Saturday, May 21, 2011

Esmeralda: Tragic Virgin

Esmeralda is the figure in this book that tires all the others together.  She flirts through the story and streets of Paris without really thinking about much.  she is a carefree dancer who is caught in that strange place between being a child and a women.

As a child she is innocent of the world and looking for her mother.  she was kidnapped by the gypsies and has been told that if she remains a virgin she will one day find her mother by the power of a little pink baby slipper which she wears hidden in a locket as a talisman. But as a women she is finding out about love.  her love is Pheobus, the man who saved her from an attack during one dark and fateful night on the streets of Paris.

This balancing act of being at that turning point of youth is clearly presented when she meets with Pheobus at an inn.  his plan is to deflower her.  she wants to know if he loves her as she loves him.  The reader knows that Pheobus does not love her but he smoothly convinces her that if she gives herself to him he will love her.

It is here that tragedy strikes.  Claude Frollo was hiding in a closet and he attacks Pheobus who is wounded and Esmeralda is blamed.  despite her innocence she is condemned to die for the murder of Pheobus (who isn't really dead).  She is of course saved from this fate by Quasimodo on the steps of Notre Dame. At least for the time being.

Her innocents which makes her pure is coupled with naivety of youth which is what brings about her down fall.  in her innocents she believes Pheobus loves her.  and when she has found a hiding place after being chased from her safety at Notre Dame she spies Phoebus and calls out to him.  he doesn't hear her, but the other guards do. they have their order, and they follow through with it.  In the middle ages life was cheep, and the life of a single gypsy girl worth even less to those who were above the commoner people.

No comments: