In literature, deception can provide motivation for the characters, provide comedy, play a part in the advancement of plot or exist as a sub-theme. The works considered in our studies thus far provide prime examples of the use of deception in the aforementioned ways. This essay will focus on the act or acts of deception in Tartuffe by Molière, Phaedra by Racine, and The Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais.
In Molière's Tartuffe, the primary action of the play is focused upon the deception of Orgon as performed by Tartuffe. Tartuffe is a hypocritically pious Christian much like the televangelists of the present day. His nature is best illustrated in scene two of act three with:
Hang up my hair-shirt, put my scourge in place,
And pray, Laurent, for Heaven's perpetual grace.
I'm going to the prison now, to share
My last few coins with the poor wretches there.
This statement, made for the benefit of Dorine, illustrates Tartuffe's hypocritical nature. Tartuffe's religious piety is much like his hair-s...
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