My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tartuffe / 0-151-00281-9
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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