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MonkeyNotes-The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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Chapter 47

Summary

Gringoire learns of La Esmeralda’s fate, but is too afraid of trouble to visit his wife in the cathedral tower. Still performing tricks for money, he misses the companionship of La Esmeralda and her goat; but unlike the others in the Court of Miracles, he has his imagination and his philosophy to keep him company and thinks he does not need La Esmeralda.

One day he runs into Claude Frollo. As the two converse, Frollo asks Gringoire many casual questions, gradually working his way toward the subject of La Esmeralda. After an extended conversation in which Frollo feigns disinterest, Gringoire learns that La Esmeralda’s case has been referred to Parliament, and her sanctuary will be violated in three days, at which time she will be executed. Gringoire is shocked and angry that anyone would care so much about punishing the gypsy girl. He wonders aloud who would have done such a thing. Frollo has no answer.

Claude Frollo subtly tempts Gringoire to take part in a plan to save La Esmeralda. When Gringoire expresses his hesitation, Frollo manipulates him by making him feel guilty. The plan Frollo suggests would free La Esmeralda, but result in Gringoire’s death. When Gringoire finally agrees, he decides to enlist the help of the others at the Court of Miracles. Frollo and Gringoire also arrange to meet the next night to put the plan in action.


Notes

Once again Frollo is deceptively clever, as he completely manipulates Gringoire. His plan is twofold; it will rescue La Esmeralda from being executed and get rid of Gringoire, whom Frollo considers to be a rival. It is clear that that the priest is a smart, dangerous, and lecherous man. He wants La Esmeralda out of the holy walls of the cathedral alive so that he can satisfy his increasingly obsessive and wicked desires.

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