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Tartuffe: Act 3, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Damis, who has just heard of Orgon’s plan to marry Mariane to Tartuffe, enters in a fury as Dorine tries to calm him down, urging him not to give in to emotion. Dorine reminds him that Elmire has a great deal of influence over Tartuffe, and even speculates that Tartuffe may be in love with her mistress.
Yet another character—this time Damis—means to act unwisely because of emotion. The long-suffering Dorine must once again attempt to stop him. Meanwhile, we hear again that Tartuffe seems to have a soft spot for the lovely Elmire, establishing that relationship as crucial to the plot.
Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Religion, Piety, and Morals Theme Icon
Dorine reveals to Damis that Elmire means to meet with Tartuffe in the very room in which they are standing in order to persuade him not to marry Mariane. The impetuous Damis replies that he wishes to hear their conversation. Although Dorine warns him that his temper will get the best of him, Damis refuses to leave, and she ends up hiding him in a closet onstage.
Damis’ insistence upon watching this meeting will later have severe consequences for him, even further emphasizing how foolish it is to give in to emotion rather than listening to reason.
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon