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TARTUFFE (LE) [Mass Market Paperback]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 18 1999 Livre Poche Theatre (Book 6122)
Dès sa première représentation, en 1664, Le Tartuffe provoqua le scandale : Louis XIV, sous l'influence du parti des dévots, fit interdire la pièce. Qualifiée de " diabolique " et d'" immorale ", l'œuvre ne fut autorisée de représentation qu'au terme de cinq années de luttes et de polémiques - cinq années pendant lesquelles le dramaturge remit son ouvrage sur le métier, pour aboutir à la version que nous connaissons. Satire de la fausse dévotion et des excès de la bigoterie, jalon majeur du débat sur la moralité au théâtre, Le Tartuffe est sans conteste l'une des plus acides comédies de Molière.
--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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En laissant Tartuffe entrer dans sa maison, Orgon ne pouvait pas imaginer qu'il allait mettre en péril sa fortune, son honneur, son bonheur et l'unité de sa famille. Et pourtant, c'est bien à quoi travaille "l'imposteur", mais toujours à l'insu du maître de maison : si Tartuffe courtise la femme d'Orgon, c'est sous prétexte de l'entretenir de religion ; s'il spolie ses enfants, c'est sous couvert de les remettre dans le droit chemin ; s'il s'approprie les cordons de la bourse, c'est pour mieux organiser la dévotion familiale. Comment, dans ces conditions, Orgon aurait-il pu s'apercevoir de son aveuglement et donner au faux dévot la correction qu'il mérite ?

Avec Tartuffe, Molière livre une satire grinçante de toutes les hypocrisies, satire qui fait mouche et qui, 300 ans plus tard, reste toujours de mise : en témoignent les mises en scène modernes, qui se succèdent, collant à l'actualité, et le nom de Tartuffe qui est définitivement passé dans la langue comme synonyme d'hypocrite. --Karla Manuele --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

VALERE "On vient de débiter, Madame une nouvelle Que je ne savais pas, et qui sans doute est belle".

MARIANE "Quoi ?"

VALERE "Que vous épousez Tartuffe".

MARIANE "Il est certain Que mon père s'est mis en tête ce dessein".

VALERE "Votre père, Madame..."

MARIANE "A changé de visée : La chose vient par lui de m'être proposée".

VALERE "Quoi ? Sérieusement ?"

MARIANE "Oui. sérieusement. Il s'est pour cet hymen déclaré hautement".

VALERE "Et quel est le dessein où votre âme s'arrête, Madame ?"

MARIANE "Je ne sais".

