The Misanthrope | Study Guide


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The Misanthrope | Act 3, Scene 6 | Summary



Alceste enters. Célimène tells him that she must send a piece of correspondence before evening, so she will be grateful if he will entertain Arsinoé, whose coach is late in arriving.


Beside the discomfort Célimène's request must cause Alceste, the audience will hardly fail to notice Célimène's parting stroke of verbal irony, when she declares she is sure that Arsinoé will pardon her "incivility." Verbal irony is the use of words to mean something different from what a person actually says. Célimène does not sincerely mean that her sudden withdrawal is an act of incivility.

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