The Misanthrope Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. At the beginning of scene 1, Philinte is hugged by a man he barely knows. How does Philinte react and why?

Philinte believes social politeness is acceptable so as not to embarrass someone.

2. Philinte argues with his friend Alceste that humans should not be blamed for their faults. What example does Philinte give to explain his reasoning?

Philinte claims that humans should not be blamed for their faults, just as vultures or wolves are not blamed for theirs.

3. In Alceste's legal case, why does Alceste feel being right should be enough?

Alceste believes that humans are hypocritical. If he is honest and still loses the lawsuit, his belief is proven to be correct.

4. Why does Alceste say love is not decided by reason?

Alceste loves Celimene who behaves in a way he hates. He admits her cousin, Eliante, who is better suited for him, but he does not love her.

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