- Quasimodo as an example of the spiritual beauty

Конспект урока «Quasimodo as an example of the spiritual beauty» по английскому языку

Quasimodo as an example of the spiritual beauty (V. Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame")

 “Don't look at the face, look into heart…”

The humanity has been trying to resolve an issue of compatibility of spiritual beauty and physical perfection for a long time. Ancient Greeks approached to this question decision more closely than anyone else. The time of the Middle Ages came and this physical perfection subsequently was forgotten.

Medieval art was acutely conflict, characterized by irreconcilable antitheses: sacred — sinful, eternal — temporary, heavenly — terrestrial, soul — a body. Thus the terrestrial, "corporal" beauty was treated as something sinful, people saw truly valuable in spiritual beauty of the person.

The ideal of this period people is connected with the image of a suffering person. It is infinitely far from an antiquity ideal. The unity of physical and spiritual beauty, which was the characteristic for ancient, is broken now. The medieval consciousness opposed to the body immortal human soul. One of the writers who has touched this subject was Victor Hugo. In his novels, the feeling of infinite value of life always exists– and evangelical truth – about eternity and God, and eternal precepts, which is broken and ruined by humanity. This truth possesses timeless value.

The aim of my research paper is to reveal concepts about beauty at middle ages in the novel «The Hunchback of Notre-Dame» by V. Hugo.

Victor Hugo’s novel «Notre-Dame" describes Paris during middle Ages. With encyclopedic knowledge peculiar to it and a bias to Hugo's rhetoric creates some interesting characters. From the thick of national crowd, which plays a crucial role in all concept of the novel, there are also come his main characters – street dancer Esmeralda and humpbacked bell ringer Quasimodo.

It is interesting to know, from Latin, "Quasimodo" means "as though". In addition, it is valid; the bell ringer reminds the one of chimeras sculptures, which still decorates pediment of a Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, with the huge, covered red bristle-headed, a hump between shoulders and scary curve feet. Due to Quasimodo's ugliness, during national fun he even becomes "the father of clowns".

The beauty - Esmeralda personifies all kind, talented, natural and beautiful, that the big people soul has, contrary to the gloomy medieval asceticism that is violently inspired in the peoples mind by the church fanatics. Not without a reason she is so chaste and so natural and straight in the love, so careless and kind to everyone, even to Quasimodo though he scares her with his ugliness. Esmeralda is an icon of pleasure and harmony.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo are the two representatives of two different sides of this many-voiced crowd.

Quasimodo was adopted by the archdeacon Claude Frollo, as well as Quasimodo, he the grotesque figure of the novel. Quasimodo loves him, devotes and idolizes him. However, Frollo has no intention to give the boy even a chance for luck, he brings up from Quasimodo "a devoted dog" for himself.

Quasimodo

The foundling Quasimodo personifies rather terrible force, which is concealing in the people, still dark, holds down by slavery and prejudices, but great and self-sacrificing in the selfless feeling, terrible and powerful in the rage which rises sometimes as anger of the risen titan dumping from century chains.

The image of Quasimodo is artistic realization of the theory of romantic grotesque. Improbable and terrible obviously prevails here over the real. At first, it confirms by a hyperbolization of ugliness and all of misfortunes, which has fallen upon one person. Quasimodo "he represents a grimace". He was born "curve, humpbacked, lame"; then his eardrums burst from a peal – and he has become deaf. Besides, deafness makes him as though mute "When his need made him speak, his language turned clumsily and hard as a door on rusty loops".

Thus Quasimodo is not only a limit of ugliness, but also of isolation: “From the first steps he felt among people, he clearly realized himself being outcast, despised, branded”.

Quasimodo is closed in, because of his ugliness, sometimes he reminds an animal.

He was spiteful because he was wild; he was wild because of his ugly. In his nature, as well as in any other, there was the logic. He was a laughing-stock, the freak who had no right for a life.

Disgusting monkey! - One spoke.

- Angry and ugly! – added another.

