What was the king’s reason for banning Tartuffe? Who influenced his decision, and what was his chief concern? What did he fear was being ridiculed?  

King Louis XIV issued a ban against the public performance of Moliere's Tartuffe because of its depiction of a member of the clergy as an impostor and a hypocrite.

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French playwright Moliere, born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622–1673), wrote his comic masterpiece Tartuffe in 1663–1664. The first version of the play—which was never published, and for which no text has survived—was performed at the Palace of Versailles for King Louis XIV in May of 1664.

It is reported that the king and his court enjoyed the play—the fawning court enjoyed whatever the king enjoyed, of course—but the king almost immediately banned the play from public performance.

The person who most directly influenced the king's decision to suppress the play was the Archbishop of Paris, Paul Philippe Hardouin de Beaumont de Péréfixe. It was Archbishop de Beaumont de Péréfixe's responsibility as preceptor to Louis XIV, and as his religious tutor and counselor, to uphold the laws and traditions of the Catholic Church and to protect the Church against any attack against its religious tenets and its clergy.

The Archbishop considered Moliere's Tartuffe such an attack against the...

(The entire section contains 610 words.)

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