Moliere

Question:

What are the characters in the “table” scene doing as they speak? Describe their action as you envision it.

The characters perform different actions during the scene. At the beginning, Elmire behaves very seductively; she touches her hair and dress to show Tartuffe that she looks gorgeous. She touches Tartuffe’s face and tries to seduce him. As Tartuffe and Elmire speak to each other, they move actively and express their emotions. Elmire coughs extremely loudly to make sure that her husband is listening attentively to their conversation with Tartuffe. Tartuffe is very passionate; he tries to force Elmire to be with him by touching her and talking her into a sin. Elmire is running around the table. She is trying to run away, and avoid Tartuffe’s hugs and kisses. She keeps in mind that all this is just a show to expose the nature of Tartuffe. Thus, Elmire’s feelings and desire for Tartuffe is insincere. She tries to avoid his hugs in all possible ways. As Elmire speaks, she tells Tartuffe that she wants to be with him, but when he comes closer to her, she pushes him away. Sometimes she pushes him too hard that he falls on the floor. Every time Tartuffe tries to kiss Elmire, she loudly coughs; therefore, he must let her go. Tartuffe goes to look for Elmire’s husband and returns. When he finally managed to put Elmire on the table, he immediately tried to make love to her, but her husband had showed his head from under the table, and Tartuffe fell on his back because of shock.

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