Enlightenment and Tartuffe

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

The ideals of the Enlightenment can be found in many of the writings from this time period. There are a few characteristics that are commonly associated with the Enlightenment.

This was the age of reason. People at this time began to apply rational thoughts to figure out and understand nature and to guide their human existence. In Moliere’s Tartuffe, this ideal is expressed through the character of the king. In the end, Tartuffe has brought an officer of the king back to take Orgon away. However, in Tartuffe’s attempt to get Orgon arrested, the king saw through him and reasoned that Tartuffe was the one to be accused and put to trial.

Another defining characteristic is the desire for equality and dignity for all, the thought that all have a set of basic human rights. The Enlightenment also challenged many of the former ideologies, one of which was ignorance. Tartuffe exemplifies these characteristics through the character Dorine. Dorine is Mariane’s lady-maid, in other words, someone with a low social standing because she is a member of the working class, and presumably ignorant because of this low social status. However, in the story, she is much smarter than Orgon and also a lot more reasonable. This shows that it does not matter what social class one comes from to determine their level of intelligence. Her closeness and acceptance by the family, with the exception of Orgon, shows that people can be viewed for their own worth and value. Dorine is someone from a lower social standing than the family, but yet, is able to socialize and befriend the family she works for.

Another challenge is to superstition, deception, and oppressive traditions. Tartuffe is a character that is related to the church and yet is a very deceptive, hypocritical character. He is able to con Orgon into letting him into his home. Furthermore, Orgon is deceived into disinheriting his own son and leaving all the inheritances to Tartuffe. Orgon is an example of the oppressive person who tries to maintain complete control. His control traditionally extends over his family, especially his daughter. In the story, she is to be wed to the man she loves, but when Tartuffe enters the picture, Orgon withdraws his promise to her fiancé, and tells her she is to marry Tartuffe instead. However, Orgon is challenged by his family, who work to prove Tartuffe is a con-artist. This is in direct opposition to traditional power structure of society and brings into question the authority of this structure.

These are just a few examples of how the Enlightenment ideals are portrayed in the works of the time, in particular in Tartuffe.


Cite this paper

Enlightenment and Tartuffe. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/enlightenment-and-tartuffe/



How does Tartuffe relate to the Enlightenment?
As a satirical play that criticizes religious hypocrisy and blind faith, Tartuffe reflects Enlightenment values of reason, skepticism, and critical thinking. It also highlights the importance of individual freedom and the rejection of authoritarianism, which were central ideas of the Enlightenment movement.
What are the four main themes in the play Tartuffe?
The play Tartuffe is a comedy that focuses on themes of hypocrisy, religion, wealth, and gender.
What Enlightenment beliefs attitudes or philosophies does Tartuffe embody in other words what makes Tartuffe an enlightenment text?
Tartuffe is an enlightenment text because it embodies the beliefs of reason, progress, and individualism.
What is the message behind Tartuffe?
Tata Motors' innovation is in its ability to produce world-class vehicles at an affordable price. This has allowed the company to become one of the leading manufacturers in India.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out