Study Guide

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Book XI

By Victor Hugo

Book XI

Chapter 1: The Little Shoe

  • While the Tramps are attacking Notre-Dame, Gringoire and the hooded figure come and get Esmeralda. She trusts Gringoire, and he leads her out the back of the cathedral to a boat that's waiting for them.
  • The hooded man rows while Gringoire joyously reunites with Djali. He also babbles on about the King.
  • When they get to the Île de St.-Louis, Gringoire asks the hooded man if he happened to see the man whose brains Quasimodo had bashed out hanging from the balustrade. The hooded figure sighs but doesn't answer.
  • Back at the church, they can hear cries of "Death to the gypsy!" Torn between trying to save Esmeralda and trying to get away with Djali, Gringoire chooses the goat—leaving Esmeralda with the hooded man.
  • The hooded man grabs Esmeralda's hand and drags her to the Place de Grève. When she cries for help, no one answers.
  • The man leads Esmeralda to the gallows and raises his hood. It is, of course, Frollo. Esmeralda sensed this all along.
  • Frollo begs Esmeralda to let him save her, and tells her to choose between being his and going to the gallows. She throws herself on the gallows.
  • Frollo continues to declare his love for Esmeralda. He then thinks about Jehan and how it is because of what Frollo has done—that is, because of Esmeralda—that Jehan is dead.
  • Frollo again begs Esmeralda not to make him send her to the gallows, and he makes her choose between his bed and death. To her, though, he is a murderer. She declares her love for Phœbus—not the old, ugly Frollo.
  • Frollo gives Esmeralda's arm to the Sack Woman to hold on to while he runs to get the sergeants.
  • The Sack Woman is pretty excited by all of this. When Esmeralda asks what she has done to make the Sack Woman hate her so much, the woman demands that Esmeralda give her back her child. She shows her the little pink shoe.
  • Esmeralda fumbles around in her necklace and produces a matching shoe. (Did you see this coming?) It was foretold that when she finds the shoe's mate, she will have found her mother.
  • Mother and daughter tearfully reunite. The Sack Woman dashes a rock against the bars of her window and pulls Esmeralda inside.
  • The Sack Woman talks about how happy they will now be, but Esmeralda has other things on her mind. She begs her mother to save her from the guards who are coming to get her.
  • The Sack Woman hides Esmeralda in a corner of her room. Outside are Tristan the Hermit and Captain Phœbus. At the mention of the latter Esmeralda starts up, but the Sack Woman tells her not to move.
  • Tristan questions the old woman about the gypsy, and the Sack Woman tries to lie her way through it. Unfortunately, one of the soldiers notices that the bars of her window are suspiciously broken.
  • The Sack Woman can't keep her story straight and almost botches it, but the men finally go away.
  • Just when it looks like Esmeralda is saved, she hears the voice of Phœbus and cries out to him. Tristan hears, even though Phœbus has already ridden off.
  • The soldiers break down the wall. The Sack Woman looks vicious, and the soldiers hesitate (especially after she tells them her sob story), but eventually they drag the unconscious Esmeralda (and the unconscious old woman who refuses to let go of her) out of the cell.
  • The hangman is able to part the two and ascends the ladder with Esmeralda. The Sack Woman suddenly bites his hand. Soldiers throw her back, and she hits the ground, dead.

Chapter 2: La Creatura Bella Bianco Vestita

  • Back at Notre-Dame, Quasimodo is flipping out that he can't find Esmeralda. He looks everywhere like twenty times.
  • When he still can't find her, Quasimodo throws himself onto her bed and kisses it. He worries that Frollo is behind everything.
  • Just then, Quasimodo sees Frollo watching something intently from the balustrade. Quasimodo goes to look. The sun is rising, and Paris is just waking up.
  • Frollo is looking at the Place de Grève. Quasimodo sees a man carrying something white up to the gallows. He watches as Esmeralda is hanged.
  • At this moment, Frollo laughs a horrible laugh.
  • Quasimodo rushes to Frollo and throws him over the balcony.
  • For a while, Frollo clings to a gutter. Below him is an abyss. Above him is Quasimodo, weeping as he gazes at Esmeralda.
  • In a last-ditch attempt to save himself, Frollo tries to pull himself back up. But his cassock tears, and down he goes, hitting a roof or two on the way down.
  • Quasimodo looks at the body of Esmeralda and the body of Frollo, and cries, "There is all I ever loved!"

Chapter 3: The Marriage of Captain Phœbus

  • So, what happens to everyone else?
  • Quasimodo disappears that same day. It's unanimously agreed upon that he smashed Frollo to get his soul and carry it back to hell.
  • Louis XI dies the next year.
  • Gringoire continues his literary pursuits.
  • And Phœbus gets married.

Chapter 4: The Marriage of Quasimodo

  • Outside of Paris are the huge gallows of Montfaucon. It's also the place where the bodies of criminals are deposited.
  • Some pretty famous people have been taken there after being hanged. About two years after the events of the story, the body of the royal barber, Olivier le Daim, is brought there. Among the skeletons are two that have been dragged away from the rest.
  • One belongs to a woman with the remains of a white dress and a necklace. The second belongs to a man with a crooked spine, and he is embracing the former. When they try to pull this second skeleton away from the first, it merely falls to dust.

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