Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Misanthrope

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Cool. This should be easy, because the entire play takes place in one society's chick's house. Right? Well, sure, until you remember that there's a whole (rapidly expanding) world outside Célimèn...

Narrator Point of View

Man, we really wish that Molière hadn't written this in the third person objective. There is too much intrigue! We want to know what it going on, but just like in real life, we can't read anyone's...

Genre

It's Funny Ha HaYou are reading a play by one of the comedy masters. Molière is one of the most well known and most praised comedy playwrights of all time. Although Molière was great at all kind...

Tone

IronicNow, we tread lightly wherever we use this word, because we don't want to end up like Alanis Morissette, but this play is ironic. And we're talking in the real sense of the word, where what p...

Writing Style

Alexandrine Verse-y(Yes, we know that adjective was a stretch, but cut us some slack here.)We all know about iambic pentameter, or at least we all will in a second because we are going to tell you...

What's Up With the Title?

You've read the book, or at least you've looked at the cover, so you know the title. It's The Misanthrope. In French, it is Le Misanthrope ou l'Atrabilaire amoureux. Some people translate the secon...

What's Up With the Ending?

ALCESTE, to Éliante and PhilinteMay you be true to all you now profess, And so deserve unending happiness. Meanwhile, betrayed and wronged in everything, I'll flee this bitter world where vice is...

Tough-o-Meter

Let's just get this out of the way: even in France, no one talks like this anymore. (It's not even clear that people used to talk like this.) Even though our awesome translator Richard Wilbur tries...

Plot Analysis

He's a Man Hater and a Lady LoverAlceste hates people of all races, creeds, sizes, and languages. They aren't sincere enough for his liking, so as far as he is concerned, all of humanity can go jum...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Does She or Doesn't She?We start off introduced to the misanthropic and lovesick Alceste, who's got a thing for Célimène. She's is a lying liar who lies, and uses honestly as an excuse for being...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

We know you Shmoopers like a bargain, so here's five for the price of three: since the play is in five acts, we're going to go ahead and follow Molière's lead. They Go Together Like Limeade and P...

Trivia

Welcome to the wild, wild life of Molière. This vagabond actor and playwright was rumored to have married his own daughter, who was twenty years younger than he was. Was it really his daughter? No...

Steaminess Rating

Unless you count Clitandre's "vast German breeches" (2.1.40), there isn't much steaminess up in here. No sex. No kissing. No hugging. Not even a date, unless being in your girlfriend's room with fo...

Allusions

Molière, School for Husbands (1.1.104) Alceste's name is a reference to the Greek AlcestisAntoine de Bourbon, Si le roi m'avait donné (1.2.157)
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