|About the Book|
The religious Madame Pernelle decides to leave her son Orgons house because she finds their behavior immoral and decadent. Damis (her grandson) is a brat, and her granddaughter Mariane, a weakling. Moliere puts in Madame Pernelles mouth the nowMoreThe religious Madame Pernelle decides to leave her son Orgons house because she finds their behavior immoral and decadent. Damis (her grandson) is a brat, and her granddaughter Mariane, a weakling. Moliere puts in Madame Pernelles mouth the now famous saying about still waters - Good-luck! Grand-daughter, you play the prude, and to look at you, butter would not melt in your mouth. But still waters run deep, as the saying goes. And I do not like your clever doings at all. In contrast, she sees the new houseguest, Tartuffe, as an admirable character. Tartuffe has been invited to stay by the houses master Orgon, who is very much taken in by Tartuffes deep piety. Contrary to what the master believes, the rest of the family sees Tartuffe to be a fraud and a liar. The servant Dorine and the others discuss how they might convince Orgon that Tartuffe is manipulating him. As the play progresses, we see that Tartuffes exterior conduct and rhetoric has great influence on Orgon-the master of the household. In short, Tartuffe leads Orgon by the nose. The close association jeopardizes the tranquility of the house: Mariane -in love with Valere- is now pressed by her father top marry Tartuffe. But Dorine (the servant) has a plan. She wants Elmire to control Tartuffe, since it is clear that he lusts after her. Tartuffe, alone with Elmire, takes some liberties, which confirms what Dorine suspected. When Damis and Elmire inform Orgon about Tartuffes liberties, Orgon refuses to believe the accusation. What is even more ironic, he names Tartuffe his heir- not only that: he even shares a grave political secret with him. To prove that Tartuffe is a hypocrite and lecherous man who has made sexual advances to her, Elmire lures Tartuffe into a sexual encounter- an act that takes place within Orgons hidden presence. Seeing Tartuffes less than pious and less than noble conduct, Orgon turns him out of the house. Tartuffe leaves, but not without threating Orgon with taking away all his property, and landing him in jail. Tartuffe carries out his threat and a court official -Monsieur Loyal-, appears to confiscate the property and enforce a warrant for Orgons arrest. But, a police officer of the King arrives with Tartuffe. The resolution is quite surprising as the police officer suddenly arrests Tartuffe, explaining that the King knew about the hypocrites record.