Tartuffe past and present

Guðrún Kristinsdóttir


One of the most popular French comedies of all times, Molière’s
Tartuffe from 1669, is still remarkably present and being performed
in theatres today, 350 years after its premiere at the court of Louis
XIV. The story of the hypocrite who fools rich Orgon into leaving
him all his belongings is indeed compelling and has reflected
social preoccupations ever since Molière’s day. This article retraces
the historical background of the comedy and its reception in 17th
century France, marked by longstanding tensions between religious
groups within the Catholic Church, resulting in the play being
banned. The article recounts Molière’s battle to have the ban lifted
as well as recent research on the playwright’s revisions of his comedy
to that end. In our day, the play’s denunciation of hypocrisy,
plain lies and bad faith in general, seems to have direct repercussions,
as discussed by theatre directors and actors of the various
interpretations of Molière’s masterpiece in European theatres in
recent years. Finally, the article retraces the productions of Tartuffe
in Iceland, from the first performance of the third and the fourth
Acts of the play in 1929 to the National Theatre’s presentation in
the spring of 2019.


franskar bókmenntir; leikhúsfræði; Tartuffe; Molière; viðtökur




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