The plot of Molière's play "Tartuffe" involves a fraudulent holy man named Tartuffe who is invited to stay at the house of the rich and gullible Orgon. Tartuffe interferes with Orgon's children and tries to seduce his wife. He then attempts to take possession of Orgon's house.Continue Reading
"Tartuffe" begins with the departure of Madame Pernelle, Orgon's mother, who staunchly believes in house guest Tartuffe's piety. Orgon's children, Damis and Mariane, his young wife, Elmire, and his brother-in-law, Cleante, all believe Tartuffe is a fraud. The family members, along with servant Dorine, are eager for a way to free Orgon from Tartuffe's influence.
Orgon is so enraptured with Tartuffe that he wishes Mariane to marry him instead of her true love, Valere. Mariane believes she has to obey her father, but later she and Valere conspire with Dorine to counteract the plans for the wedding.
When Orgon catches Tartuffe trying to seduce Elmire, he finally realizes that Tartuffe is a fraud. When Orgon attempts to banish Tartuffe, though, Tartuffe reveals he has the deed to Orgon's house and a strongbox that could make Orgon seem treacherous in the eyes of the king.
The play ends with an officer of the king arriving with Tartuffe, seemingly to arrest Orgon. Instead, he arrests Tartuffe because the king was wise enough to see through his deceit. The family regains their home, and Orgon begins to plan Mariane and Valere's wedding.Learn more about Plays