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Word Count: 402
The tension of illusion and reality present a tremendous problem for the characters in Molieres Misanthrope Another tension to a lesser extent is that of love and principle Throughout the play the characters are saying or thinking one thing but saying or doing the complete opposite The conflict of these tensions is what makes this play a comedy and in some ways a tragic comedy The main character Alceste goes from beginning to end judging people on their morals and ideals yet never once examines himself He would rather magnify the flaws of others then look at himself for what he really is He is also falls guilty to letting his love of a women whom he was deceived by outweigh his judgement In the beginning of Act One Scene One Alceste is quarreling with Philinte because Alceste believes that Philinte is a fraudExclaim for joy until you are out of breathOnce the mans back is turned you cease to love him And speak with absolute indifference of him 16It is in this exchange with Philinte that Alceste is blaming Philinte for embellishing his like of someone Alceste says that he would hang himself without delay 17 if he was to do something like that He is being very judgmental when there really is no need to be He lives in this illusion that his society has to be perfect The illusion goes even further because Alceste has this self-righteous confidence in his own perfection that will later set him up for catastrophic consequences in love law and literary criticismThe single biggest deception in the play is the illusion that Celimene puts on for Alceste In Act Three Scene Seven Arsinoe tries to let Alceste know that Celimene doesnt really love him at all Youre very much too good for Celimene Shes wantonly misled you from the start 99 Alcestes response to this is You may be right who knows anothers
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