Tartuffe, Romanticism, Heine, Leopardi, and Hugo

1. Tartuffe is not anti-religious. I believe that Moliere uses the character of Tartuffe to bring attention to the blind following people have towards religion and the way that it can be used to manipulate people if they are not careful. It is not the religious ideals that are being attacked in this play, but the way people are easily swayed to do things if it is in the name of religion. I think that this play is more of a warning to who have chosen the path of religion to not be oblivious to what is happening around them and to not be afraid to question those who they look up to in the church, because after all, we are all still humans and we do make mistakes.

2. Hugo’s Satan could be considered a heroic figure in that he does not willingly accept defeat. He continues to fight throughout his fall and even when he is all the way into the abyss. He continues to try and find a way out of his demise. Hugo’s account of Satan differs from that of Dante because his depiction is of an active being as opposed to a very stagnant one. Hugo depicts a Satan who, as mentioned before, is fighting his demise, as seen by the words associated with motion. Another aspect that shows his activeness is how he is creating, not on purpose, by speaking words against God. Every curse he speaks is given a name of a person or place that commits a sin which is given a punishment.

3. In Heine’s poems “A pine is sanding lonely” and “Ah, death is like the long cool night” he uses nature imagery. In the first he utilizes things that are associated with loneliness and bareness. These include a lone pine, North, bare, ice, snow, lonely, silent, and rocky. In the second poem the imagery is associated with nighttime and sleeping. These words include night, sleepy, tired, bed, nightingales, and dreams. Both poems evoke a sense of longing by using objects that are easily imagined and identified with and using contrast to show what is left to be desired. In the first poem it is the contrast between the cold and loneliness on the plateau versus the warm Eastern land. The second poem contrasts the liveliness of day with the calmness of night.