It is very hard for me to even four-star Tartuffe and Other Plays (Signet Classics) Kindle Edition. Likely this is my fault, but please allow me to make my case. Some plays read well some do not. For me the selection here, including the great Tartuffe, and the famous School for Scandal seem limp on the page. The dialogue was too much of a type and neither sparkled nor engendered much in the way of laughter. Have seen enough of these plays to know that they live well on the stage, I plead an imagination too weak to read while seeing, in the mind’s eye, the staging, costumes and acting carry their share of the experience.
Most all of the plots, excepting Tartuffe and Don Juan are variations on one another. Keeping women uneducated and locked away. Can women be corrupted by too much exposure to the world outside of enforced seclusion or by the susceptibilities that go with unnatural innocence? To his credit, Molière, shows that women are capable of finding love in either case and further suggesting the “lock them up school” is cover for weak men.
Tartuffe, and Don Juan stand above the other variations on “School for” Husbands, Wives Scandal. These two introduce deliberately villainous characters. This Don Juan is the great tragic villain of the Opera, Don Giovanni. If only because it Is not intended as a comedy and has its own themes it may be my favorite read. Still not great literature, but a fair night’s entertainment as live theater.
Some would argue that with Tartuffe, Molière guaranteed his immortality. The character is the classic con man and Orgon his wealthy mark could serve for any number of more money than brains slaves of fashion. From strange Maharishis, money grubbing televangelists, to the latest fad super food, we see that “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose".
Taken together my recommendations is see the plays. Maybe follow the dialogue on your kindle, but as standalone reads, not so much.
- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Signet; 1 edition (1 February 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451474317
- ISBN-13: 978-0451474315
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.4 x 17.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
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