As soon as Tartuffe exits, Elmire, Mariane, and Dorine enter, and Dorine begs Cléante’s assistance, telling him that Mariane’s heart will break if she must marry Tartuffe. Hearing Orgon coming, she urges the family to “stand together” to try to change their patriarch’s mind.
The family, pushed to the breaking point by the foolish whim of the father, is forced to try to confront him to change his mind. In modern times this would be a scene of emotional intensity. In this time, when the father had total power over the family, the confrontation will be even more fraught.