Category Archives: Week 11

Tartuffe, Youthfulness and Satan

1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

I do not think that Tartuffe was anti-religious by any means, but only does the job it was intended for, being for satirical component of what was actually going on at that time. It attacks what was such a serious issue at that time because no one questioned it .They just did what was told during that new religious movement, hoping they could buy their way in to heaven.

His physical appearance is that of a religious one so people say, “Oh, he must be telling the truth,” then he he tells people, “Oh, I have the key to heaven…but I require money,” and people throw riches at him. If no one questions this new form of looking at worship and religion than he is just another person taking advantage of people’s ignorance.

The people gave him money dollar after dollar and some of the doubters even said, ” Don’t do it” but no one listened. Once Tartruffe was found about his lust for Orgon’s wife instead of his daughter all of his secrets came out of the closet. I actually know quite a bit of churches that I question what goes on when they seek out tithes and offerings. I actually pass a large church every day, questioning their motives. Surely, a bigger church cannot get me into heaven quicker…so what goes on here? I think this is just what Tartruffe was trying to point out in his play.

2. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

Let me just say, these two are two completely different depictions of Satan, however I think they exist in a time line. Also, I think that Satan could exist as a heroic figure by Hugo because he was someone who tested boundaries and let’s face it, if he wants to be the ultimate bad guy, then let him take the place of it. As far as I am concerned, if he wants to take that place in Hell, no one else has to…so good riddance.

Anyhow, Hugo’s Satan is just like you and I, a person, who has the choices on an everyday basis for his actions just as we do. To choose good or to choose bad, kind of like the little red devil and the angel on your shoulder type thing. I earlier stated that the two depictions of the characters were like a timeline, with Hugo’s coming first showing how Satan grew to be that monster with wings stuck in   ice in the last circle of Hell that Dante depicted. Satan made some bad choices, like a rebel and he went against God and chose not to repent so therefore he was sent to Hell where he would become Dante’s Satan. Now, Satan chose not to repent and even led to us thinking he was not one little bit sorry for his actions. But knowing he was once just as human as us, how long could he remain his true self down in the underworld under those conditions? Leading him to become Dante’s Satan.

3. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

I am choosing to compare the poems by Giacomo Leopardi, “To Silvia” and ” The Village Saturday”. I am choosing to compare the ideas rather than what actually happens in the poem. I feel like Leopardi’s work happens when he is trying to live vicariously thorough other people. Almost like, he feels his own youth has slept away. He wishes to be young again and in all of his poems there’s this almost sullen feeling being given off. In “The Village Saturday” Leopardi talks about a young women bringing home flowers so that they may be put in her french braids and on the chest of her dress to make her look pretty. Then he talks about an older woman watching the actions, remembering when she was young like her and loved to dance. The poem ends with a playful boy…also young. In “To Silvia” he mentions “youth” excessively as well as asking, “Is this the human’s fate”. Leopardi seems to come into his writing person when he imagines himself young again or the things that remind him of when he was a young boy.

Which I can see this being something everyone can relate to. Because even at the age I am…I still love doing things even with my own son, that reminds me of when I was a child. It is almost like a keepsake and it can make a person both happy and sad and that I believe is where his ideas from a lot of his poetry came from.

Romanticism – week 11

  1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

Tartuffe is definitely not anti-religious, except for in the way that it’s making fun of religion and the hypocrisy that comes with ignorant people that disregard everything but religion. So in that way, it attacks the corruption. Simply by making Tartuffe the antagonist and making him despicable for taking advantage of Orgon’s hospitality, it is putting his hypocrisy and manipulative nature to light, and pretending he is into the spiritual nature to woo his host’s wife, this very satirical of all the negative aspects of religion. It is not exactly putting religion in a bad light or mocking all religious people, but rather, like many intelligent writers in the past, Moliere was writing about the political situation at the time, in particular the Catholic movement and appearance versus reality.

