Tartuffe

Overview

Intriguing and entertaining, the play Tartuffe is a satire displaying the scandalous truths and facades of the seventeenth century. Although initially written for the people of King Louis the XIV, the book can be read by an everyday high school student or adult. Through reading the play the audience is able to see the deception of people and that we cannot always judge by what we see. Moliere brings about this concept through his witty play, and in such a manner that you can't put it down. In Tartuffe, Moliere ...
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Overview

Intriguing and entertaining, the play Tartuffe is a satire displaying the scandalous truths and facades of the seventeenth century. Although initially written for the people of King Louis the XIV, the book can be read by an everyday high school student or adult. Through reading the play the audience is able to see the deception of people and that we cannot always judge by what we see. Moliere brings about this concept through his witty play, and in such a manner that you can't put it down. In Tartuffe, Moliere uses the characterization, rhyme scheme, setting, and irony to effectively inform an everyday audience about the distinction between appearances versus reality. The setting also portrays the turmoil of the home and augments the pace of the play. The whole play takes place in the same room in Orgon's home and the characters are constantly entering and exiting the room. This causes chaos and confusion resembling the situation of the family. Moliere efficiently informs the audience that although households [in the 1600s or today] may appear to be perfect on the outside, if you dig a little deeper into the reality, they can be muddled. Moliere utilizes irony to expose the difference between demeanor and veracity to the audience, and also that we cannot believe what we see because, once we truly get to know someone they can be a completely different person than they appeared. Due to the rhymed couplets, the book is a very quick read and it is enjoyable because of the irony and witty diction used throughout. Tartuffe is guaranteed to make you laugh and it will institute deep thinking for those wanting to read an academic work.

Translation into English verse of a classic French drama.

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What People Are Saying

Jim Carmody
The new Steiner Tartuffe offers welcome relief from all the rhymed translations that make Molière sound like a third-rate Restoration poet while creating the (false) impression that verbal dexterity and wit trump all other values in the great comic playwright's dramaturgy. Steiner's crisp, lucid prose - her adroitly balanced sentences are especially effective at conveying the slippery rhetoric of Tartuffe's seductions - unfolds the plot and characters of Molière's play with an unaccustomed clarity, presenting the ideological clashes of the play with a bluntness many other translations attenuate. Roger Herzel's Introduction is well-focused for those encountering Molière for the first time and informed throughout by his own excellent scholarship. (Jim Carmody, University of California, San Diego)
Florent Masse
This dynamic new translation of Tartuffe conveys the subject matter of Molière's perennial masterpiece in a way that resonates for contemporary audiences. Prudence Steiner has modernized and revitalized the text, making its burning and scandalous tone stand out, as it does in the original French. The thorough introduction to the play skillfully invites the reader into the dark and controversial world of Tartuffe. (Florent Masse, Princeton University)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463728564
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Pages: 92
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Moliere (1622-1673) was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Born into a prosperous family and having studied at the College de Clermont, Moliere was well suited to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years as an itinerant actor helped him polish his comic abilities while he began writing, combining Commedia dell'Arte elements with the more refined French comedy. Through the patronage of a few aristocrats, including Philippe I, Duke of Orléans - the brother of Louis XIV - Moliere procured a command performance before the King at the Louvre. Performing a classic play by Pierre Corneille and a farce of his own, Le Docteur amoureux (The Doctor in Love), Moliere was granted the use of salle du Petit-Bourbon at the Louvre, a spacious room appointed for theatrical performances. Later, Molière was granted the use of the Palais-Royal. Though he received the adulation of the court and Parisians, Moliere's satires attracted criticisms from moralists and the Roman Catholic Church. Tartuffe ou L'Imposteur (Tartuffe or the Hypocrite) and its attack on religious hypocrisy roundly received condemnations from the Church, while Dom Juan was banned from performance. Moliere's hard work in so many theatrical capacities began to take its toll on his health and, by 1667, he was forced to take a break from the stage. In 1673, during a production of his final play, Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), Moliere, who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, was seized by a coughing fit and a hemorrhage while playing the hypochondriac Argan. He finished the performance but collapsed again and died a few hours later.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    Hilarious Hypocrisy

    Tartuffe / 294-0-000-71568-0 With scathing satire, gorgeous poetry, clever word choice, and a beautiful English translation, Tartuffe viciously attacks religious hypocrites who posture and preen in public and the dupes who are foolish enough to believe that holiness can only be measured by the outward show of morality. Moliere utilizes the sharp-witted servant girl motif to provide a cutting Greek chorus and to propel the action in a way that the obedient daughter stereotype cannot. In the end, hypocrisy is exposed for the ugly stain that it is, and punished with humiliation and repudiation. The story here is superb, and Moliere is careful to skewer only the hypocritical religious, and not the true believer. When the once-dupe sees the light of Tartuffe's hypocrisy and declares that all religion is now bunk, he is cautioned to avoid exchanging one extreme for another. Look for the good in all men, he is told, regardless of religious affiliation, but do not shun the religious simply because they are so. ~ Ana Mardoll

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