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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

ALCESTE
Notice how tolerant people choose to be
Toward that bold rascal who's at law with me.
His social polish can't conceal his nature (1.1.129 )

"Justice" normally means that people who do bad things get punished and people who don't do bad things go free. Alceste doesn't think that's what happened (of course), so, naturally, he blames society for his problems.

Quote #2

PHILINTE
Rage less at your opponent, and give some thought
To how you'll win this lawsuit that he's brought.
ALCESTE
I assure you I'll do nothing of the sort.
PHILINTE
Then who will plead your case before the court?
ALCESTE
Reason and right and justice will plead for me.
PHILINTE
Oh, Lord. What judges do you plan to see?
ALCESTE
Why, none. The justice of my cause is clear.
PHILINTE
Of course, man; but there's politics to fear....
ALCESTE
No, I refuse to lift a hand. That's flat.
I'm either right, or wrong. (1.1.188)

It's pretty clear what Alceste's idea of justice is: everyone agreeing with him. We get the feeling he's on his own with that.

Quote #3

CELIMENE
You're much mistaken to resent him so.
Why I put up with him you surely know:
My lawsuit's very shortly to be tried,
And I must have his influence on my side. (2.1.43)

Célimène knows what's up. Justice has more to do with power and influence in this society than with what's right or wrong, and Célimène is not going to end up on the losing side.

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