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The Misanthrope Act 4 Summary
This is the first time we have seen Philinte and Éliante hanging out together alone. Remember that she is the honest one? And that he likes her? Hmm, we wonder what topic will come up. Anyway Philinte tells us how Alceste's meeting with Oronte and the guards went. Not well, until Alceste decided to use his superior vocabulary to get out of the problem. Éliante likes Alceste's honesty, and wishes more people were like him. Philinte likes his crazy, and thinks it's weird that he likes Célimène and not Éliante, since they both like honesty and all that. Éliante thinks so too, but she just wants him to be happy, so she hopes he and Célimène stay together. But of course, if they didn't, she wouldn't be sad. Seriously this is one of the few non-crazy or mean things said in the whole play, so we like her best now. Philinte basically confesses to Éliante that he like-likes her, and that he hopes that Alceste and Célimène get married so that he can have Éliante all to himself. Scene 2
Alceste barges in on Philinte and Éliante with some huge problem. Apparently, shock and horror, Célimène has not been 100% faithful. Who could have guessed? Well, besides everyone? Alceste figures that answer to this problem is to shack up with Éliante. Yeah, that will serve Célimène right. Wait, what? At the same time, since Philinte has an interest in Alceste and Célimène staying together, he tries to convince him that it is not so bad. Alceste is not having it. Now, there are not lot of ladies (or gentlemen, for that matter) who could refuse their crush asking to go out with them, even if they know it was just on the rebound. But, Éliante is one strong lady and refuses to hook up with Alceste. Guess her parents taught her good. Alceste is sure that this is no mere lover's quarrel and decides to go confront Célimène to prove it to Éliante. Scene 3
Alceste is mad. M-A-D. He goes after Célimène, but she treats it like nothing. He even shows her a letter that she wrote to Oronte and she's like, so? And what? She admits to writing it but tries to make it seem that she wrote it to a lady friend. Alceste is not stupid enough to fall for this at least, so she stops trying that lie and admits that it is for Oronte, but mostly to make Alceste shut up. Even after all of that, Alceste still can't get over Célimène and asks her to at least pretend that she isn't seeing other guys. Célimène laughs in his face and tells him that he should just believe that she loves him. Because she said so. Apparently this is enough for Alceste and he goes on another speech about his weird sadistic brand of love before someone else shows up at Célimène's house. Scene 4
The jig is up! Or at least that's what DuBois says, although he doesn't know what the jig is. Or why. Or anything, really. Alceste is trying to get some info out of him, but all DuBois can remember is that some bad stuff is going to go down, so they should skip town. Alceste nearly chokes DuBois for not remembering anything at all, and it's basically like a seventeenth-century sitcom. Laugh track not included.
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