The French theatrical comedy Tartuffe (or The Hypocrite, or The Imposter) was written and first performed in 1664 and then almost immediately suppressed by King Louis XIV at the urging of Roman Catholic religious officials. The play was written by Molière, which was the stage name of the playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Pocquelin. One of the best-loved and most often performed plays in literary history, Tartuffe tells how the title character fakes extreme piety to gain power over Orgon, the head of a wealthy family. Orgon’s family launches a campaign to expose and punish Tartuffe, save their own futures, and restore harmony to their lives. The classic comedy is a satiric attack on religion, patriarchy, and human folly and a stirring call for moderation and reason.


Read the chapter-by-chapter Summary & Analysis, a Full Book Summary, or Full Book Analysis of Tartuffe.


See a complete Character List for Tartuffe, as well as in-depth analysis of its most important characters.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in Tartuffe.


Here's where you'll find important quotes from Tartuffe and explanations of them.


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