  1. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

Hugo’s Satan is not the fire and brimstone Satan like Dante’s, of consequence and fear and ultimate punishment, but rather it is like the precursor. Hugo made his poem in a futile yet hopeful tone, a situation everyone can relate to, the possibility of success and the attainment of good, but also the implicated idea of failure and temptation and evil. It is the age-old idea of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, and the conflicting flanks and arguments. Instead of Dante’s evil description of Satan, Hugo’s is more a character with free will who in a way chose his path, much like how we all choose our path and so he is relatable and is very nearly a hero, just a different kind of hero.

  1. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

I want to compare “A Pine is Standing Lonely,’ by Heine, because it strikes true with seasonal affective disorder in Fairbanks, and compare and contrast it with “Sylvia’ by Leopardi. To me, these two poems invoked the most amount of emotion, because it is such extreme loss. For example, during the winter, people want to be in other places, they dream of the sun and palm trees and a different life. It is an intense sadness, because our bodies are not supposed to go through that, uninhabitable temperatures and only an hour or two of weak rays, and the loss of a woman, or a friend, is another extreme emotion. Unlike the lonely pine, Sylvia starts out so lovely, with imagery such as “climbing towards the summit of our youth,’ “blue skies,’ “gardens gold in the sun,’ “brimming hearts,’ “how large a thing seems life.’ But it switches quickly, into the same emotion of the lonely pine, by mourning the lost soul, and suddenly it is hopeless, without her, he is not whole. Without the sun, the pine is lonely, and without Sylvia, Leopardi cannot enjoy his life.

Discussion 11

1- Moliere states that his play Tartuffe is not anti-religious. But I think he protests too much. I believe that his play is anti-religious and encourages people not to blindly follow the church. At the time the play was written the church was a highly influential institution and hypocrisy was a common characteristic of some religious people. I believe that Moliere’s play is a warning to all that religion and religious people should be questioned because sometimes their motives are not truly in the best interest of anyone or anything but themselves. When people start to question the church it can lead to a power struggle and cause the church to loss their influence.

2- Hugo’s Satan can be seen as a hero because he embodies what we all have the choice of free-will. Satan is a living being has the right to make decisions about his own life and his choices have made him a fallen angel, a rebel. His daring to question authority and make his own choices have been romanticized. Even though he has the power to ask forgiveness Satan refuses to. He sticks to what he chose in life.

Datne’s Satan was incapable of moving around while Hugo’s Satan was flying and reaching for the Stars. Dante’s Satan also has six eyes and three chins. He cries from his six eyes and this seems like he is upset at his punishment and is remorseful while Hugo’s Satan is not remorseful, simply angry and upset at being left in the dark.

3- I was drawn to the poems “The Infinite’ and “To Himself’ by Giocomo Leopardi. Both poems have a lot of imagery and connect thoughts and feelings through nature. In “The Infante’ Leopardi is speaking of his longing to see things beyond the home he has always known, his desire for knowledge. He basically is saying he desires to venture out in the world even if in the end it causes him heartache or death. The wind that speaks to him and the present season are images of being alive and moving through life. Seeing new things and opening himself up to whatever may be.

In “To Himself’ he is speaking to his desire to love and be loved. He has lost hope that he will have the love that has eluded him so far and he is saying he is giving up his desire. Both poems are speaking to desire and the heartbreak it can cause. The world being mud and nature being an ugly force are symbols of hopelessness. The end of his dream.

Discussion Questions 11 — Tartuffe; Romanticism: Heine, Leopardi, Hugo


  1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

Tartuffe, the impostor, is not anti-religious. Tartuffe is an extreme hypocrite and shows corruption of religion at its finest. He used religion and faith in god to get what he wanted and to manipulate Orgon. Orgon was a believer of blind faith, just because Tartuffe ACTED like a saint he immediately thought he was sent from heaven. While Tartuffe was running around Orgon back trying to seduce his wife. Orgon was going to have him be married to his daughter. Before Orgon caught the scoundrel in the act by hiding out on a conversation between Tartuffe and his wife, he actually signed away his estate to Tartuffe. Luckily, for Orgon and his family the King had their back and knew what Tartuffe was up too. I found this a very interesting read as well. It is sad how corrupt religion can be and how easily people are to believe things. The sad conclusion of it all is this still continues to happen in religions today.

