Essay on Extreme and Moderate Characters in Moliére’s Tartuffe

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Extreme and Moderate Characters in Tartuffe
     In Moliére’s Tartuffe (Moiré 1664), the reader is able to see a great contrast of Extreme and Moderate characters. Extreme characters being those who are seen as over the top, or very passionate people, and the moderate characters having a more calm and subtle approach to ideas. The extreme characters in this case would be Madam Pernelle, Orgon, Tartuffe, and Dorine. The moderate characters are seen as Cleante and Elmire.
     One of the characters that obviously fall into the extreme character category would be that of Madam Pernelle. Madam Pernelle is an excellent example of an extreme character because of her sharp remarks, and the idea
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/ That’s how I feel, and I shall not dissemble. / His every action makes me seethe and tremble / With helpless anger, and I have no doubt / That he and I will shortly have it out.” (I, I, 22)
     On the other side of the spectrum we have those that are considered moderate characters. An ideal choice for a moderate character would be Cleante. Cleante is more of a soft-spoken character who although is very firm in her beliefs, tends to not come of as offensive or harsh as an extreme character would. He has a good heart and does not like to see people be taken advantage of. A good example of Cleante exhibiting his moderate characteristics would come while having an argument with Orgon, his brother-in-law, just after Orgon’s conversation with Dorine by declaring, “That girl was laughing in your face, and though / I’ve no wish to offend you, even so / I’m bound to say that she had some excuse. / How can you possibly be such a goose? / Are you so dazed by this man’s hocus-pocus / That all the world save him, is out of focus? / You’ve given him clothing, shelter, food, and care…” (I, V, 27)
     Since Moliére is able to use the idea of extreme and moderate characters, he has the opportunity to have the characters really interact with each other, and gives way to a great plot. Madam Pernelle, Dorine, and Cleante are very
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