The Misanthrope - Study Guide Act 1, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

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In a room in Paris, two men await the return of a young woman, Celimene, and her cousin, who are out shopping. Alceste is scolding his friend, Philinte. On their way to the home of Celimene, Alceste and Philinte had run into another man who hugged Philinte and acted like his best friend. Philinte responded in kind, just to be polite, although he couldn't remember the man's name. Alceste says he is disgusted by Philinte's insincerity in particular, and society's hypocrisy in general. He claims to hate humanity because of this sort of hypocrisy.

Philinte tries to reason with Alceste, suggesting he should not be so hard on people. He admits to being dishonest so that he will not offend the other man. One shouldn't blame human beings for their faults, Philinte says, any more than one would blame vultures or wolves for being what...

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This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Misanthrope Study Guide
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The Misanthrope from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.