Love in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
“Love in The Hunchback of Notre Dame” In the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame the author, Victor Hugo, used love as a central theme for his book. He showed that love can manifest itself in three main ways depending upon the person. Esmeralda was in a mode of self- destruction because of her lust for Phoebus. Claude Frollo turned into a man of Jealous rage because of his amorousness for Esmeralda, and Quasimodds passion for Esmeralda crumbled his heart as if it was made of stone, because of her death. Hugo used love as a central theme to capture the heart of the reader.
He forced his readers to change their perspective on affection and admiration, in ways never thought of before. Hugo used Esmeralda’s lust for Phoebus as his first example of how love can manifest itself in many different ways. Esmeralda, blinded by lust only saw Phoebus for what he looked like on the outside. She was very much attracted to Phoebus, a man who was as ugly as a gargoyle on the inside, but as handsome as an angel on the outside. As a result of being blinded by lust, Esmeralda could not see the beauty of Quasimodo on the inside despite his repugnant appearance.
Love in The Hunchback of Notre Dame Essay Example
Esmeralda had everlasting love for Phoebus and when he “died” Esmeralda felt as if she had no other reason to live. While talking romantically in a room, Esmeralda said to Phoebus, You are good, you are generous, you are kind; you saved me, me who am but a poor gipsy foundling. I have long dreamed of an officer who should save my life. It was of you I dreamed before I ever knew you, my Phoebus (284). When Phoebus was taken from Esmeralda, it was like taking water from a fish. She could not operate properly, and she soon fell into a state of self-destruction. Even while being tortured Esmeralda still muttered the name of Phoebus.
Esmeralda’s love for Phoebus destroyed her. She fell deeper into a pit of depression, self pity, and self destruction. Victor Hugo used Claude Frollo’s amorousness for Esmeralda as his second example of how love can manifest itself in different ways. While in the dungeon where Esmeralda was placed, Claude Frollo said, It was noon, the sun shone brightly, a creature was dancing, a creature so beautiful that God would have preferred her to the Virgin, and be chosen her to be his mother, and had she existed when he was made man (113-144). Claude Frollo found it Just to compare her to the beloved Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, Frollo’s love for Esmeralda caused him to “kill” the only man she loved out of Jealousy, hate, and rage. While talking to himself Frollo said, “no one else shall have her” (372). Surprisingly, when Esmeralda did not want him, he became indirectly responsible for her death. The last and the most important way Victor Hugo showed how love can manifest itself was when he demonstrated the passion Quasimodo had for Esmeralda. When describing the ugliness of Quasimodo Hugo said, “The poor imp had a wart over his reastbone prominent, his legs crooked; but he seemed lively’ (142).
Quasimodo had the features ofa gargoyle but the heart of an angel. Unfortunately, Esmeralda was too shallow to look beyond his exterior features. He loved Esmeralda more than he loved himself, and while giving her directions about staying in the church he said, “Do not leave the church by day or by night. You would be lost. They would kill you, and I should die” (354). He loved Esmeralda too much to live without her. He became intertwined with her heart and soul, like a dog to his master, and if she died, he ould die as well.
After Quasimodo saved Esmeralda from death, she asked him why he had saved her, to which he replied, You have forgotten a villain who tried to carry you off one night, a villain to whom the very next day you brought relief upon their infamous pillory. A drop of water and a little pity are more than my life can ever repay’ (357). Quasimodo loved Esmeralda more than life itself. She was his oxygen and when she died he could not live. Quasimodo refused to live in the same world that was responsible for the death of the only thing he loved, so he voluntarily ended is life.
When describing love Hugo said, “Love is like a tree; it grows spontaneously, strikes its roots deep into our whole being, and often continues to flourish over a heart of ruins”(358). Love is a powerful force that can change someone dramatically for the better or for the worse. In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo, the reader learns that love can take on many facets. It can drive a person to self- destruction, it can cause a person to become full of Jealousy and hatred, and cause a person to sacrifice his life, the most valuable thing a person possesses.