Study Guide

The Miser Act 5, Scene 3

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Act 5, Scene 3

  • Seeing Valère, Harpagon accuses him of stealing the cashbox. Valère has no clue what he's talking about—and says so—but Harpagon is certain that he's just playing dumb.
  • Eventually, Valère admits that he has committed a theft. Jacques can't believe his luck in actually correctly naming Valère as the robber.
  • Valère goes on to say that he's been waiting for the right moment to talk to Harpagon about his theft. He also promises that he committed his theft for honorable reasons.
  • The more he speaks, the crazier Harpagon thinks he is, since he's talking about the cashbox as if it's a beautiful woman.
  • Valère asks for Harpagon's blessing, which Harpagon isn't willing to give.
  • Finally, it comes out that this whole time Valère has been talking about getting engaged to Élise under Harpagon's nose.
  • Harpagon orders the police officer to arrest Valère for stealing the moneybox and his daughter.
  • Valère, though, tells Harpagon that he wouldn't treat him this way if he knew who he (Valère) really was.

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