listened to; / [he’d] not trust [them], and now [Madame Pernelle] won’t trust [him]” (149). There is no doubt that Madame Pernelle and Orgon share the same passion, or stubbornness; but what does that passion look like? It appears that Orgon is passionate about devotion, loyalty, and believing the good in everyone. In this play, however, passion leads to obsession. Tartuffe enchants Orgon with his meekness and fake humble character. He makes Orgon believe that he gave all he had to charity “because he cared for Heaven alone” (119). Orgon passionately believes that Tartuffe is “pure and saintly” and that alone makes him worthy enough to Orgon to take him under his roof and provide for him (119). When someone is passionate about something, it has the potential to help or harm. Any person can become mentally deaf and blind to hypocrisy and lies due to his passion. This blind passion for Tartuffe causes Orgon to disinherit Damis (136), force his daughter to marry Tartuffe (118), and give away Damis’s inheritance to Tartuffe (137). Through all of this, Orgon never stops to think about how unreasonable his actions are. Tartuffe hasn’t proved himself an honorable man except by the words of his mouth. Actions speak louder than words, yet all the actions displayed are from a man who has become so blinded by his passion he can’t properly reason. Destruction comes when Orgon’s failure to reason leaves Tartuffe the sole inheritor to everything he owns. Tartuffe cunningly takes his leave after Elmire, Orgon’s wife, has revealed him as the scoundrel he really is (144-145). Orgon orders Tartuffe to leave, forgetting that he has handed the family’s entire inheritance over to Tartuffe, who says, No, I’m the master, and you’re the one to go! This house belongs to me, I’ll have you know, And I shall show you that you can’t hurt me By this contemptible conspiracy, That those who cross me know not what they do, And that I’ve means to expose and punish you, Avenge offended Heaven, and make you grieve That ever you dared order me to leave. (145-146)
Art and literary journal of University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D.