Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 222: “Tartuffe” by Moliere, Acts 3 – 5

On today’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina and Thomas wrap up their series on the satirical comedy Tartuffe by Jean-Baptiste Moliere. If you want to listen in to the read along of this play, you can view replays on the readings on the House of Humane Letters YouTube channel. Angelina and Thomas start off the conversation on the play reviewing the idea of enchantment and the classical structural elements of this play as suggested by Aristotle. We finally meet Tartuffe himself, and Angelina and Thomas both cringe and laugh at his over-the-top antics.

Check out the schedule for the podcast’s summer episodes on our Upcoming Events page.

In June Mr. Banks will be teaching a 5-day class on St. Augustine, and in July Dr. Jason Baxter will be teaching a class on Dostoevsky. Angelina will also be teaching a class on Harry Potter in August! Also, don’t miss the launch the HHL publishing wing, Cassiodorus Press! Sign up for the newsletter at to stay in the know about all the exciting new things we have coming up!

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Commonplace Quotes:

Moliere…reached perfection through a strange apprenticeship of vagabondage following an excellent middle-class birth among the tradesmen of Paris, imprisoned for debt, tramping the roads with the strolling players, starting his own small theater and failing, meeting men of every kind…In that knowledge he became a master.

Hilaire Belloc, from Monarchy: A Study of Louis XIV

A man is angry at a libel because it is false but at a satire because it is true.

G. K. Chesterton

Fools are my theme. Let satire be my song.

Lord Byron

The Burial of Moliere

By Andrew Lang

“Dark and amusing he is, this handsome gallant,
           Of chamois-polished charm,
Athlete and dancer of uncommon talent—
           Is there cause for alarm
In his smooth demeanor, the proud tilt of his chin,
           This cavaliere servente, this Harlequin?

“Gentle and kindly this other, ardent but shy,
           With an intelligence
Who would not glory to be guided by—
           And would it not make sense
To trust in someone so devoted, so
           Worshipful as this tender, pale Pierrot?

“Since both of them delight, if I must choose
           I win a matchless mate,
But by that very winning choice I lose—
           I pause, I hesitate,
Putting decision off,” says Columbine,
“And while I hesitate, they both are mine.”

Book List:

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Don Juan by Moliere

Don Juan by Lord Byron

Enthusiasm by Ronald Knox

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