NotreDame De Paris discussion
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Character topic.

9/2/2010 #1
Doc M

Having watched Rigoletto over the weekend (based on Le Roi s'amuse, 1832 – the year after NDdP) it crossed my mind that Hugo had recycled the character of Phœbus as the King (the Duke in the opera).

9/8/2010 #2

Really? I'm gonna have to rent it and check that out.

9/17/2010 #3
Doc M

If you've never seen/heard Rigoletto, it's an adaptation of Hugo's Le roi s'amuse. The play was set at the court of François I of France, but Verdi's opera transposed it (for censorship reasons) to the court of the Duke of Mantua in 16C. The hunchbacked dwarf Rigoletto (Triboulet in the original play) is the court jester and sometime pimp for his lecherous master, the Duke/King. They are both cursed by a nobleman whose daughter has been seduced by the Duke/King. However, he has a beautiful daughter Gilda/Blanche, whom he keeps hidden away to protect her chastity. The girl has nevertheless fallen in love from afar with a handsome young man she's seen at church. As a result of a trick played on him by jealous courtiers, the jester finds that his daughter has been abducted and seduced by the Duke/King – but she doesn't actually mind very much, because he's the handsome young man she's got a crush on. Her father, however, is furious, and swears vengeance. He plots with an assassin to lure his master to a rendezvous with the assassin's beautiful sister, and have him killed. However, it all goes horribly wrong, and – instead of the Duke/King being killed – the jester finds that his daughter, still besotted with her lover, despite seeing him with another woman, has sacrificed her own life in his place.

The character of the Duke/King is essentially Phœbus moved to a higher social level. Gilda/Blanche's infatuation with him is rather Esméralda-ish, but she has more excuse, since her father has kept her locked away from the world.

9/18/2010 #4

The one and only Phoebus I will ever like is the Disney one. I watched the Disney version before I read the book, and as a result, loved both separately. So, I just separated them and decided to count them as different completely.

At least he got what he deserved, I guess.

5/12/2011 #5
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