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MonkeyNotes-The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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Chapters 45 and 46

Summary

Claude Frollo learns about Quasimodo’s actions and about the gypsy taking sanctuary in his church. During the day he tries to catch glimpses of La Esmeralda and her goat. At night he sits in his room thinking about her and about his stabbing Phoebus. One night Frollo slips from his chambers and climbs the stairs to La Esmeralda’s cell. When she sees him, she falls back on her bed, frozen in fear. The priest gathers her in his arms and begs her to love him. La Esmeralda blows the whistle Quasimodo has given her. Within moments her beastly protector comes and throws the attacker off of her, not knowing that it is his master. When Quasimodo drags the man out into the light, he sees that it is Frollo and feels he must release him.

The priest motions for Quasimodo to retire; but he refuses, for he will not let Frollo harm La Esmeralda in any way. The hunchback tells the priest he will not leave her side unless Frollo kills him. He then hands Frollo his dagger. La Esmeralda snatches the dagger and attacks Claude Frollo, telling him that Phoebus is alive. The priest, quivering with rage, rushes out to the staircase.

When Quasimodo leaves her cell, La Esmeralda begins to sob. Back in his cell, Claude Frollo repeats the fatal phrase, "Nobody shall have her!"


Notes

This chapter serves primarily as an indicator of Claude Frollo’s decreasing mental capacity. His obsession with La Esmeralda has made him totally irrational. He goes to her cell and grabs her, begging her to love him. Fortunately, La Esmeralda has the presence of mind to blow the whistle, summoning Quasimodo. He comes running and saves her from her attacker. The insane priest then tries to convince La Esmeralda and Quasimodo on the merits of his "love."

When Frollo orders the hunchback to retire, Quasimodo tells Frollo that the only way he will leave La Esmeralda alone with the priest is if Frollo kills him. When the hunchback offers the priest a dagger, La Esmeralda grabs it and attacks Frollo. The priest rushes out of the cell in fear. Back in his room, he decides that if he cannot have La Esmeralda, "nobody shall have her."

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