Tartuffe and A Modest Proposal Essay

Tartuffe 1:
An Overview
Chasity Tullis
October 11, 2010
ENG 103: The Literary Experience
Instructor Zone

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The purpose of Tartuffe was to satirize the overly rigid, self righteous churchgoers, and the heretical catholic movement of Moliere?s time. This movement was condemned by the Vatican. It was originally performed at the Palace of Versailles before King Louis in 1664 as a three act play and was condemned by court clergymen and banned from public performance. The clergymen believed that it mocked the religion and its practices. It was only until they play was extended to five acts, revised twice, and Tartuffe casted as a layman that it was approved for public performance by King Louis. The first public performance of the accepted form of Tartuffe took place in February of 1669.

Main Ideas:
The main ideas represented in Tartuffe are hypocrisy, gullibility, and the consuming power of obsession.

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Hypocrisy is the central theme to Tartuffe. This is shown constantly by the sanctimonious and self ? righteous Tartuffe who is really just a scoundrel.

Gullibility runs rampant through the play as Tartuffe has all of them fooled except for the children and the maid. The main fool is Orgon the head of the family that took Tartuffe in because of his devout religion and his strict code of conduct. He ultimately has Orgon so fooled that he gives him his daughter while Tartuffe hungers for Orgon?s wife, eats his food, and spends his money.

The power of obsession ultimately becomes Tartuffe?s down fall as his eventual lust for Orgon?s wife gets the best of him when she sets him up by being wily and hiding her husband so that Tartuffe gets caught in the act, so to speak.

The enlightenment period was a set of ideas, not a set of values. It questioned traditional institutions, customs, morals, and a strong belief in the rationality of science. It emphasized the social condition, not the philosophy. Moliere?s play was a complete contradiction to the traditions of religious practices that people were used too. It personified the public condition that we are a victim of our own gullibility or willingness to judge a book by its cover, not by what the book contains.

Past to Present:
I believe that Tartuffe gives us an comical outlook on the practices of the past and led us into the future by showing that if you use your wit and common sense you will be able to navigate and not be made a
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fool. We learn in the future that we should use our instincts and follow our gut so to steer clear of being made a fool of.

A Modest Proposal
The purpose of Swift?s proposal is to prevent the children of the poor in Dublin, Ireland from becoming a burden to their country by becoming thieves and poor themselves to become beneficial to their society as to decrease the problem of pan-handling women and their children.

Main Ideas:
The main ideas of Swift?s proposal, however farfetched they might be are not too farfetched if you consider the figuring and background he studied and proved in his proposal.

The first idea is to provide a cheap and easy way in which to deal with the poor pan handling mothers and children nipping at their feet by turning them in to a benefit to society.

The second idea is how to provide for the poor due to the current state of affairs of the country.

The third idea is that these children of the poor can support their families after the age of one by being sold as food much like a pig would be sold to a butcher.

The fourth idea is that these children would be raised and sold like cattle to a butcher. With this being done it may eradicate the poor dying of disease, starving to death, or being aborted.
The fifth idea is the thought that being sold like cattle and being killed for food is no different than them dying from famine and disease.

It is in my opinion that the enlightenment period became a period of ideas to solve the state of disarray the country might be in. Ideas were brought forth to deal with any affair that may be a problem to society. I think the ideas of the period taught them to use their brains and look at the different ways, creative ways to solve their problems.

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Past to Present:
The enlightenment period brought the past to the present by teaching people to think for themselves instead of being led around by the nose so to speak. It also taught them that new ideas could solve old long standing problems.


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