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Which character in Tartuffe best represents the "voice of reason" and why?

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krystine | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 1, 2010 at 9:55 AM via web

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Which character in Tartuffe best represents the "voice of reason" and why?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Dorine, the lady's maid to Mariane, daughter of Orgon, is the most reasonable of all the characters in Moliere's Tartuffe. When the foolish zealot, Orgon, wishes to insure his path to heaven by having his daughter marry the hypocrite Tartuffe, it is Dorine who objects vociferously, telling him that Mariane will be miserable and may cheat on her husband.  She forces Damis to hide in a closet rather than confront him and cause an argument in Act III when Tartuffe makes advances upon his mother, Elmire.

Dorine, the servant, is possessed of much common sense and practicality as she reunites Mariane and Valere.  As is often the case, Moliere portrays the aristocracy as absurb and the servants as much more efficient.  Dorine is a raisonneur, speaking for Moliere, mocking the hypocrisy of Tartuffe and providing commentary and correcting the mistaken ideas of others.  But, Dorine is also a character in her own right.

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