Study Guide

The Miser Act 1, Scene 2

By Molière

Act 1, Scene 2

  • Élise's brother Cléante comes onstage as Valère leaves. He tells Élise that he has a secret he's been dying to tell her. He's in love; he's one smitten kitten. But he admits that he's totally dependent on their father for money and will have to convince him to consent to his marriage.
  • Élise asks him if he has already become engaged to the woman he loves. He says no, but that he plans to pop the question soon.
  • Cléante keeps telling Élise not to talk smack about his plan, because she has never loved before and can't understand what kind of deep feelings he's feeling. Or can she…?
  • The girl Cléante loves is named Mariane. She has recently moved into the neighborhood. She's kind and beautiful and intelligent. A total triple threat.
  • Cléante has also found out that Mariane and her mother aren't very well off financially. They can barely cover their living expenses. If only Cléante and Élise's father weren't so cheap, Cléante would give Mariane and her mother all the moneys. This leads Cléante to go on a mini rant about how stingy their father is.
  • As the scene closes, Cléante vows to do whatever he can to get money for Mariane and her mommy. Élise also mentions how unfortunate it is that Cléante and Élise's mother is dead.
  • They hear their father coming down the hallway. They leave the stage, promising one another to make every effort to get their father to pry open his wallet.

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