Essay, Research Paper: Tartuffe By Molliere


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Tartuffe is a classic story of deceit by one who is trusted and respected.
Tartuffe, the deceitful holy man, is living in the house of Oregon. Oregon has
opened his doors to Tartuffe, and he greatly respects him for being the good
holy man he was thought to be. The rest of the family believe that Tartuffe is a
fake and a con. Oregon and Madam Parcelle are the two which believe in his holy
reputation. Tartuffe convinces Oregon that he is an incredible man of great holy
stature, and Oregon proceeds to sign over to Tartuffe all his possessions.
Outward Appearances can sometimes be deceiving. This is evident in the way
Oregon looked at Tartuffe. Tartuffe was thought to be a man of great holy
influence. Oregon thought Tartuffe was a high holy figure, who was admirable
because of his devotion to God. Tartuffe is actually a two- faced con artist who
has no interests but that of his own welfare. Oregon is blinded by these ideals.
Tartuffe takes advantage of this blindness and attempts to seduce Oregon’s
wife and con Oregon out of all his possessions. Another action by Tartuffe was
the first steps of seducing Oregon’s wife. He uses his rosary to pull her in
closer. In this episode, Tartuffe is using a symbol of purity and holiness as a
tool of lust and sin. At some points, he’d be eloquent and dignified, but at
times he would be as if he was going after her. There is another aspect to the
seduction by Tartuffe of Oregon’s wife. Molierre has Oregon hiding under a
table when Tartuffe is trying to physically seduce his wife. Oregon had never
believed his family that Tartuffe was two faced. Oregon, seeing with his own
eyes what Tartuffe was doing, finally believes them. This shows that sometimes
people don’t believe something until they see it with their own eyes. Moilere
succeeded in making Oregon and Madam Parcelle stubborn and unmoving. Oregon was
stubborn when he did not believe his family over Tartuffe. It was a bold action
the wife undertook to convince Oregon that Tartuffe was a fake. Only an action
so bold would convince him. Oregon felt the affect of this stubbornness when he
was trying to convince Parcelle of Tartuffe’s deceitfulness. He was outwardly
frustrated at her remarks about him and Tartuffe. Again, she needed outward
proof, and she received it when the eviction notice came as Oregon was trying to
convince her. The voice of reason and control in this play comes from a
character by the name of Cleante. This character counters Oregon’s
stubbornness and irrationality by providing stability and control over the
situation. Cleante is Oregon’s brother- in- law. When Cleante notices that
Tartuffe has taken over the household, he organizes a meeting to come up with a
solution or plan to the situation. The actor playing Tartuffe would frequently
face the camera and make faces showing his deceitfulness toward the camera. This
gives the audience and insight which is not seen by the rest of the characters
in the play. These actions lead to dramatic irony which introduces new aspects
to the play. Camera angles played an important and interesting role in this
production of Tartuffe. During the scene of the attempted escape by Oregon, the
camera angle was shot in the first person of Oregon. It showed Oregon’s point
of view as he was exiting. This method was used a couple more times in the
production. Also, camera angles were oddly placed at times. While the family was
planning, the camera at one point was shooting between two chairs at the table,
giving a different perspective of the planning period. Also, the Camera would
sometimes be moved and hurried, giving a sense of confusion. Lighting played a
small role in this production. The most prominent example of the use of
variation of light was in the speech given by the guard towards the end of the
production. A bright white light was cast from behind making what he had to say
more catching and seemingly important. The light also gave him a look of being
omnipotent at the time of his speech. Tartuffe is a play emphasizing deceit,
reputations, integrity, stubbornness, and the ability to be blinded by something
that we see as good, but really is harmful. Outward appearances are sometimes
misinterpreted. This is what happened to Oregon and Tartuffe. This play contains
many conditions which are evident in real life situations, and that is what has
made it a classic.
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