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Word Count: 2,016
Moliere speaks through his characters in Tartuffe to advocate specific values and behaviors that are the moral norms in the play There are situations in the play where Moliere created a situation which illustrated the absurdities of the persons actions and how they were totally in opposition to the generally accepted behavior of the society at large The comedy of the first scene is partly based on the overbearing and flustery Madame Pernelle who is dominating all conversation and forcing her own egotistical opinions on the others The comedy is also based upon seeing this woman proven wrong Molieres technique in Tartuffe is to set up a character or characters that are deviations from the norm of behavior and gradually reveal their absurdity I had to ask myself How does Moliere do this He does this first by subtitling his play The Hypocrite From the subtitle alone I know that Madame Pernelle is praising a man unworthy of praise Second since there was only one person in Act I Scene 1 who is holding the opinion that Tartuffe is a holy and pious man people tend to side with the many and not the one Third the manner in which Madame Pernelle defends Tartuffe instantly makes me doubt her honesty and credibility She is overbearing talkative and so superficial that I immediately defined her opinions as absurd Finally when each person in Scene 1 is criticized for the minutest aspect of his behavior and when I know that Madame Pernelles advice to the people is absurd then I tend to doubt the validity of advice She tells her grandson that he is a fool she accuses her granddaughter of being secretive she reprimands Elmire for dressing elaborately she dislikes Cleante because he is filled with worldly counsel the maid Dorine is too impudent In other words the entire world is wrong and only she and Tartuffe are right To conclude everyone in Act I Scene
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