Compare Candide and Tartuffe

5528 Words Oct 13th, 2012 23 Pages
In Tartuffe, Moliere's use's plot to defend and oppose characters that symbolize and ridicule habitual behavior's that was imposed during the neo-classical time period. His work, known as a comedy of manners, consists of flat characters, with few and similar traits and that always restore some kind of peace in the end. He down plays society as a whole by creating a microseism, where everyone in the family has to be obedient, respectful, and mindful of the head of the home, which is played by the father Orgon. Mariane shows her obedience when she replies "To please you, sir, is what delights me best." (Moliere 324,11) Shortly afterwards, Orgon commands Mariane to take Tartuffe as her husband even though she is not interested in him at all. …show more content…
The Enlightenment period writers focused on reason, knowledge, and rationality as major themes. In this era the Catholic Church was still an extremely powerful institution operating throughout much of Europe; however reason was beginning to emerge as an alternative to faith and religion. As a result, Enlightenment writers began to look at the world critically and rationally. Much of the important literature of the period was satirical in nature, using humor, irony, and exaggeration to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other significant issues. Two great Enlightenment writers, Moliere and Voltaire, use satirical approaches in their works that have various similarities and differences.
The similarities between Moliere's Tartuffe and Voltaire's Candide are primarily rooted in common Enlightenment themes. For example, in both stories the writers focus on questioning and criticizing the nature of hierarchies in our society, particularly the members of the aristocratic or upper classes rather than "common" people. In Tartuffe, Orgon and his family are members of the aristocracy. Orgon owns his estate and clearly has enough money to provide for his entire family in addition to Tartuffe and his friend. Similarly, Voltaire's story focuses on Candide, who may be missing a fraction of his aristocratic family tree, but is still considered upper class. As the story progresses, the