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Word Count: 2,798
Tartuffe an odious hypocrite posing as a member of the clergy has ingratiated himself with the credulous Orgon and his mother Mme Pernelle He is taken into Orgons home Both Orgon and his mother believe that Tartuffes pious example will be good for the other members of the family But everyone else in the family including even the outspoken servant Dorine is perceptive enough to see through the impostor Despite the protestations of his sensible brother-in-law Cleante and his son Damis Orgon determines that his daughter Mariane who is in love with a young man named Valere shall marry Tartuffe When Orgons wife Elmire seeks out Tartuffe to beg him to refuse Marianes hand he attempts to seduce her Damis who has overheard denounces the impostor but Orgon reacts by banishing his son rather than his guest and by signing over his entire property to Tartuffe Realizing the futility of reasoning with either Tartuffe or her husband Elmire devises a way to expose the hypocrite to Orgon She persuades Orgon to conceal himself under a table while she seduces Tartuffe and thus witnesses the impostors advances to her Orgons eyes are opened a little too late for he has already assigned all he owns to Tartuffe When Tartuffe realizes his hypocrisy has been discovered he promptly turns the family out of the house Then by reporting to the authorities that Orgon possesses a strongbox containing the papers of an exiled friend Tartuffe contrives to have his former host arrested But by order of the King the arresting officer apprehends Tartuffe instead and the impostor is hauled off to prison for his treacherous behavior toward his well-meaning if too credulous host The play ends as Damis is reconciled with his father and the wedding of Mariane and Valere is announced A hilarious study in evil this comedy is about an emotionally fractured family being tested further by the ambition of an insidious and calculating house guest
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