Courage In Molière's The Misanthrope

Improved Essays
“The Misanthrope” written by Molière is a satirical comedic play which highlights the flaws of society. The protagonist , named Alceste, is the misanthrope. Consequently, this personality trait somewhat isolates him from the others. He faces numerous crises, as he is involved in a lawsuit and the strength of his relationship with his girlfriend Célimène is weakening. Evidently, Célimène is a coquetry which bring upon conflicts between Alceste and the flirtatious men. A hero, according to the dictionary.com, “is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model”. Bravery, strength, empathy, altruism are some of the qualities of a hero. Accordingly, it is often presumed that …show more content…
Molière portrays courage in Alceste by using humans’ irrational fears. Alceste’s courage shines through by setting himself apart from the rest of the society by being honest. Alceste’s friend Philinte explains that, “It’s often best to veil one’s true emotions” (p.19). Philinte suggests that Alceste should censor himself as to condemn a person is a sensitive issue. In response, Alceste says, “... this formula you’d have me follow,/ However fashionable, is false and hollow” (p.17). Alceste claims that these lies may please one’s ears even though they are not true. He mentions that people lie often and that it has become a formula. By following it, is a false method to charm others. Accordingly, humans tend to avoid speaking the truth as they are afraid to be criticized by others. This aspects of the importance of speaking the truth highlights that his critical comments should not be interpreted as an ‘anti-hero’, as most people are afraid to stand by their opinion. Alceste stands by his idea of being honest throughout the play as he makes several claims such as, “I lack their art of telling pleasant lies” (p.41) and “My tongue won’t lie and flatter as it should;” (p.133). This explains Alceste’s character. He remains true to himself, despite running into the conflicts with Célimène and Philinte, and in order to resolve these problems he may have to change, with respect with the “formula”. He respect his viewpoint, of …show more content…
Oronte, the one in love with Célimène, presents a poem, he has written, to Alceste. Alceste warns him, when he asked for his opinion that, “ I am, I fear,/ Inclined to be unfashionably sincere” (p.33). Alceste says that he does follow the unpopular trend to be honest. In response, Oronte says, “ In anything but your sincere reaction./ I beg you not to dream of being kind.” (p.34). Oronte shows an understanding that by being honest of one’s work is right as it opens the doors for improvement. Unlike Philinte who claims that the poem was “delightfully”, “handsomely phrased” (p.36) and one of the best poem he has ever heard. There is a clear juxtaposition between Alceste and Philinte. Even though Alceste warned Oronte about his criticizing personality, Oronte shows admiration. Another character who show special regard to Alceste is Éliante. She represents one of the voices of reason in this play. During the conversation between her and Philinte on the subject of Alceste, she claims that, “ Still, I confess that I respect him greatly./ The honesty in which he takes such pride./ Has-to my mind- its noble, heroic side./In this false age, such candor seems outrageous;/ But I could wish that it were more contagious.” (p.104) Her statement explains that there are very few people who speak from their heart. She admires Alceste has he is unlike the people in society: he is different, like what a

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Sometimes people lie to themselves to cover up parts of their lives that they are not proud of in hopes that if they lie to themselves enough that they will believe the lie. This is not healthy. There are many different ways to get over a situation that would be better for a person than lying to themselves. This may not be considered an immoral form of a lie, but it is an example of how a lie could be unhealthy. Many people who lie do it to protect another person or to save a person from getting offended (160).…

    • 1018 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Telling children there is a Santa Claus or other mythical creature is also lying but for the sake of a child’s heart, it is also fun and bringing the imagination out in them. There are multiple ways we lie, and Ericsson was bringing this to light. We put such a bad stereotype to it, and we know when there is a time to tell a lie for good or evil. Telling a lie just depends on how we want the result to be. Ericsson, of course, did not condone this but knew that by giving these examples more people would come to terms with seeing the good and evil of it.…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    They prefer to lie without being lied to. “It is crucial to see the distinction between the freeloading liar and the liar whose deception is a strategy for survival in a corrupt society” (23). Freeloading liars are rather selfish and only wish to lie for their personal gains, but some other liars may be in a situation where their hands are tied where the best option is to lie whereas telling the truth can do harm. The outlook of the liar tends to disregard harm to themselves and harm to society. A liar breaks his integrity, credibility and respect for his word are both damaged.…

    • 1429 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Part of lying is keeping the truth from others, which is crucial when the truth is hurtful, especially when this negative impact on others is perpetual. Still, lying is inevitable. In Stephanie Ericsson’s, “The Way We Lie” and Mark Twain’s, “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying” both argue the rationale of lying. Ericsson states that lying is inappropriate and should not be practiced, while Twain believes lying is respectable when done right. Moreover, lying is an aspect of reality that should be embraced, but still at times avoided.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Certainly, his action can prove exasperating, but that should not elicit such strong emotions towards him. I theorize that it is because readers subconsciously project themselves on Arthur's character. In today's society, fear of rejection is a strong sensation. Nobody wishes to be the singled-out figure left to be shamed. It stems from lack of hope of being forgiven, leading people to lie and cheat in order to cover up past mistakes to avoid the need for forgiveness.…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Some say, that without misfortune, you won 't have the capacity to love, since misfortune makes you acknowledge and be thankful for the love that you do have from every one of the general population that affection you. Notwithstanding, these sonnets take a gander at misfortune from a marginally alternate point of view. They concentrate more on the trepidation of misfortune, instead of misfortune improving your thankfulness for affection. Shakespeare 's way to deal with adoration in his ballad, 'sonnet 71 ', is an extremely caring one with unpretentious hints of sharpness. From the primary line we see that he needs his partner to be upbeat once he has passed, and doesn 't need her to "grieve" over him when he is dead.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The painting looks sloppy and incomplete, but telling the friend could hurt their feelings, and result in a loss of friendship. Being honest and realism are two disparate characteristics. Honesty is the telling of the truth, but when doing so it is pleasant and not meant to be mean. Realism is when one looks at the world as it is, and don’t hesitate to tell others their opinion. Machiavelli wants the telling of the truth, even though it may be unpleasant, which is a main point that he wanted people to take on from The Prince.…

    • 1082 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    First of all, lying is sometimes justified since all lies have a cost to the liar. Some people say, ¨Lying is stressful it hurts relationship.¨ (Article 3 paragraph 3), yet I know that this isn't true because lying to some relationship doesn't just hurt you it hurts…

    • 871 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ultimately, they are claiming that the act of lying should not be committed, due to the bad consequences of hurting one another. However, what this argument does not take into account is the positive outlook. People who are in the belief that when lying is presented to them, they automatically think that lying is bad. But they never take in consideration as to why people may have lied. They automatically get hurt the moment they know they were told lies.…

    • 2008 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Half-truths are lies– In connection with the second application is the use of half-truths. Half-truths are distorted truths, making them a lie. It doesn’t matter what your end goal is, never use shortcuts when telling the truth. 4. Be truthful to yourself – People, when consumed by their desire to feel happiness, resort to rationalization, denial or repression when in stressful situations.…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics