Elmire is what you might call a strong woman. And we're not talking 17th century strong, no sirree. She could go toe to toe with a 21st-century lady and hold her own. Now, this kind of "modern" spirit doesn't really sit very well with some people. Madame Pernelle, for instance, doesn't have many kind words for Elmire:
[Y]our behavior is extremely bad,
And a poor example for these children, too.
Their dear, dead mother did far better than you.
You're much too free with money, and I'm distressed
To see you so elaborately dressed. (1.1.13)
Now, who knows, maybe Elmire does spend her money a bit too freely, and maybe she does dress rather elaborately. Of course, Madam Pernelle isn't really a reliable source of information, and there's absolutely no other evidence in the play of Elmire setting a bad example or anything.
Elmire shows us just what kind of woman she really is in one crucial moment. When Tartuffe tries to turn the charm on and tempt her, she acts completely rationally, and keeps the best interests of her family in mind. It all boils down to a single response:
Some women might do otherwise, perhaps,
But I shall be discreet about your lapse;
I'll tell my husband nothing of what's occurred
If, in return, you'll give your solemn word
To advocate as forcefully as you can
The marriage of Valère and Mariane,
Renouncing all desire to dispossess
Another of his rightful happiness, (3.3.32)
Elmire is willing to compromise, to do things that aren't necessarily Just with a capital J, in order to protect her family. You could say that she believes that the ends justify the means. She doesn't care what "some women" might do. She isn't obsessed with defaming Tartuffe; she just wants to clean up the mess. As we see later, she's even willing to hide her husband under the table and flirt shamelessly to get what she needs. She puts herself in harm's way to save the day – Tartuffe is practically slobbering all over her when she finally ends the charade. That may not be conventional. That may not be "ladylike." But it's sure as heck effective and bold and courageous. What more could you want in a person?
Essay on Moliere's Tartuffe and the Religious Hypocrisy
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Moliere's Tartuffe and the Religious Hypocrisy
Moliere's Tartuffe is a satire based on religious hypocrisy. Every character is essential in Tartuffe. All of the characters play an important role, but it is easy to say that Tartuffe and Orgon are the main characters. First, we must know the definition of satire. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, satire is defined as "literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn" ("satire"). In other words, a satire is defined as literary work that uses humor to point out the foolishness of a person or just in human nature. Religious hypocrisy can be self-defined as a false assumption of a person. What follows are examples of how I believe Tartuffe exposes humor…show more content…
In spit of the fact that Mariane wishes to marry with Valere; but she wants to please her father as well. Dorine, Mariane's maid, questions Orgon by saying,
"There's lately been a rumor going about- Based on some hunch or chance remark, no doubt- That you mean Mariane to wed Tartuffe. I've laughed it off, of course, as just a spoof" (Tartuffe 2.2.5-7).
It is obvious to see at this stage in the story that many of the characters are in disbelief that Orgon wishes Mariane to marry Tartuffe. Several of the characters have confronted Orgon about his decision and have given their own opinions on Tartuffe is blindness. There have not been any positive comments or statements made about Tartuffe to Orgon but Orgon stubbornly believes that Tartuffe is a heaven's blessing. As the story progresses, Orgon is left with no other choice, but to believe what is being said. But Orgon learns such wisdom at a near-tragic cost.
Before Orgon is left to believe the statements about Tartuffe, it is the discussion between Orgon's wife, Elmire, and Tartuffe that begins to reveal the truth of the rumors of Tartuffe. As Elmire and Tartuffe talk about Orgon's proposal to marry Mariane, Tartuffe says that he would rather find happiness elsewhere. It is at this point in the play that Tartuffe begins to reveal his feelings towards Elmire.
"How could I look on you, O flawless creature, and not adore