VALERE "La réponse est honnête. Vous ne savez ?" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
I often taught Moliere's "Tartuffe" as an example of the neoclassical form of comedy in contrast to the romantic comedy represented by Shakespeare. We would read "Twelfth Night," a play set in a faraway exotic land where the point was simply romance, and then turn to "Tartuffe," where the contemporary society becomes one of the primary concerns of the comic dramatist. During the neoclassical period society was concerned with norms of behavior, and in a Moliere play you usually find a eccentric individual, out of step with the rest of society, who is laughed back to the right position. Moliere was concerned with social problems, which was while this particular play, dealing with the issue of hypocrisy, was banned for years. Keep in mind that originally hypocrisy was specific to religion, although today it can be used with regards to politics, sex, or even uncontroversial subjects.
The central character in "Tartuffe" is not the title character, but Orgon, a reasonably well to do man of Paris who is married to his second wife, Elmire, and has a song, Damis, and a daughter, Mariane, from his first marriage. He also has the misfortune of living with his mother, Madame Pernelle. Tartuffe is a religious hypocrite who worms his way into Orgon's confidence in order to take him for everything he is worth. Orgon is completely duped, and disinherits his son when Damis tries to prove Tartuffe is fraud. The other key character in the play is Dorine, who is Mariane's maid and the smartest person in the house, which allows her to both manipulate the action and comment on the play.
There are three crucial scenes in the play that readers should appreciate, even if it will not be covered on a future exam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tartuffe-what a spoof! Jan. 16 2001
Fast-paced and oft hilarious; Moliere's "Tartuffe" was one of the most controversial plays of its day. However, I myself do not believe it to be so much a satire on religion (contrary to what was believed at the time) as a satire on religious hypocrisy. Not once in the play is a specific religion or religious belief eluded to, and Cleante (who serves as the play's voice of reason) praises piety (so long as it is honest) in the beginning of the fifth act. What the play is satirizing is how easily people follow and accept what they are told by their leaders, whether religious, political, or otherwise.
In the play Orgon places so much faith in the mischevious Tartuffe that he nearly gives away everything (including his own daughter) to him. Both the strong-willed, weak-minded Orgon and the devious Tartuffe (of whom one could say "thinks with the wrong head") as well as the quick-tempered Damis, the clear-minded Cleante, and the wise-cracking maid Dorine are memorable characters all of whom are wonderfully developed despite the brevity of the play. The rhyme scheme makes for a quick and enjoyable read as well. A classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly well-written! May 2 1999
By A Customer
The most amazing thing about this play is the skill of its author. The story is original and interesting. The actual writing is what captivated me. So witty is the dialogue, so humorous it is at times, that I laughed out loud. It is quite amazing that such ancient text sounds like something you would hear on a sitcom. This is not boring or confusing speech, like in Shakespeare; this is very down-to-earth. Aside from the alluring rhyme, Moliere has an incredible ability to take a page-long theme and express it perfectly and succinctly in one sentence, and with poignancy. If I were given the task of writing dialogue about the theme of hypocrisy, I would write page after page of ineffective, watered-down, wordy dialogue that repeatedly misses the mark of expressing the point well. Moliere's lines, however, are so well-crafted that the ideas are ingeniously short and accurate. He fits so many good points into one entertaining, rhythmic, memorable sentence. Tartuffe is my favorite play of all!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In defense of Richard Wilbur Feb. 23 2003
By Kit
I'm writing because the negative reviews unduly attack, and positive reviews fail to credit, the strongest selling point of this particular edition--Richard Wilbur's skillful and supple translation. A U.S. Poet Laureate and great literary intellect in his own right, Wilbur's clear language and, for the most part, effortlessly natural couplets make Moliere immediately accessible to the modern reader. His language does make the link between Moliere and Restoration comedy quite explicit, as one critic of the edition has noted here. But since Restoration was in fact inspired by the spirit of French farce, all this proves is that Wilbur's translation is not only readable, but historically adept (the whole idea of the Restoration was that Charles II brought French culture back to England with him on returning from France--the link isn't imaginary). Of course read the French if you can--but read Wilbur's translation as well, because it's also a valuable literary work in its own right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A peerless translation June 27 2003
By J. Ott
Pulizter-winning poet Richard Wilbur has chosen to dedicate years of his life to making worthy English translations of the plays of Moliere with the idea no one will have to again for a hundred years. His confidence in his own translations is enormous, and correct. This is Moliere in the language of today -- direct, witty, insightful, hilarious. Tartuffe sends up hypocrisy, religious and otherwise, in a bourgeois farce of escalating absurdity.
This particular translation won the prestigious Bollingen Prize. The only thing going against it is that you can essentially get two-for-the-price-of-one by getting Wilbur's Tartuffe and The Misanthrope together in another book. That book even contains the same introduction. But why stop there? I can't praise Wilbur's Molieres highly enough. If you like The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, check out the other ones, like The School for Wives and Amphitryon, two personal favorites.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for the Entire Human Race
Moliere is one of the most unique and individualistic writers ever to grace the pages of literary anthologies. Read more
Published on July 23 2001 by "the_kenosha_kid"
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable literature assignment
Tartuffe was one of many plays assigned to me in a college literature class, but I found Tartuffe to be more enjoyable than others. Read more
Published on April 20 2000 by Lindsay
1.0 out of 5 stars More bad reading assigned to students...
Tartuffe is dry, cynical, witless reading--similar to watching re-run after re-run of a sitcom such as "Three's Company". Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Comical and Extraordinarily well written
It didn't lose a thing on the Italian-to-English translation. Its absolutely perfect. Its funny, and witty, and a 5 stay recommendation for anyone and everyone!
Published on Nov. 1 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Insane, Edgy, Delicious
I dropped in here to see how Monsieur Moliere was doing with the online reviewers, and was glad to see that most people are still delighted by this masterpiece -- particularly in... Read more
Published on Oct. 6 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Do NOT read!
"Tartuffe" by Moliere is a feeble attempt at extrodinary literature. The writing itself is lacking in drama and power, and the development of the play through rhyme... Read more
Published on July 19 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, A true example of classic French Literature
I found that Moliere is one of the greatest French playwrights ever. Tartuffe must have been eye-opening to people in the 17th century. Read more
Published on April 28 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tartuffe" was great; a real thought out play.
I loved "Tartuffe." Dorine was a fantastic representation of a maid who sticks her nose in too much for good purpose. Read more
Published on April 19 1999
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