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Tartuffe: Comedy in Five Acts (translated By Richard Wilbur)

Tartuffe - Molière, Richard Wilbur How disappointing! I really liked this play when I first read it way back in middle school. It was my first exposure to [a:Molière|29837|Molière|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1219168412p2/29837.jpg], and I remembered being so impressed with his work. I am still impressed with Molière, but not so much with Tartuffe.

I guess when I was young Tartuffe was so different from the usual plays that you have to read in school. It wasn't [b:Our Town|205476|Our Town|Thornton Wilder|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348096568s/205476.jpg|3119231], or [b:Death of a Salesman|12898|Death of a Salesman|Arthur Miller|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347856025s/12898.jpg|2722054] (both of which I can't stand), it wasn't the ancient [b:Antigone|7728|Antigone|Sophocles|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1165639463s/7728.jpg|1052210] or [b:Oedipus Rex|1554|Oedipus Rex|Sophocles|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1158284890s/1554.jpg|3098166], it wasn't [a:William Shakespeare|947|William Shakespeare|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1360741702p2/947.jpg] and that challenging old English. Tartuffe was witty, understandable, and it seemed somehow modern. The rhyming lines were masterfully done, and the situation was kind of scandalously delicious to a middle-school aged kid.

As an adult, though, I wasn't all that impressed with the story that this play told. It was kind of annoying, unbelievable, and boring, to be honest. Orgon comes off as an idiot, and he very well deserved the fate that he nearly got. What's more, the message about false piety vs. true piety was heavy handed.

I guess that hearing and reading so many stories with similar points over the last three decades has jaded me a little bit. Sadly, that means that Tartuffe is, for me, less of a treat than I remembered it to be.