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Moliere’s Tartuffe vs. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Play Analysis


“Moliere’s Tartuffe and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House” are some of the best plays with several themes illustrated to bring out the deeds of people in society. Tartuffe and the Doll’s House introduces the audience to a struggle, fight, and conspiracy to gain power and money. Money and power are closely viewed as a cause of betrayal and struggle. Therefore, the authors used Tartuffe and Nora from both plays to illustrate the effect of money in society. Therefore, this paper intends to illustrate the effect of money as used in both plays. To make the theme clear, the characters of Nora and Tartuffe are used to explain how greed and money influence their actions. For instance, in Doll’s House, Nora’s family’s previous economic hardship is an explicit tale of how money affects people’s lives. Therefore, money is used to show happiness, and greed and to symbolize power in society.

At the beginning of the play “Doll’s House,” people are asked to save money because it is considered valuable.   However, money tears people apart, and in the play, money acts as the center of emotion and action, as well as the way Nora behaves around other characters. It is revealed that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad and Torvald and did not pay it back on time as agreed. Henrik (2002) noted that Helmer got mad when he discovered Nora’s secret and how she obtained the money, and therefore, the two ended their relationship. It is evidence that because of money Nora could not realize how unfair her relationship was. It is evidence that money crippled the friendship between Nora and Torvald. At the end of the play, Torvald realizes that Nora faked or forged her father’s signature to obtain money, and because of that, their friendship dies, though Torvald forgives for lying to him about her source of finances (Inbsen, 2002, p.3). In the play, Tartuffe, money is used to portray hypocrisy. Tartuffe portrays a holy image to build trust within Orgon’s family so that he can perform his acts without being noticed. He had an affair with Orgon’s wife and despite the rumors from other employees; Orgon could not believe them and instead allowed Tartuffe to be around his wife. It is evidence that Tartuffe’s agenda was to control Orgon’s wealth, and through an affair with his wife, he could have a say in the family affairs and how their wealth is being managed.

In the play, money is also used to symbolize people’s power against each other. In the first part of the play, Torvald determines Nora’s finances, and Torvald controls all her Christmas spending. However, in the play Moliere, money is used to cause conflict and betrayal in a family.  As stated by Inbsen (2002, p. 5), the family of Orgon invited a stranger, Tartuffe to their home who turned out to be a thorn in the flesh. Tartuffe pretends to be someone else and portrays himself as a saint to gain Orgon’s trust, gain control, and contribute to major decisions. Tartuffe believed it would give him humble time to take control of Orgon’s wealth by having a say in how finances are spent.

Money is used as a source of family happiness and to show people love and kindness. In the play Doll’s House, Nora becomes very happy and excited when her husband is appointed the manager of Mutual Bank (Ibsen, 2002). She told her friend Kristine Linde that she was happy because her husband would be paid a good salary and other advantages that would allow them to have a good life throughout their lives. Nora noted, “From today we shall be able to live in quite different ways.” Nora loves money and a lot of money and does not care about anything else as long she can get money.  But in the play Tartuffe, money is used to show kindness and love. Orgon helped Tartuffe as a sign of love to other people. It is noted that Orgon gave Tartuffe a stranger a home and everything he could admire and lived with him for a longer duration even though Tartuffe was a total stranger to him (“Tartuffe, 2013, p. 3). Therefore, it is clear that because of Orgon’s wealth, he could easily accommodate Tartuffe and stay with him without any financial difficulty.

In conclusion, money is regarded as evil and is usually associated with many other bad things in society. Therefore, in the play “Moliere’s Tartuffe and Henrik’s A Doll’s House” money symbolizes power and portrays greed and hypocrisy in society. It is also a sign of financial security and therefore, it brings happiness to the family. In the play, A Doll’s House Nora narrates that her husband’s new position in the bank will give them a lot of money and therefore, they can have any life they want. Nora is more focused on her husband’s new position than her children’s lives.  In the Tartuffe, money symbolizes hypocrisy and signs of fraud in society. Tartuffe covered up his bad image to get close to Orgon and control his wealth.


“Tartuffe, M. (2013). The Norton Anthology of World Literature. . Martin Puchner. Shorter

Third Ed. Vol. 2. New York: W. W. Norton , 2-35.

Ibsen, H. (2002). A Doll House . , 2-35.



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