Looking at the various interpretations of Tarfuffe over time, if you were to see the play performed which of these productions would you most like to attend?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the fascinating things about plays such as those by Moliere and other satirists is that they write them to satirise their own age. However, they seem incredibly appropriate, if not more so, as a lense that we can use to examine our own age. Therefore, one way of answering this question is to consider the themes of this text and consider how it relates to our own age and then to consider how this play could be a mirror that can be used to be held up to us in order to reflect our own various vices and failings.

One of the principal themes of this play is how obsession and excess is contrasted with reason and moderation. Tartuffe is one of the principal characters who is used to represent the dangers of excess, as he is glutton. Orgon, through his obsession with Tartuffe, also shows excess, and loses all reason and nearly destroys his own family as a result. Cleante is the character who is used to express the voice of moderation, and to testify that moderation in all things is better than extremes.

For our age of economic instability which has at least partly been ushered in thanks to the lack of moderation of those who are handling our financial institutions, this play therefore has a particularly strong message for us. I would therefore chose to watch this play performed in modern day dress as a direct comment and criticism of financial banking practices that have brought the world into an economic malaise. We, just like Moliere's original audience, desperately need to hear the message that argues for moderation and just enough rather than dangerous excesses.

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