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The Catholic Church Symbol Analysis

The Catholic Church Symbol Icon
The Catholic Church plays a hugely important role in the lives of Tartuffe’s characters. To them, it represents traditional aspects of religion, such as piety, charity, and faith. Further, because the Church was so powerful in seventeenth-century France, it takes on added significance, representing order and obedience. Tartuffe uses the power of this symbol in order to manipulate the characters around him, especially Orgon, who is completely taken in by his religious charade. Tartuffe is ostentatiously charitable, humble, and pious, taking on aspects associated with the Church in order to seem like a representative of the Church itself. The connection that Tartuffe creates between himself and the Church makes him extremely dangerous. As long as he is linked to this powerful symbol, the characters working against him cannot fully defeat him. Only when the King himself declares Tartuffe a hypocrite, at last severing Tartuffe’s ties to the Church, does he cease to be dangerous to Orgon and his family.
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The Catholic Church Symbol Timeline in Tartuffe

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Catholic Church appears in Tartuffe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Religion, Piety, and Morals Theme Icon
Appearances and Beauty Theme Icon
...using excessive shows of faith to mask their true sins, and perverting the power of the Church . (full context)