The Miser: Harpagon Study

Topics: Molière, The Miser, Marriage Pages: 3 (872 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Harpagon practice essay:
In the play The Miser , Moliere uses Harpagon as a stereotypical character to highlight the folly of human nature as seen in 17th century French society. Moliere’s use of satire for this play, places the audience in a position where through comedy the characters can address the idea of wealth and power. Harpagon is seen as a greedy old man who is obsessed with his strongbox throughout the play and it is through his interactions with the other characters that his miserly ways are displayed. Throughout the play Moliere displays Harpagon as a miserly, selfish man whose greed for money overpowers his whole personality. His shallow nature Is illustrated through his constant paranoia that people are desperate to steal his money as he is constantly is fixated on it and remains true to his intentions throughout the play. “Did I hear a dog bark? Who’s after my money?” This quote tells the reader just how frightened Harpagon is of people robbing him as he is worried that a dog will steal his money, which is frankly impossible. This shows Harpagon’s selfish personality which highlights his only care for money and nothing else. This is demonstrated in act 4 scene 5 when Harpagon goes ballistic after thinking his money had been taken from him. This is made clear when he is overwhelmed with fear and says “My lovely money, my lovely darling money, they’ve taken you from me, without you I am nothing.” This indicates his avarice, revealing some of the worst traits someone can possess. Harpagon only views his children as financial burdens that he aims to marry off In order to free himself from their supposed spending. He doesn’t care about their happiness or success in life, and is incapable in empathising with them and is completely inflexible in seeing their point of view. In the play, the children feel very disheartened to have a father who shows no affection for them and this leads to them thoroughly disliking him. “ His unbelievable avarice and the...
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