Paris Spleen, 1869 Characters

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Paris Spleen, 1869 Summary & Study Guide Description

Paris Spleen, 1869 Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Paris Spleen, 1869 by Charles Baudelaire.

Charles Baudelaire, appears in Paris Spleen

Charles Baudelaire is the author of "Paris Spleen", a collection of poetry from the late nineteenth century. Baudelaire attempts to mimic Aloysius Bertrand's "Gaspard de la nuit" by emulating the prose poetry in Bertrand's collection. Baudelaire writes to his editor, describing his inspiration and his view of his failure in accomplishing his goal to emulate another author's style, though, in essence, Baudelaire accomplished a separate goal by creating his own style which authors since have attempted to emulate. This creation gives Baudelaire both pride for his creation and shame for failing to accomplish his original goal.

Several of the works in Baudelaire's collection reflect both human-natured views of less fortunate people within his surroundings by acknowledging a measure of guilt for being more fortunate, while simultaneously showing his disdain for the laboring class and his fascination with the contradiction. He repeatedly displays pleasure in the indulgence of the senses and pleasures of the soul, be they moral or not, and in some cases the opposite in making the immoral moral. This collection is published posthumously in 1869 by Baudelaire's sister and is frequently considered a part of the modernist literary movement.

Raymond N MacKenzie, appears in Introduction

Raymond N MacKenzie is a professor of English Literature, the translator of this collection, and the author of the Introduction. MacKenzie provides the informative side to the biography of the author, as well as the environment that this work was first published in its original form. MacKenzie references several other authors and essays, giving a range to the views of this collection and its effect on literature.

MacKenzie compares Baudelaire's works with the events of a murder and his capitalization of the market. His views into this work produce a description of Baudelaire to the reader, showing an egotistical man who self analyzed and was brutally forthcoming regarding his own character flaws, that in turn allowed Baudelaire to further compliment himself on his own ability to destruct his self-worth publicly. MacKenzie also points the similar qualities that are portrayed in another work of Baudelaire, titled La Fanfarlo, in which there is depicted a character named Samuel Cramer who displays many of Baudelaire's attributes.

Fancioulle, appears in A Heroic Death

Fancioulle is a jester who is favored in the court, especially for his mute roles, so much that he is noted as practically a friend of the Prince. A Lord catches Fancioulle in a conspiracy of rebellion against the Prince. He is arrested and sentenced to death for his involvement. He is given the chance to play for the Prince within a cast assembled of the other conspirators. On the night of the performance, Fancioulle gives the best performance of his life, and in his shining moment, when all had forgotten that he was a condemned man, he is killed in the middle of his act.

The Prince, appears in A Heroic Death

Noted as a connoisseur of pleasures, the Prince is faced with the charges that his favorite actor was in conspiracy to form a rebellion against him. The Prince decides to have the actor, Fancioulle, play one of his most famous roles and to have the other conspirators complete the cast for the play. The Prince is also known as a terrible and conniving man, so in his act of demanding a play before the death of the conspirator, he appears to have mercy for Fancioulle. Instead, he has him killed by a small boy while in the middle of Fancioulle's greatest performance.

The Old Mountebank, appears in The Old Mountebank

Old Mountebank is a poor old man in a ragged hut that sits at the outskirts of those at the fair that shows no wares for the masses. The man instills in Baudelaire the sense of pity for the man and yet embarrassment for him at the same time. In his own thoughts, Baudelaire wonders if perhaps the old man is a poet who is no longer sought by the masses.

Dorothy, appears in Beautiful Dorothy

Dorothy is a bold and beautiful woman who takes little moments to enjoy the time of the high sun, when others slumber midday. She walks the shore alone, dressed in fine clothing, but without shoes. She is a tall proud woman with a narrow waist, long torso, wide hips and long hair that

Feline, appears in The Clock

Feline is a woman who Baudelaire supposedly really kept company with who is mentioned in "The Clock" and is compared to her animal namesake, in that Baudelaire can see in her eyes the time, the same that is said the Chinese can with a cat. Her eyes are said to be green and to hold all of eternity.

The Old Woman, appears in The Old Woman's Despair

The Old Woman is an elderly woman, described as decrepit, toothless and hairless, whose joy is to see the new child brought into her circle and is heartbroken that the child wails at her touch when all she meant was to please the child. In her rejection, she goes off alone to weep.

The Fairy, appears in The Fairies' Gifts

A Fairy in and among the gathered fairies that hand out gifts to the newborn children, she is caught by a man whose child is forgotten, and in embarrassment calls forth the gift of "pleasing" for the boy, but is incensed when the father questions her gift to his child.

The Beloved Maniac, appears in The Soup and the Clouds

The Beloved Maniac is the wife of a daydreamer, who in his thoughts he calls his green eyed monster and beloved little maniac. She is described in contradictory terms of affection that show that, although she may be a crazed or volatile woman, she is a loved woman.

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