Hypocritical Failure

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André Gilde once fittingly said, “The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity”; in other words, one blinded by delusion, whose actions and thoughts are a dichotomy is a true hypocrite. I agree with Gilde. A true hypocrite according to Gilde is someone who zealously enforces their thoughts and stops recognizing their deception in the process. When one ceases to perceive one’s own deception, s/he is preaching thoughts blindly; preaching thoughts blindly spurs only semblance not reality. Ideas expressed zealously and blindly often lead to the creation of a utopian aim for oneself. People who recklessly pursue their inclination eventually transgresses their own laws. To achieve success one will do anything, blinded by any power they have. This part of Gilde’s statement is exemplified in Moliere’s Tartuffe by the character Tartuffe; nevertheless, Tartuffe does not meet all the criteria’s to be called a hypocrite. With power, man loses his own ideals, perverts a utopian aim surpassing his own laws. Despite Moliere’s attempt to depict a true hypocrite in Tartuffe, he fails.

Moliere’s Tartuffe is said to depict the true hypocrite because it’s main character Tartuffe, acts like a pious man while his intentions are in fact, very cruel. True to the definition of hypocrisy, Tartuffe’s actions are in complete disagreement with his thoughts. However, contrary to Gilde’s complete description of the word, Tartuffe has not ceased ‘to perceive his deception’. Tartuffe is cognizant of the difference between his thoughts and actions. When the audience is first introduced to Tartuffe, he gives himself away as a pseudo or a man who is not truly pious; “[Observing DORINE, and calling to his manser...

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...g acts. One may call this an act of hypocrisy, but this is only part of it. Tartuffe is a prime example of how man can transgress his own laws to suffice his desire for power.

Through the actions of Tartuffe in Moliere’s Tartuffe we witness behavior that can be called hypocritical, but upon further reflection, we realize that he in fact just lying and deceiving. According to Gilde, one must go beyond duplicitous behavior, cease to perceive his deception and lie with sincerity. Through Tartuffe’s wavering actions to and the disagreement between his actions and supposed thoughts to suffice his needs we clearly see that he is aware of his deception and is lying to pursue his own self interests. Indubitably, Tartuffe is not a hypocrite. We must examine other protagonists in literature to find a good example of a true hypocrite.

Works Cited

Tartuffe by Moliere
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