Study Guide

The Miser Act 2, Scene 6

By Molière

Act 2, Scene 6

  • When Harpagon comes back onstage, Frosine tells him that he looks absolutely incredible. In fact, she says that there are twenty-five year olds who look older than Harpagon, who is just over sixty.
  • Frosine then looks at the "lifeline" on his palm and tells Harpagon that he's going to live a very long time. She's really laying it on thick.
  • Harpagon wants to know what answer Mariane gave to his proposal of marriage. Frosine assures him that Mariane received the proposal with joy and that she can't wait to marry him.
  • In fact, Mariane will come over in the evening to help celebrate the marriage Harpagon has planned for his daughter Élise to M. Anselme. It is also arranged that, in the afternoon, Élise and Mariane will get acquainted by going to the fair together.
  • Next, Harpagon wants to make sure that Mariane not only marries him, but that her mother pays the largest dowry she can afford. That's right, folks. Harpagon wants to get paid for marrying a beautiful woman who's nearly forty years younger than him.
  • Frosine says that Harpagon will save 12,000 francs a year just because Mariane will be very cheap to take care of. Harpagon doesn't count this as an actual payment. He wants money in his hands.
  • Frosine also tells Harpagon that Mariane prefers older men and thinks that he's a silver fox. Flattery, flattery, flattery.
  • Eventually Frosine brings up that fact that she is in danger of losing a lawsuit that she can definitely win if she gets a little money on her side. Harpagon doesn't want to hear about this, though.
  • Frosine tries to sandwich her begging in between more compliments, but Harpagon isn't biting. He won't give her a cent. He says he hears someone calling him and leaves the room.
  • Left alone on stage, Frosine wishes that Harpagon would go to hell. She still plans on getting her "reward" somehow.

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