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The Misanthrope

The Misanthrope

by Molière

Hypocrisy Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

ALCESTE
I call your conduct inexcusable, Sir,
And every man of honor will concur.
I see you almost hug a man to death,
Exclaim for joy until you're out of breath,
And supplement these loving demonstrations
With endless offers, vows, and protestations;
Then when I ask you "Who was that?", I find
That you can barely bring his name to mind!
Once the man's back is turned, you cease to love him,
And speak with absolute indifference of him! (1.1.16)

So, you're walking down the street and you see some girl you, like, vaguely recognize. Both of you freak out about how totally excited you are to see each other and swear that you're totally going to get coffee or do lunch or whatevs, and then you walk away and can't even remember her name. Yet. We are so totally guilty of this. But is it really so bad? The social niceties are observed, everyone's happy, and life goes on.

Quote #2

PHILINTE
The honest Éliante is fond of you,
Arsinoé, the prude, admires you too;
And yet your spirit's been perversely led
To choose the flighty Célimène instead,
Whose brittle malice and coquettish ways
So typify the manners of our days. (1.1.227)

Anyone ever notice that the more a person rails against something to the extreme, the more they are guilty of it themselves? (You know, like the way we hate when people don't return phone calls, but we leave voicemails unchecked for days on end.) Anyway, Philinte catches Alceste red-handed: he's the biggest hypocrite of them all.

Quote #3

ALCESTE
No, no, by God, the fault is yours, because
You lead her on with laughter and applause,
And make her think that she's the more delightful
The more her talk is scandalous and spiteful. (2.5.111)

Alceste avoids being called a hypocrite by believing that everyone except for the lady he loves (Célimène) is responsible for the trash talking. Uh-huh. Sorry, dude; we're not buying it.

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