The Misanthrope and Other Plays Literary Elements

The Misanthrope and Other Plays Literary Elements


A play



Setting and Context

The scene is laid in Europe, Paris in the 17th century.

Narrator and Point of View

Actually, there is no a third person, who could describe the life of characters. There are a lot of dialogues and conversations between people, which reveal all truth and problems of personages in this play.

Tone and Mood

This play has many ironical and comic scenes. That’s why the mood is satirical and ironic.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The main protagonist of this play is Alceste and at the same time he is an antagonist. He is sure that people are not benevolent and kind, he always finds something bad in their temper and his hatred wakes up quickly.

Major Conflict

The main conflict is between Alceste and his consciousness. He always finds ideal people, but the perfection is a lie. The author proves that we should admit people with their negative features.


The climax happens when Alceste gets a letter. There is information about the unfaithfulness of Celimene. And then he starts to spell things out.


The play foreshadows the future of Alceste. In the begging of this story he is like a misanthrope. He hates people because of their negative features. It means that he will be a solitary person. And in the end he becomes to be a lonely person.


It is clear that nothing positive would happen to a person, who so easily can make an enemy. Alceste is really good at this, he is rude, direct and finds no need to show even slice of respect towards others.


When Philinte compares himself with Alceste, he says that they are like brothers in the “School for Husband”. “School for husband” is a play written by Moliere.


Vividly described are rooms and the entire atmosphere of aristocratic France and court.


Paradox is when Acleste having seen the proof of Celimene’s unfaithfulness, still wants to be with her. He is somehow contradictive with his own beliefs and ideals.


Actually, parallelism happens when Alceste describes people. He says good things about them, but basely discusses people’s life behind their back.



Use of Dramatic Devices

The reader can notice the dramatic Monologue when Alceste describes his relationships with his friend Philinte. When Philinte betrays their intimate friendship, Alceste despairs. He denounces his actions and says that Philinte “ought to die of shame; such conduct cannot be excused; all men of honor must feel humiliated by it”.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.