Summary and Analysis: Act IV
Always the voice of reason and toleration, Cléante plays the role of the peacemaker. He discusses the recent incidents with Tartuffe. Unlike Tartuffe, Cléante has a true conception of religious piety; Cléante preaches toleration and forgiveness: “Ought not a Christian to forgive, and ought / He not stifle every vengeful thought?” Tartuffe’s objections are rather feeble; Cléante goes on to show how Tartuffe’s behavior in accepting Orgon’s estate is not Christian. Tartuffe responds with religious platitudes. He plans to use his newfound wealth for “Heaven’s glory and mankind’s benefit.” Cléante is clearly winning the argument; Tartuffe no longer wants deal with...
(The entire section is 1117 words.)