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Moliere's Play, Tartuffe Essay

1538 words - 7 pages

In Tartuffe, Moliere creates a play that is interesting in so many ways. His comedy reflects a lot on the role of men and women within a family. During this time, it was common for the man to be the head of the household and women to be submissive to the men. Men held the power in the family and made all the decisions. In this play, a man's point of view is the only view that matters. All else do not serve an importance. His lack of trust and awareness for other people's feelings and needs has caused great conflict in his family. The actions taken by Orgon and his family members express how this play views marriage and relations between men and women. It is a extremely different view (in some cases) of marriage today in average American family.
There are many differences between men and women.Women had the same role that several women have today. They take care of the household and tend to the families needs. This is the exact role Elmire plays in Tartuffe. She stands up for her children just as all mothers would do today. Men during this time were very superior and because of this, the relationships between all women were different. We can see this in Orgon's relationship with his wife, daughter, son, and Tartuffe (other characters as well). Marriage was without a doubt a big deal, it was extremely important. Marriage was to be decided by the father, and the daughter was to obey her father's commands. Arranged marriage was not unusual back in this time period. In 2.1, Orgon and Mariane are having a conversation about Mariane marrying Tartuffe. When Orgon asks Mariane to prove her love for him by doing anything he asks, Mariane responds by saying, “Then my obedience will be my proof.” (2.1.9). Orgon then responds several lines later, “Have it be the truth, then. It's decided.”(2.1.24). He goes on to tell her how Tartuffe is God's gift to Earth and that as a women, she should know that “Wives mold husbands, like making pies from dough.”(2.2.106). With that being said, this play views marriage as a wonderful thing when decided by the father/husband who “knows best”.
Arranged marriages are happening all around the world. Robert Epstein, Mayuri Pandit, and Mansi Thakar did a study on arranged marriages in different countries. What they found was that on average, participants estimated their level of love at the time they were married to be 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is a low level of love and 10 is a high level of love. At the time of the interview (on average 19.4 years later), the level of love was estimated to be 8.5 (Epstein, Pandit, and Thakar, 343). In the play, while Orgon thought the marriage was a brilliant idea, every one else did not. Marriage between men and women was clearly an important and sacred thing, but Orgon believed he knew best in Mariane's marriage to Tartuffe. However, he was being extremely one sided and would not listen to anyone else.
In the study preformed by Epstein, Pandit, and Thakar, they followed up...

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