Theatre / Tartuffe
Le pauvre homme...

Tartuffe, ou, l'Imposteur is possibly the most famous play of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, a.k.a. Molière. Tartuffe is a con man who has the well-to-do Orgon convinced that he's a pious, generous, and all-around good guy. Everyone else (save for Orgon's mother) can see right through the ruse and try desperately to make Orgon see Tartuffe for the fraud he is — especially when Orgon disinherits his son in Tartuffe's favor and attempts to make his daughter jilt her eligible suitor to marry the hypocrite. Worse yet, Orgon has admitted covering for a friend involved in a political plot — and Tartuffe has no scruples about informing when this proves to be advantageous to him.

Published and performed in 1664, Tartuffe almost immediately drew the ire of some Catholic clerics (notably the Archbishop of Paris), who believed the play to be an attack against them (partly because, in the earliest performances, Tartuffe was costumed like a dévot, a member of the extreme Catholic party at court). They banned the play and threatened to excommunicate anyone who performed in or even saw it. In later versions, the author revised the character, to make him more secular. Fortunately for the dramatist, the King remained firm in his support, and he was able to avoid the threatened excommunication.

Tartuffe provides examples of the following tropes:

Particular productions or adaptations contain examples of:

  • Last-Second Word Swap: In Justin Fleming's translation, which like the original is in rhyming verse, Damis has a rant about Tartuffe that rhymes "blunt" with "[significant pause] runt".
  • Setting Update:
    • A translation by Australian playwright Justin Fleming sets the action in 21st-century Australia, making use of Aussie slang and incorporating a number of topical jokes. The deus ex machina at the end takes the form of a TV news crew finishing up an investigation into Tartuffe's activities.
    • An adaptation by actor/author/comedian Andy Jones in rhyming couplets uses a setting of 1939 Newfoundland (that is, before confederation with Canada) and many words and phrases unique to the province.