  1. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

I can’t say I would consider Hugo’s Satan a hero. Though he does fall on a few categories of the Hero’s journey such as, being forced out on a quest, refusing the call, to transforming and accepting his situation that he had brought upon himself by being disobedient. Hugo’s account differs from Dante by which how the stories are told. Hugo describes how Satan well became Satan. And Dante pretty much takes us threw a journey of the depths of hell. In Hugo’s story Satan is explained to be a more human like figure. While in Dante’s he a farfetched beastly figure.

  1. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

A Pine is standing lonely vs The Infinite

In both poems we are described places where there is no sounds just the noise of nature, a perfect place to dream and wonder. But to also seek what is far beyond the sunburnt rocky strand and the sea. Both poems we are described a certain amount of loneliness where one is seeking more out of life it seems.


Hugo’s Satan and Dante’s Satan: Heroic or Not?

Everyone has different views on people within specific topics. Religion there are highly debated topics of which one is best and what each figure truly stands for. I think that it is pretty accurate to say that in all religions there is a God or God’s and some sort of Devil. Throughout history stories have been written that include the major figures of God(s) and the Devil or Satan. In this class we have read and written about Dante’s Inferno and we are now reading and writing about Victor Hugo’s poem Ex nox facta est. Between these two stories the view on Satan is quite different. But there are also some similarities as well. Starting out with Hugo’s poem and explaining kind of how Satan is seen in this story seems best since that is the main topic of this discussion question.


In Victor Hugo’s poem Ex nox facta es Satan can really be seen as somewhat of a heroic figure. The best way that I could really think to define the way in which he is a hero is by comparing what has happened to him in this poem to the Hero’s Journey chart. Some of things that happened to Him as he was falling from Heaven match to certain aspects of the Hero’s Journey. So from my perspective I feel like it can kind of make him a hero in a sense even though Satan is usually seen as a bad guy, not a hero. An easy link to make between the Hero’s Journey chart and Satan’s fall from Heaven is at the Threshold (beginning of transformation). At this point Satan/Lucifer has done something bad and is being cast from Heaven where as he is falling down to Hell he is losing his angelic wings and getting the bat like wings that look hideous. He faces some challenges such as being cast out and coming to terms with his punishment. After all of that though he comes to terms with it and is somewhat a rebirth for him when he states “He shall have the blue sky, the black sky is mine,’ (481). Shortly after he began flying and transformed into something quite terrible with hideous wings and claws and he realized towards the end that he was not going to be going back to Heaven, ever. But he was able to keep one feather from his angelic wings. By following some of the Hero’s Journey I think that it connects this poem and Satan with the characteristics of a hero to a point. Satan became the reigning person down in Hell making him somewhat a hero. One thing that I think of that kind of fits this situation and how he is a hero is by saying that he is the hero of all of the villains. He is the one who punishes the wrong doers and I feel like that is somewhat the makings of a hero, by stopping evil from doing more.

Dantes Inferno    Satans Fall

Dante’s account differs from Hugo’s in a noticeable way. This is seen by the entire way that Satan is described between these stories. In Dante’s he sees Satan in the depths of Hell and he does not speak if I remember correctly. In Hugo’s poem he paints the picture of Satan’s fall from Heaven for the reader. The reader can picture the fall happening and the changes that come to this once angel, where he is yelling at God for doing this to him. Once again in contrast, Dante’s story doesn’t really tell or paint the picture of Satan’s fall. Dante’s account kind of shows what happens and becomes of Satan once he has been down in Hell for so long. Thinking back on Dante’s tale now, I think that it has the same sort of aspects that can kind of make Satan a hero, even if it isn’t blatantly said. It’s about the perspective that these stories are read and viewed in. These two authors just wrote about different events that have to do with Satan, which is really the main difference between the two.

