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Word Count: 828
True or False Piety In early Neoclassic Europe one of the institutions of major political power was the Roman Catholic Church Often the leaders of the church abused this power exploiting the people in the name of religion in order to gain worldly benefits while continuing to claim moral superiority over those people they were taking advantage of It is this hypocrisy which is the theme in Molieres play Tartuffe The title character and Orgon both demonstrate various errors and a distortion of Christian thought These hypocrisies are exposed by the other characters particularly Dorine and Cleante whose views seem to meet and reflect the most important points that Moliere has to make about true and false piety Through this theme the playwright conveys that one should not put on a show of being pious use ones religion to exploit others or to assume Gods right in judging the actions of others In a conversation with Orgon Cleante emphasizes the need to differentiate between religious devotion and showiness Theres a vast difference so it seems to me between true piety and hypocrisy 331-332 Cleante expresses the view that there is a real and obvious difference between those who practice Christianity and those who only pretend and that it can be distinguished with the use of simple reason 354 What is it that distinguishes true from false piety According to Cleante those Christians Kapp 2 worthy of acclaim do not make a show of their piety with loud public prayers and condemnations but they show by deeds how Christians should behave 394 By having Tartuffe make a show of himself and his piety Moliere holds that true Christianity is an aspect of the inner person which will be displayed outwardly in certain ways Those whose hearts are truly pure and lowly dont make a flashy show of being holy 330-331 Moliere makes his second point about religious hypocrisy when he conveys that people should
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