Metaphors are figures of speech that make comparisons of two unrelated things. The comparisons are not literally true, but help to explain the ideas an author is attempting to relate to readers or audiences. In Tartuffe, Molière must show his audience that the title character is a fraud and a charlatan, even though the protagonist, Orgon, is too blind to see it. Through the action in the drama, the author must also communicate the same message to Orgon, who is too gullible to see it. Molière accomplishes this task in part by the use of metaphors.
As early as Act 1, Orgon’s family, with the exception of his mother, sees Tartuffe as a hypocrite. Even the household maid, Dorine, tries to open Orgon’s eyes to the truth. In spite of all these warnings he remains blind. Dorine speaks to Orgon about his mother Madame Pernelle’s condition, but Orgon obsesses about Tartuffe:
And how about Tartuffe?
Tartuffe? He's well;
He's mighty well; stout, fat, fair, rosy-lipped.
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