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Themes of Tartuffe

            Throughout the story, Orgon is constantly manipulated by the character Tartuffe. In fact, this constant manipulation is a symbol of the deeds of both Cardinal de Richelieu and Jules Mazarin. Both men were Cardinals for the King of France. Richelieu under Louis IIIand Mazarin under Louis XIV. The men ruled France with an iron fist without the permission or consent of the King. It is possible that the King did not know or did not care as long as he lived a lavish lifestyle. Mazarin went so far as to have an affair with Louis XIV's mother, Anne of Austria. This manipulation led Tartuffe to harm his own family, maybe not physcially, but they were scarred for life with the betrayal of their father. This is similar to the actions of the Cardinals as they had many people killed and made many skeptics of the King.
             This idea of manipulation did not sit well with the Catholic Church as it showed the impious actions of the Cardinals as well as the manipulative behavior unbecoming a church official.
             The chief reason behind the manipulation of the Kings was there vanity. In the story, flattery got Tartuffe everything. Tartuffe promised Orgon an entrance into Heaven, and to make him a "saint". This causes Orgon to become inflated with Pride which is completely against the Christian ideals of humility and love. The Cardinals used similar tactics knowing that the vanity of the Kings would cause them to pay less attention to matters of state.
             Religious Symbolism/hypocrisy.
             Symbolically, Tartuffe provides ample insight into Moliére's ideas of the absolutist power and the catholic church.
             Blatantly stated, Tartuffe was the symbol of the Devil. Lucifer was the Prince of Angles, however he grew jealous of God's power and was exhiled to hell because of his pride. In this way, Tartuffe's pride became his driving force, as he constantly sought material reinforcement of his way of life. The Devil strives to make people be there worst; Tartuffe made Orgon a lot worse than he was in the beginning.

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