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The Misanthrope Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Love is a many-splendored thing in The Misanthrope. It's a game, it's torture, it's being blind, it's all kinds of things. In other words? There is a lot of talk about it, but no one really seems t...
As you'd expect from something with this title, The Misanthrope is a kind of manual in how not to do it, if by "it" you mean "friendship." Which we do. Friendship seems to a have a lot of meanings,...
Welcome to the world of hypocrisy. The moral people are hypocrites, the immoral people are hypocrites, everyone is a hypocrite. Maybe even you! In fact, you're almost definitely a hypocrite! The Mi...
Most of the people in The Misanthrope are either struggling to get power or exchange the power they have for something else. Alceste, on the other hand, is not even playing the game. That's a noble...
Lies and Deceit
Come on, all the cool kids are doing it. Lying, that is. Lying is just one more tool to get ahead, but it's a dangerous one. Just like dynamite, it has to be handled carefully or it can go up in sm...
Society and Class
Seventeenth-century French aristocrats felt pretty good about themselves. They were smart, they were sexy, they had awesome clothes (and hair), and they had great manners. (To your face.) And that'...
Justice and Judgment
We're not sure what justice is in The Misanthrope. Everyone seems to have these lawsuits about things as stupid as stealing someone else's pencil. In the biggest justice issue in the play (Alceste...
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