Study Questions and Essay Topics
Discuss the notion of superficiality in The Misanthrope. How do the characters use the superficial to help them cope with the personal strains society places upon them?
Assess Alceste's misanthropy. What, if any, good qualities play a part in his general unhappiness?
Describe the role of the legal system in The Misanthrope.
Suggested Essay Topics
Explain Arsinoé's separation from the other characters. In what ways is she similar to Alceste?
Explain Molière's decision to have so many men courting Célimène. Why would only one or two men not suffice?
According to Molière, what exactly is a "misanthrope"? Is this too broad a term to use as a description of Alceste?
Does Célimène have the capacity to truly be in love? Why or why not?
What does the eventual union of Philinte and Éliante represent? Will they stay together?
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