The play explores the ways in which human reason can be both deceived and undeceived, I will mainly focus on one character's obsession with Tartufee. Orgon, in particular falls subject to the deception of Tartuffe, who pretends to be a devout, pious, and humble man. Orgon becomes completely obsessed with Tartuffe and foolishly lets him stay with his family while blindly following everything Tartuffe tells him. Moliere, meanwhile, presents a few characters, namely Cleante, Dorine, and the King, who embody the power of reason to overcome irrationality. The play explores the ways in which human reason can be both deceived and undeceived, a controversial topic that resonates throughout history.
The first evidence we have of Orgon's obsession with Tartuffe is in Act I, Scene IV, when Orgon comes back from being away for a while. Orgon's brother in law, Cleante, wishes to talk to him, but Orgon replies by saying, "Excuse me, Brother; just one moment" (20).
He then dismisses his brother-in-law because he wants to learn of any family news; however, it is not his family that he wants to hear about but rather his new guest, Tartuffe. At first, Dorine, the family servant, assumes that Orgon would like to hear about his wife when she answers, "Your wife, two days ago, had a bad fever, and a fierce headache which refused to leave her" (21). Normally, in a situation where a husband learns that his wife is sick, the husband would ask more about her condition and likely show sincere concern, particularly if the illness is of a serious nature. Orgon, on the other hand, is no longer a "normal" husband, due to his obsession with the sly and malicious Tartuffe.
It is almost as if...