Essay Irony and Humor

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Irony and Humor

Two popular writing techniques used by many of the enlightenment’s great were irony and humor. Great writers such as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere and Francois-Marie Arouet De Voltaire made excellent use of these techniques. With humor, both writers wrote stories which kept their audience involved in funny situations, while with irony the writers were able to explain their underlying messages. Born seventy-two years apart, they are a superb example of how these techniques were carried out over time. Moliere’s Tartuffe and Voltaire’s Candide are classic texts, which unmask man and society through their clever dark comedy. After reading these two works, one will undoubtedly see how similar the two author’s
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The reader can feel a pity for Candide that he cannot equate with Orgon. Very early in chapter 2 it states, “. . . [Candide] wandered for a long time without knowing where he was going, weeping, raising his eyes to heaven,” which foreshadows how the rest of the story will unfold (338). Like in Tartuffe, it is Candide’s state of mind in which this story also thrives upon. Without losing something great, there can be no reward for finding something great. Everyone has put faith in something while losing sight of the truth, but hopefully not to the extent that Orgon did. Also everyone has chased a lost cause, or perhaps has lost more than gained, but not to the extent that Candide did. Both Moliere and Voltaire set up their stories with realistic protagonists, ones whom the reader can empathize with, but who are set to extreme natures.

Every protagonist has to have an antagonist; David had Goliath, The People have The Government, and Batman has The Joker. Of course, when you have a fool as great as Orgon, the antagonists in the story will be near infinite. However, Orgon had three main antagonists to look at. In Tartuffe, Orgon’s most important antagonist is himself. In order to believe the amount of lies that he did, Orgon had to convince himself to throw away his own self reason and common sense. In act three from scene five, Orgon’s son Damis catches Tartuffe
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