During this assignment it really made me think of what a hero truly is. I now think that a hero can be good or evil. While God is a hero for good reasons, I think that Satan is a hero for different and bad reasons, but just because there are differences it doesn’t mean that they can’t somehow be similar. Both of these figures have a hand in punishing people who do wrong, God casts them down to Hell and Satan hands out the punishment that they deserve. Many people think of Hero’s as a person who does good and is good. But now after reading this my perspective has changed. I think that a hero is anyone that has a good amount of qualities a hero is outlined to have, good or evil. Just because someone is known as being evil doesn’t mean that they can’t do heroic type things.

Romanticism serves a purpose!

1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

I found Tartuffe to be a very interesting read. I did not feel that it took an anti-religious standpoint, but simply used a religious hypocrite to exemplify how fraudulent people can be, in a way that many people can relate to as a community. In my experience, I have met many “religious” people that point fingers at other’s faults and can turn around and perform strikingly similar acts behind closed doors. The spreading attitude of bigotry, in the community presented in the story, was there to show a growing prudence and ignorance to the problem at hand. The way the tale was delivered provided the effects that hypocrisy creates in society and through the intellect and awareness of the King, the scam is seen through and the short-coming of society is identified. The Office states, “A King who’s foiled such liars by the dozen.” This brings to light that this is a common problem in society that should be dealt with.

2. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

Satan Cat
Hugo’s Satan, like many heroes of old, is a rebel of his society and thus banished by his father to the dark abyss. In his plight, he is challenged in a series of different aspects, which are meant to inspire fear and despair, but he overcomes these through determination and mere spite, while also finding supernatural aid of “beast like wings.” In the story, this scene is depicted in the verses stating, “In an instant he felt some horrendous growth of wings; he felt himself become a monster, and that the angel in him was dying, and the rebel then knew regret.” Satan is faced with less and less light, as the suns disappear. At one time, Satan tries to replenish a dying star and with his breath creates what we now call a hurricane. The power to create is heroic in itself, but the shear determination to continue through the adversity is a hero’s path. Once the void is complete, “Nothing” is able to raise his head from the abyss, triumphant in this and the heart of his star sends forth a jet of sulfur and creates his Angels. In the limitless shadow, Satan sees all that was preadamic, gaining the boon of wisdom and creating a new society, in which he reigns. This last bit fits the “Master of Two Worlds” theme in “The Hero’s Journey Defined” by Joseph Campbell because he is able to peak into the world he came from, but then chooses to reside below with all that he has seen.

3. Discuss & Compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

I would like to compare To Himself by Giacomo Leopardi and A Pine is Standing Lonely by Heinrich Heine. One similarity I noticed immediately was the use of nature or living things to display the phases of life the eventual bareness and death. Heine uses a pine tree that can be viewed to be full and resilliant to harsh weather, like a young man in the troubles of early life. The tree sleeps through life and is enshrouded in ice and snow, like a person that can truely only depend on themself and never truely acts to find love and eventually fades to white or grey hair. This pine dreams through life about a palm tree, which is a desirable vision that usually corrolates to tropical and beautiful weather and could be viewed as a beautiful girl. Sadly, the pine dreams or believes that this palm tree will stand lonely, sunburnt… drying and dying its life away. This could be seen as a view that life is meant to be lonely, hopeless and in the end…pointless. Both of the writers display a depressing view toward life and either a lack or loss of faith. Leopardi is more discrete at times than Heine like in his line, “The last Illusion is dead that I believed eternal. Dead. I can so clearly see–not only hope is gone but the desire to be deceived as well.” This last illusion could be faith or life after death, but could also be love. Leopardi says, “The world is mud.” In this statement, it claims that there is not much but bland exchanges to be had and he further determines that there is nothing to have anxiety over becasuse there is nothing to hope for. Leopardi blames nature itself for being the cause of his demise and ultimate dissatisfaction, where Heine uses it more as symbolic representation for people in life and the hopelessness it has for us.

Who is behind the mask?



  1. 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.


  1. 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.broke-heart-lost-love-red-favim-com-132308

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.