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Course Hero. "Tartuffe Study Guide." November 3, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.


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Tartuffe | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Morning

    Madame Pernelle insists Tartuffe is a pious man. Orgon's family members say he's a hypocrite.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • A few moments later

    Damis asks Cléante to talk to Orgon and make sure he doesn't stop Mariane from marrying Valère.

    Act 1, Scene 3
  • Moments later

    Orgon wants to know how Tartuffe is. He ignores news of Elmire's condition.

    Act 1, Scene 4
  • Immediately following

    Orgon ignores Cléante's warnings about Tartuffe.

    Act 1, Scene 5
  • A short while later

    Orgon tells Mariane she is to marry Tartuffe.

    Act 2, Scene 1
  • Some minutes afterward

    Dorine tries to dissuade Orgon from marrying Mariane to Tartuffe.

    Act 2, Scene 2
  • Late morning

    Tartuffe declares love to Elmire, who tries to blackmail him into giving up his claim on Mariane.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • Immediately afterward

    Orgon refuses to believe Damis's assertions about Tartuffe and throws his son out of the house.

    Act 3, Scene 6
  • A moment later

    Orgon disinherits Damis and makes Tartuffe his heir.

    Act 3, Scene 7
  • Afternoon

    Cléante asks Tartuffe to relinquish claims on Mariane and on Orgon's property. Tartuffe refuses.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • A short while afterward

    Mariane begs Orgon not to make her marry Tartuffe. He won't change his mind.

    Act 4, Scene 3
  • Somewhat later

    Elmire convinces Orgon to hide under a table and listen while she meets with Tartuffe.

    Act 4, Scene 4
  • Soon afterward

    After hearing Tartuffe push Elmire for sexual favors, Orgon orders Tartuffe to leave.

    Act 4, Scene 7
  • Immediately afterward

    Tartuffe says he owns the house now and threatens Orgon with retribution.

    Act 4, Scene 7
  • A few moments later

    Orgon tells Elmire they must retrieve a strongbox of incriminating papers from Tartuffe's room.

    Act 4, Scene 8
  • Evening

    Madame Pernelle won't believe the news about Tartuffe. She insists he's a good and pious man.

    Act 5, Scene 3
  • Moments afterward

    A bailiff brings an eviction notice.

    Act 5, Scene 4
  • A short while afterward

    Valère brings bad news: Tartuffe has taken the strongbox to the king, and Orgon is to be arrested.

    Act 5, Scene 6
  • Soon thereafter

    As Orgon prepares to flee, Tartuffe arrives and tells a police officer to arrest Orgon.

    Act 5, Scene 7
  • Immediately

    The officer arrests Tartuffe. Orgon has been pardoned. He announces Mariane and Valère may marry.

    Act 5, Scene 7

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Scenes 1–2 Madame Pernelle has come for a visit and uses the opportunity to take each member of her son Orgon's household to task... Read More
Act 1, Scenes 3–5 Elmire returns from seeing Madame Pernelle out. She tells the others her husband is coming and she is going upstairs t... Read More
Act 2, Scenes 1–2 After checking to make sure no one is eavesdropping on their conversation, Orgon tells Mariane he wants her to marry T... Read More
Act 2, Scenes 3–4 After Orgon goes, Dorine turns on Mariane and demands to know why she didn't defend herself. Does she want to marry Ta... Read More
Act 3, Scenes 1–2 Dorine has enlisted Elmire's help in her plan to stop Mariane having to marry Tartuffe, and Elmire has requested Tartu... Read More
Act 3, Scenes 3–4 Elmire invites Tartuffe to sit down with her. He asks after her health and says he's been praying for her recovery. El... Read More
Act 3, Scenes 5–7 When Orgon enters, Damis blurts out what has happened: By making an "adulterous offer" to Elmire, Tartuffe has sought ... Read More
Act 4, Scenes 1–3 Cléante approaches Tartuffe to convince him to forgive Damis. "The whole town," he tells Tartuffe, "is scandalized." H... Read More
Act 4, Scenes 4–5 The others have gone, and Elmire tells Orgon to hide under a table. Elmire warns him he "must not be shocked at anythi... Read More
Act 4, Scenes 6–8 As soon as Tartuffe leaves the room, Orgon comes out from under the table. His opinion of Tartuffe has completely reve... Read More
Act 5, Scenes 1–3 Orgon confides to Cléante what was in the strongbox: papers given him by his friend Argas when he fled the city. Orgon... Read More
Act 5, Scenes 4–5 Monsieur Loyal has come with news from Tartuffe—news he says will make Orgon "most content." Feeling hopeful, Orgon in... Read More
Act 5, Scenes 6–7 Valère brings the family "more bad news": Tartuffe has shown the contents of the strongbox to the king, and a warrant ... Read More
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