Course Hero. "The Misanthrope Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Oct. 2017. Web. 16 May 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Misanthrope/>.
Course Hero. (2017, October 25). The Misanthrope Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 16, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Misanthrope/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "The Misanthrope Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Misanthrope/.
Course Hero, "The Misanthrope Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed May 16, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Misanthrope/.
One of Molière's most brilliant qualities as a comic playwright is to show ingenious, innovative variations on a familiar theme or technique. Even in a scene of just four lines, Molière finds a way to surprise us and engage our interest. Here, Molière varies the run-in technique so that it is Célimène herself who interrupts—and then completes—her own alexandrine. But this is not just any interruption. It amounts to a pair of diametrically opposed statements, beginning with a scathing condemnation ("vicious and arrogant in the last degree") and continuing with a professed warm welcome: "Ah! What happy chance has brought you here?" There could be no more compressed an example of court hypocrisy.
Molière also uses this brief transition scene to whet the audience's appetite and create suspense. What is the "something" that Arsinoé thinks Célimène ought to know? The following scene will rapidly provide a somewhat unexpected answer to this question.