- The Demon in a human flesh! – inserted the third.

It isn't surprising that he considers a cathedral bells as only friends of him. He communicates with them as with people, calling them by their names and this attitude causes in him indescribable pleasure:

"He walked to and from, clapped, ran across from one rope to another, encouraging the six singers a voice and gesture, - as the orchestras conductor inspires skillful musicians.

- Well, Gabriel, forward! - He spoke. – It’s a holiday now, flood this area with sounds. Not be lazy, Thibaut! You lag behind. Well?! Are you rusted, idler, or what? So! Good! Hurry, hurry, that no one can see your tongue! Deafen all of them that they became as me! So, Thibaut, fine fellow! Gilyom! Gilyom! After all, you are the biggest, and Paskye the smallest, but still he overtakes you. I bet that those who can hear, hear him better, than you! Well, well, Gabriel! Louder, louder! Hey, Sparrow! What both of you are doing there on a tower? You are not so loud. What is that for copper beaks? It looks like they yawn instead of singing! You have to work! After all, it’s a Lady da now.

He was absorbed by bells, and they, all six of them, incited his hails, jumped up competing in speed, stirring up the brilliant grain, as precisely noisy team of the Spanish mules continually adjusted by pricks of the pointed stick of the driver".

However, when he falls in love with Esmeralda, gently and purely, the girl of unearthly beauty, these feelings strike and causes painful surprise. Quasimodo saves Esmeralda and hides her in the Cathedral. Their relations during this time turn into the real spiritual understanding and unity. Esmeralda understands Quasimodo freak's feelings and necessarily got used to the gentle and sad savior. Thirst of the bell ringer for the beauty should be looked for not in external manifestations, but in depth of his nature. Hugo couldn't answer the question: Why did destiny so cruelly and at the same time so wisely arrive with Quasimodo? Throughout the entire novel, the humpback Quasimodo looks more spiritually beautiful. He even starts writing verses, trying to open Esmeraldas eyes on what she doesn't wish to see: "Oh girl, don't look at the face, look into heart. The heart of a beautiful young man often happens ugly, there are hearts where the love doesn't live”. Devotion of the humpback to Esmeralda is almost mad, incomprehensible, because of her he can «jump from the Cathedral tower, without reflecting. And only near her, people see his inner world: "The look of this Cyclops turned on the girl, enveloped her tenderness, grief and pity, suddenly rose, full of fire. And then women laughed and cried, the crowd raged from delight because during these moments Quasimodo was truly beautiful. He was beautiful, this orphan, the foundling, this rabble".

Understanding his ugliness haunts Quasimodo to the death.

- I frighten you? I am very ugly, isn't that so? Don't look at me.

Esmeralda tries to force him to enter a cell, but he turns obstinate and stopped at a threshold.

- No, no, - he said, - there is no place for an owl in a nest of a lark.

Destiny allows him to connect with the darling only after the Death.

I can say, Quasimodo isn't an example of sobriety and steadiness. He is tormented by various feelings, sometimes the rage seizes him, the rage, which can be considered as a consequence of surrounding people relation. He can't get from thirst of revenge to the priest Claude Frollo who was dumped he from Cathedral height. After Esmeralda and Frollo’s death, Quasimodo said: "Here is everything that I loved". He really loves beauty that was embodied in Esmeralda, and God who was personified in Frollo. It can seem that there is nothing else in the whole world for Quasimodo. In my opinion, the hunchback has something he can’t understand: What role does play Cathedral in his life. He could become a part of this majestic construction that directs towers like hands to the empty sky. Beautiful, isn’t it?...

I believe that Quasimodo is beautiful because he personifies versatility of a human character. And every time re-reading this novel, I discover new words, relationships and qualities of character of this most interesting hero, whose name nowadays has become almost nominal, in the list of other nominal names such us: Иуда, Брут, Ирод, Фома.

In this case, I can’t help mentioning Ray Bradbury who wrote:

"In ourselves we mean nothing.

We are not important, important that we store in ourselves".


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