The characterizations of women in the play tartuffe

            Moliere’s play entitled “Tartuffe” described different aspects of realization from the plot, theme, unto its characters. Tartuffe’s establishment of characterization is connected to the threee women in the play – Dorine, Elmire, and Mariane. These characters helped Taruffe to show his true character from the beginning up to the end of the story that shows conflict and resolution to the plot. Therefore, it can be said that women in this story played significant roles to justify the wholeness of the protagonist’s characterization as well as the resolution of the conflict.

            Dorine, the lady’s maid of Mariane contributed in the story by making Mariane realized the fact of love that she had for Valere. She also forced Mariane to tell the truth and live to the things that will make her happy. Elmire on the other hand, serves as Orgon’s eye-opener. Because Orgon do not believe that Tartuffe is not the man he used to know, Elmire showed him one aspect of Tartuffe’s identity that led to Orgon’s realization. Lastly, Mariane contributed in the story fir she is the bridge for Tartuffe’s existence in Orgon’s family. Through these, it can be said that these three female characters served as the viaduct to the formation and conceptualization of the story from start to finish.

            However, though Madame Pernelle is important in the story, she is not as important as the three female characters. Madame Pernelle exists only in the beginning of the play. She is there to welcome Tartuffe along with Orgon’s family but she did not contribute to the main conflict and resolution of the story unlike the three female characters that became the representation of oppression, loyalty, freedom, and truth. Therefore, it can be said that having a female character in a certain story like this play gives life to the plot because female character serves as the enduring power of the male characters in both general and specific aspect of the narrative.


Moliere, Jean Baptiste Poquelin. “Tartuffe.”

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