- Tartuffe is not against religion but about hypocrisy and the corruption of religion. A man of kind heart and gullible mind takes in a hermit who seems to be one of true blind faith. During church services the homeless man prays loudly, is outlandishly humble, and seems so ever pious. The wealthy benefactor, Orgon, thinks Tartuffe is heaven sent and is blind to the contrary actions of his words. Orgon goes as far as denouncing his son, calling his wife a liar and paying her little concern, breaking a marriage contract and promise to his daughter then trying to marry her off to the scoundrel, and almost forfeiting his entire estate because of the faith he put in Tartuffe’s words. Orgon is so taken in by the charlatan he will not head words of wisdom from his brother in law, wife, children, or staff. Tartuffe uses Orgon’s want to be more holy and need for salvation against him. He uses religion as a tool to get what he wants.
This is not a new idea. I can see why at the time many in the religious field tried to censor Moliere’s play. Even though the play is not ani-religion it warns people to be weary of being taken in by pretty words. The church was very wealthy and many cases got that way by asking for money for God, tithing, donations, so it saw this play as an attack against some of its more silver tongued parish leaders.
Hypocrisy is the act of a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. You can find this type of behavior in all walks of life, but those in the church who posses this fault seem most appalling. I think because of this Moliere chose a religious man to be Tartuffe, it is the most shocking and evil choice for a scoundrel and is one of the more likely types the common man might be taken in by. Comedies of the time centered on one fault of man and took it to an extreme; Moliere did such with great style but paid a high price.
- I am not sure you can call the devil a heroic figure; he seems to be a scared, angry, defiant child more to me. He does follow the hero’s journey a little from being forced out on his quest, fighting the call and pull, going through a transform, to finally accepting what he becomes bringing hopelessness to humanity. Hugo paints a drastically different picture of Satan than Dante. Hugo’s Lucifer is more like God and can create things from words, even in his fall from grace; though I am not sure he meant to be anything more than defiant. But in being so his rage was made real and stood in defiance to God. He is prideful, scared, and seen as a thing we can pity. It is a tragedy, his fall from grace because of his defiant nature to the end. Unlike the unmoving cursed being Dante traversed, Hugo makes Satan more human like and we share in his despair as never before. Lucifer is a lesson of how pride, rage, and resentment can change an angel into the devil.
3. In the poem by Heine, ‘A young man loves a maiden’, he paints a sad picture of love not returned and the heartbreak of this situation. It is said to be a story old yet new with each lover in this plight like a new verse to an old song. In Leopardi’s ‘To Sylvia’ is another loss of a loved one. He paints a picture of a lovely friend who dies to soon. Though from different perspectives and situations comes the same outcome of a broken heart and loss.