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A deceptive con man who has invented a connection to the Catholic Church, Tartuffe pretends to be a pious in order to drain the wealthy but foolish out of his money, property, and status… (read full character analysis)


A middle class landowner who served the King of France well in a recent civil war, Orgon makes the mistake of placing his trust in the devious, hypocritical Tartuffe. Throughout the play, Orgon bullies… (read full character analysis)


Although she is beautiful, rich, and popular, Elmire, the wife of Orgon and stepmother of Damis and Mariane, and sometimes criticized for it, she is also intelligent, loyal, and virtuous. As the play progresses… (read full character analysis)


The brother of Elmire (and brother-in-law of Orgon), Cléante represents the height of reason and good sense. Throughout the play he attempts to counsel his brother-in-law against Tartuffe, but is inevitably ignored or… (read full character analysis)


Despite being a lowly servant girl, Dorine, along with Cléante, is one of the most rational and intelligent characters in the play. Sharp-tongued and quick-witted, she never hesitates to speak out against Tartuffe, even… (read full character analysis)
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Hot-headed and impetuous, Orgon’s son and Elmire’s stepson makes no secret of his abhorrence for Tartuffe. He feels strongly, too, about his sister Mariane’s engagement to Valère, because he himself wishes to marry… (read full character analysis)


The dutiful and docile daughter of Orgon, and stepdaughter of Elmire, Mariane is deeply in love with her betrothed. Valère. As the play opens, however, Orgon wishes to break their engagement and… (read full character analysis)

Madame Pernelle

Unlike many other characters in the play, Madame Pernelle, the grating, scolding mother of Orgon, holds Tartuffe in the highest esteem. At the beginning of the play, she berates her husband’s family for their… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Emotional and somewhat foolish, Valère is betrothed to Orgon’s daughter Mariane. When Orgon attempts to break the engagement, and marry Mariane to Tartuffe, Valère is dismayed and angered, even lashing out at Mariane. In the end, however, love triumphs and the two are reunited.
Monsieur Loyal
A malicious and arrogant bailiff who attempts to help Tartuffe evict Orgon and his family from their home.
Police Officer
This representative of law, order, and the power of the King intervenes in order to keep Tartuffe from snatching Orgon’s lands and wealth.
The silent maid of Madame Pernelle, whose ill treatment at the hands of her mistress at the beginning of the play demonstrates Pernelle’s cruelty and hypocrisy.
Tartuffe's servant.