Tartuffe is maddening. It has some irony as well, such as when he his hiding under the desk and Elmire is getting the truth and revealing Tartuffe’s deceit, but Orgon still refuses to acknowledge it until he is the one that is slandered when Tartuffe says that he is too stupid to realize what would be going on between him and Elmire. In regards to Dorine, I feel that she is entirely aware throughout the work. She offers quite a bit of comedy and is sarcastic and witty.
She stands out within Tartuffe’s “world” and he in hers, obviously.