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


The “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 the society. In the Tartuffe and the Doll’s House, the audience was introduced to a straggle, fight and conspiracy to again power and money. The money and power are closely viewed as a cause of betrayal and struggle and therefore, the authors used Tartuffe and Nora from both plays to illustrate the effect of money in the society. Therefore, this paper intends to illustrate the effect of money as used in both plays. In order to make the theme clear, the character of Nora and Tartuffe are used to explain how greed money influenced their actions. For instance, in the Doll’s House the previous economic hardship of Nora’s family is an explicit tale of what money affects people’s life. Therefore, money is used to show happiness, greed and to symbolize power in the society.

In the beginning of the play “Doll’s House” people were asked to save money because it is considered a valuable thing.   However, money tears people apart and in the play money act as a center of emotion, action and the way Nora behaviors around other characters. It is revealed that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad and Torvald and ended up not paying back on time as agreed. Henrik (2002) noted that Helmer got mad when he discovered the secret of Nora on the way she obtained he money and therefore, the two ended up ending their relationship. It is evidence that because of money Nora could not realized how unfair her relationship was. It is evidence that money crippled the friendship between Nora and Torvald. At the end of the play, Torvald realized that Nora faked or forged her father’s signature to obtain money and because of that, their friendship died though Torvald forgave for lying to him about her source of finances (Inbsen, 2002, p.3). In the play, Tartuffe, money is used to portray hypocrisy Tartuffe portrayed a holy image to build trust within Orgon’s family so that he could be able to 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 allowing Tartuffe to be around his wife. It is evidence that Tartuffe agenda was to control Orgon’s wealth and through an affair with his wife, he could be able to have a say on the family affairs and the way their wealth is being managed.

In the play, money is also used to symbolize the power which people have against each other. In the first part of the play, Nora finances were being determined by Torvald and all her Christmas spending were also being controlled by Torvald. However, in the play Moliere’s, 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 to be a thorn in flesh. Tartuffe pretended to be someone else and portrayed himself as a saint to gain orgon’s trust so that he can get control and contribute in major decisions. Tartuffe believed that it would give him humble time to take control of Orgon’s wealth by having a say on the way finances are spent.

Money is used as a source of happiness in the family and to show love and kindness to the people. In the play Doll’s House, Nora became so happiness and excited when her husband was appointed the manager of Mutual Bank (Ibsen, 2002). She narrated to her friend Kristine Linde that she is happy and joyful because her husband was going to paid good salary and other advantages which would allow them to have a good live throughout their lives. Nora noted that “from today we shall be able to live in quite different way”. Nora loves money and lot of money and she does not care anything else as long she can get money.  But in the play Tartuffe, it is money is used to show kindness and love. Tartuffe was helped by Orgon 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 live with him for longer duration despite the fact that Tartuffe was a total stranger to him (“Tartuffe, 2013, p. 3). It is therefore, clear that because of Orgon wealth he could easily accommodate Tartuffe and stay with him without having any financial difficulty.

In conclusion, money is regarded as evil and usually associated with many other bad things in the society. Therefore, in the play “Moliere’s Tartuffe and Henrik’s A Doll’s House” money is a symbol of power, portrays greed and hypocrisy in the 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, narrated that her husband new position in the bank will give them a lot of money and therefore, they would be able to have any live they want. Nora is so focus on her husband new position than the life of her children.  In the Tartuffe, money symbolizes hypocrisy and signs of fraud in the society. Tartuffe covered up his entire bad image so he could 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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