Tartuffe does not enter until the third act of the play. How does Molière establish Tartuffe's hypocrisy beforehand?

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In Tartuffe by Molière, the actual character Tartuffe does not enter the scene until the third act of the play. However, Molière is able to establish Tartuffe's hypocrisy beforehand through what other characters say about him. In the first scene, we see Cléante speaking with Dorine. Cléante says, “My, what a scene she made, and what a din! And how this man Tartuffe has taken her in!”

We therefore learn almost immediately that Tartuffe has deceived someone. Dorine responds “Yes, but her son is even worse deceived…” In fact, we learn quite a lot about Tartuffe and his relationships from Dorine’s speech. He refers to Tartuffe as having cast an “infatuating spell.” Further on in this same scene, we learn that the son:

Gives him the place of honor when they dine,

Delights to see him gorging like a swine,

Stuffs him with dainties till his guts distend...

We can infer that Tartuffe is pleased to have the honor that the son bestows on him. In addition, Molière paints Tartuffe as a...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1091 words.)

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