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Moliere's Tartuffe (Wilbur)

Moliere's Tartuffe (Wilbur)
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Moliere
Translated by: Richard Wilbur
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 101
Pub. Date: 1988
ISBN-10: 0822211114
ISBN-13: 9780822211112
Cast Size: 5 women, 7 men

About the Play:

Tartuffe is a full-length comedy by Molière, translated into English verse by Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur. When a religious con man worms his way into a wealthy family and manipulates the bigoted and prudish patriarch into giving up his fortune, it's up to his family to expose the truth before they end up in the poor house. Lechery, egotism, young love, deception, and delusion collide in Tartuffe, Molière's classic work that skewers religious hypocrisy and self-inflated egotism.

Initially banned in France by King Louis, Molière's celebrated social satire Tartuffe exposes false piety and hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. The story takes place in the home of the wealthy Orgon, where Tartuffe – a fraud and a pious imposter – has insinuated himself. He succeeds magnificently in winning the respect and devotion of the head of the house and then tries to marry his daughter and seduce his wife and scrounge the deed to the property. He nearly gets away with it, but an emissary from King Louis XIV arrives in time to recover the property, free Monsieur Orgon and haul Tartuffe off to jail. And so his duplicity is finally exposed and punished. But not before the author has mercilessly examined the evil that men can commit in the guise of religious fervour and the dangers that imperil those who would believe only what they choose to believe despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Tartuffe was first performed in three acts for King Louis XIV at a festival in Versailles in 1664. In 1669, after years of being banned due to pressure from clergy, a five-act version opened at the Palais-Royal. Richard Wilbur's celebrated translation was a resounding success in its production by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US and has been mounted by high schools, colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 5 women, 7 men

What people say:

"…an astonishingly delightful romp…." — New York Post

"Stylish, bright, saucy." — New York Journal-American

"…a rollicking evening of grace and fun." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

Molière was the stage name of Jean Baptiste Molière (1622-1673). His plays achieved great success and elicited enormous controversy with their religious irreverence.

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) was an acclaimed American poet and literary translator. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and United States Poet Laureate, he is one the 20th century's most eminent American poets and literary translators. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry – twice – among many other awards. He also established himself as the finest translator of Molière's plays and his verse translations have been performed for audiences throughout the world.

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