Theme Of Women In Tartuffe

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Tartuffe by Molière is a comedy of morals that easily portrays character weakness, and a variety of their different viewpoints. The women in Tartuffe are characters not normal to the gender belief of the seventeenth century period in which the play was written, because they seem to be the only characters who can take action or take a stand for what they believe is best for themselves or other characters. Molière depicts the women in his play as unconventional in order to counteract the traditional portrayal of women in his time period. The women are constantly trying to prove to Orgon that Tartuffe is a hypocrite. Molière makes the men in the play seem more foolish, and the women look more reasonable, which makes them more unconventional to…show more content…
Dorine is the most unconventional woman in the play because she is a maid. In the seventeenth century maids typically weren’t supposed to speak their minds. Dorine was wise and outspoken, she was not afraid to be honest when characters were in conflict. When Orgon decides his daughter Mariane and Tartuffe should be married, Dorine laughs at his decision, and tries to convince him it is a mistake. She says, “If I didn’t protest this sinful marriage, my conscience couldn’t rest” (Molière 47). She cares for Mariane’s well-being by saying she consciously could not rest if the marriage took place. She also jokingly says to Orgon, “They’ll make a lovely pair. If I were she, no man would marry me; He’d learn before the wedding day was over, how readily a wife can find a lover” (Molière 49). Dorine was trying to be the voice of reason to help Orgon understand he was making a mistake, and that she didn’t agree with what he thought was best for Mariane. Even though she is a woman and a maid to the family, she clearly sees that this decision is…show more content…
“At first sight, the character of Elmire in Molière’s Tartuffe appears to have much to commend her, and modern critics and theatergoers generally warm to her: she is attractive, stylish, independent, smart, resourceful, and in many ways a modern woman” (Prest 129). Elmire is intelligent, and plays an essential role in proving Tartuffe’s true character. She is resourceful and tries to play a trick on Tartuffe to prove to Orgon that Tartuffe is not who Orgon thinks he is. “Let us now examine how Elmire presents her scheme to her husband. Both by the standards of the seventeenth-century polite society and those of the 1660s French drama, it is quite brazen.” (Prest 135) In the play, Elmire tells Orgon to get under a table and watch how Tartuffe interacts with her as she speaks with him. He begins to seduce Elmire, while Orgon is watching, and it is then that Orgon realizes the true hypocrisy of Tartuffe. Without Elmire’s intellegence and trickery, Orgon would still believe Tartuffe
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