In The Misanthrope, Célimène and her salon represent the mondaine sociability, sociability in which the woman is at the center of her "court." But in his other plays, Tartuffe and George Dandin, Molière also stages courted women, and one wonders if they are also representative of claims or behaviors linked to the mondaine civilization. By comparing these female figures of these pieces—their speeches, their actions, and how the plot values them or not—how far one can affirm that these works of Molière make the woman the heart of mondaine sociability? Is this sociability is valued or not?

Molière makes women the heart of mondaine sociability in The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and George Dandin because courtship and marital intrigue are integral factors in all three plays.

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In The Misanthrope, it’s arguable that the courted woman is at the heart of the society in question because the narrative relies on Alceste and his begrudging pursuit of Célimène. This courtship propels the play. Without Célimène, Alceste would lack a reason to hang around the milieu that he condemns. He could escape because there’d be no one pulling him back. Célimène serves as the force that keeps Alceste around.

Although Célimène is an object of Alceste’s desire, she is not passive. She is free with her opinions and calls out Alceste’s criticisms of her gossipy disposition. Overall, it’s safe to say that Célimène has a fair amount of agency. In the end, she refuses to take Alceste's side and, according to Richard Wilbur’s translation, “renounce the world.” Considering Célimène’s individuality, it seems reasonable to conclude that she possesses quite a bit of value.

The other two courted women have value, but in a different way. Unlike Célimène, the values of Tartuffe’s Mariane and George Dandin’s Angelique have more of an object quality. In a way, they’re both seen as items that their fathers can use to acquire something else. In Tartuffe, Orgon wants to marry Mariane, against her wishes, to the eponymous grifter in order to solidify his alliance with him. In George Dandin, Monsieur de Sotenville marries Angelique to Dandin to get a hold of his money. Although, in George Dandin, Angelique exhibits agency by openly antagonizing her husband and by having an affair.

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