Tartuffe by Jean-Baptiste Polquelin Moliere
In the neoclassical comedy Tartuffe, written by Jean-Baptiste Polquelin Moliere,
Tartuffe is illustrated as a disreputable character who has posed as a religious ascetic.
Orgon, the master of the house, is convinced Tartuffe is a humble and pious man despite
the rest of his families claims. Yet, in Act IV, scene seven the impostor Tartuffe is finally
exposed for the fraud he really is.
Tartuffe, Elmire, Orgon
TARTUFFE [Not seeing ORGON]
Madam, all things have worked out to perfection;
I’ve given the neighboring rooms a full inspection;
No one’s about: and now I may at last...
ORGON [Intercepting him] Hold on, my passionate fellow, not so fast!
I should advise a little more restraint.
Well, so you thought you’d fool me, my dear saint!
How soon you wearied of the saintly life-
Wedding my daughter, and coveting my wife!
I’ve long suspected you, and had a feeling
That soon I’d catch you at your double dealing.
Just now, you’ve given me evidence galore;
It’s quite enough; I have no wish for more.
ELMIRE [to TARTUFFE] I’m sorry to have treated you so slyly,
but circumstances forced me to be wily.
TARTUFFE Brother, you can’t think...
ORGON No more talk from you;
Just leave this household, without more ado.
TARTUFFE What I intended...
ORGON That seems fairly clear.
Spare me your falsehoods and get out of here.
TARTUFFE No, I’m the master, and you’re the one to go!
This house belongs to me, I’ll have you know,
And I shall show you that you can’t hurt me
By this contemptible conspiracy,
That those who cross me know not what they do,
And that I’ve means to expose and punish you,
Avenge offended Heaven, and make you grieve
That ever you dared order me to leave.
Scene seven of ACT IV represents the climax and drastic turn of events, where
Tartuffe is unmasked then once again gains the upperhand as the new master of the house.
In previous scenes, Tartuffe had been acquitted by Orgon of being anything short of a
Saint. The family had grown tired of Orgon’s blindness and Elmire had prepared for the