Tartuffe: Morals And Ethics Essay, Research Paper
Tartuffe: Morals and Ethics
From the moment of our conception, who we are and how we will one day believe and behave is completely laid out for us. Truly our upbringing and everyday environment play a role in who we are and how we present ourselves but, the reality is, we are who we are meant to be. We each serve a very specific purpose in life. Granted some of us are blessed with a more dignified role, and others, well, were not as lucky in the casting department. However, within those of us who were graciously bestowed a sense of morality, lies a specific amount of morals, or ethics.
The question of course, is how much and why, why do we believe as we do. Well, I’ll tell you why….we were born that way. From birth we were meant to be a certain way. We were meant to follow a certain believe, that’s what makes us who we are. For example, in Moliere’s Tartuffe, Tartuffe acted in the name of every ethical belief imaginable, yet lived by not one of them. Tartuffe was without a doubt a man of nonexistent morality. Which better proves my point, “people are born with morals.” Just as some people are born to be leaders, people are also born to live as honest ethical human beings. Of course in the case of morality, ethical stability comes in various levels. All who hold the ability to live as principled individuals maintain a certain amount of moral dignity. Despite how much or how little your ethical reasoning stretches, it’s still there, and will always be there.
Tartuffe was an odious hypocrite whose apparent piety ingratiated him with the credulous Orgon and his mother Mme. Both Orgon and his mother believed that Tartuffe’s pious example of immaculate ethics would be good for the remaining members of the family. But everyone else in the family, including the outspoken servant Dorine, was perceptive enough to see right through the impostor. Right from the get go, Tartuffe’s overwhelming misconception of ethical truth is completely avoidable.
Tartuffe promoted the lifestyle of an everyday noun. But, he lived the lifestyle of a blatant hypocrite. Regardless of the amount of agony he imposed, he was still able to disregard every ethical rule. He saw what he wanted and went after it full force, despite all consequences. The man obviously lacked any sort of morality.
I believe he acted this way because of whom he was inside. Tartuffe was a very intelligent man. He devised many plans and conjured up numerous fabrications to implement each of his schemes. Now, any man or woman who had the slightest amount of moral integrity would surely feel some remorse. Tartuffe on the other hand didn’t. He executed each of his plans without the slightest amount of compunction. Now ask yourself this, why didn’t he ever repent any of his sins? Well, because he was born lacking the “morality gene.” Just as people are born without a mean bone in their body Tartuffe was born lacking any sense of ethical understanding.
“How dare you even hinder or annoy, When I’ve the means to ruin and destroy. You should have thought before my toes you trod. Attacking me, you set yourself ‘gainst God.” Tartuffe being the fraudulent monster that he is stated the previous quote. During the whole of the play Tartuffe bounced back and forth between the word of the lord and blatant hypocrisy. The previous quote justifies his unstable perception of right and wrong. “…this house belongs to me, I’ll have you know, And I shall show you that you can’t hurt me By this contemptible conspiracy, That those who cross me know not what they do, And that I’ve means to expose and punish you, Avenge offended Heaven, and make you grieve That ever you dared order me to leave.” Ironically enough even after being exposed for fraud he reverts to his religious asceticism using references to “offending heaven.” He also makes a brief biblical reference, “That those who cross me know not what they do.” This is similar to what Jesus said when speaking to God during the Roman crucifixion saying, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” Yet, the deeper meaning is entirely different. Jesus’ statement was a plea for forgiveness while Tartuffe’s statement was a poor attempt to render the magnitude of his power by using his bid for revenge. By utilizing every unethical, morally corrupt scheme imaginable to man, Tartuffe managed to discount and mutilate the true meaning of God’s word. Without a doubt he very intensely studied the word of the Lord, but inappropriately manipulated its true manner. “Practice what you preach”, would be the most appropriate rebuttal for Tartuffe’s inadequate behavior. Intelligence and astounding passion aside, Tartuffe is a man of fictional morality.
“So those whose hearts are truly pure and lowly Don’t make a flashy show of being holy.” “These calculating souls who offer prayers Not to there Maker, but as public wares” Both quotes brilliantly stated by Cleante substantiate the issue of Tartuffe’s palpable duplicity. Not only was he an apparent hypocrite to the audience, but to the people he was around as well.
As I have stressed throughout the entirety of this paper, people are born with morals. When a criminal repeatedly commits a horrendous crime without feeling the slightest amount of repentance he is without question lacking all, and any sense of morality. Tartuffe is indubitably deficient of any ethical credence. As I am fully aware that there is no such thing as a morality gene or an ethical gene, I still and always will believe that people must be born with something that defines their ability to live a principled life. Be it a part of our DNA or a simple balance in nature, morality is not something you can buy or learn to have. It comes from within, and no matter how hard you try to refuse its presence, you can’t….just as when it doesn’t exist, you can’t force it to appear. You can however help what you do possess grow and allow it to one-day flourish.