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Summary

The Misanthrope Act 3 Summary Page 1

Scene 1

  • Now we meet Acaste. Acaste is a Marquess, which means he's got himself a nice fat title and probably some estates and peasants to go along with it.
  • Acaste seems to have a very healthy sense of self-esteem, since he launches into a speech about why he is so awesome the moment that we meet him.
  • He's at Célimène's to woo her, obviously.
  • But when Clitandre asks him how he knows that Célimène likes him, all his big boastful pride comes tumbling down and he admits that he has no reason to think she really does love him.
  • The two guys are pretty desperate over Célimène, so they make a pact that, if one of them can prove that Célimène loves him, the other will give up the hunt.
  • No word on what Célimène thinks about all this.

Scene 2

  • And here she is, checking to make sure they're still there.
  • They are.
  • By the way, someone else has arrived. If Célimène's house were any more like a train station, you'd have to buy a ticket before entering.

Scene 3

  • It's Arsinoé. Remember her? She has a crush on Alceste, for some unbelievable reason.
  • The other ladies don't like her because she's a prude. Naturally, they start in on her as soon as Basque announces that she's arrived.
  • Célimène even interrupts Acaste to go on and on and on about how dumb Arsinoé is.

Scene 4

  • As soon as Arsinoé appears, Célimène's tone changes so fast that she should probably get checked out for whiplash.
  • Arsinoé apparently needs to tell Célimène something urgently, so Clitandre and Acaste leave. Laughing. Like the big meanies they are.

Scene 5

  • So Arsinoé starts this long rant about how Célimène is a big hussy, thinly veiled as a discussion she had with some friends last night.
  • You know, like when you ask a question for a friend of a friend? Right.
  • Anyway, we feel kind of bad for Arsinoé because she obviously does not know who she is playing with.
  • Célimène starts tearing her apart limb from limb (verbally, of course) and it is like massacre up in there. You really don't want to go up against Célimène unless you're prepared to fight dirty, which Arsinoé is obviously not.
  • They throw insults at each other for a while. Célimène tells Arsinoé that she is an old hag; Arsinoé counters that Célimène is a two-timin hussy.
  • It is a world-class fight until Arsinoé decides that she wants to go home.
  • But first, Célimène has a friend to introduce her to. We have a feeling we know who it is.

Scene 6

  • Célimène tells Alceste to hang out with Arsinoé while she goes to write something.

Scene 7

  • Arsinoé is alone with the man of her dreams and, like everyone besides Célimène, tries to win him over by saying how awesome he is.
  • It doesn't work.
  • In fact, he isn't even aware how hard she is trying to get into his pants, as they say in ye Olde Frenche. She is just striking out left and right.
  • Then she tries another tactic—convincing Alceste that Célimène has been unfaithful to him.
  • His ears certainly perk up at that, and she says she'll show him proof under one condition: that he walk her home.
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