The Misanthrope takes place in the very late seventeenth century,
or the early eighteenth century. It is set in Paris, France. Nearly
the entire play set in the upstairs room of a mansion.
The conflict in The Misanthrope is man versus man, and man
versus himself. Alceste, one of the main characters, is in love with
Celimene, another main character. The conflict is between Alceste
and the hosts of other suitors that are in love with Celimene. In the
end, Celimene needs so much time to decide between Alceste and
Oronte, that Alceste tells her that the simple fact of her hesitation
is proof that she does not love him enough to marry him. He leaves
town then, fleeing police.
The story is written in third person format. The adaptation
author uses vague phrases and had trouble passing his point along.
This is very distracting while reading the play, and can hamper
your understanding of it.
The Misanthrope`s plot is somewhat complicated. It starts
out in a room above a dinner party in Paris. Alceste, the main
character, is talking with friends. A poet comes up with a poem
that he would liked critiqued. Alceste does so, and gives such a
stinging editorial that the poet must leave the room. At this point it
seems the entire play will go on like this. Celimene is then
introduced. She is Alceste's girlfriend. They talk for a bit, and
then she leaves. Due to the vague adaptation, this section is hazy.
Somehow Alceste comes up with a letter from Celimene to Oronte.
It contains evidence she has been cheating. When confronted with
this, she denies it for a bit, and then admits to cheating. Alceste is
angry, but proposes for her to move away to the country with him.
She takes so long in answering that Alceste tells her that she must
not love him and leaves the city, fleeing police that are after him
for a reason that was never made clear.
The main character in this book is Alceste. He is extremely
nasty on the exterior, but is nice to his friends. He also cannot
stand disloyalty to him; whether from a servant or from a mate.
Celimene is another main character. She is a beautiful young
women who is 'overly friendly'. In her youthfulness, she does not
know true love. This eventually hurts Alceste, who is older and
deeply in love with her.
I don't believe that there is a theme to this play. It is simply a
story of lost love to be told to an audience. As I haven't learned
anything from this play, I cannot say I can apply anything from it.
If I were directing this production for Western High School, I
would face many problems. First and foremost the language would
be extremely hard to understand for the average person. A
complete modernization would be necessary. To generate student
interest, intensive advertising would be necessary. If someone sees
or hears about something enough, they will eventually take an
interest in it.