Notre Dame Essay, Research Paper
The Evil in Notre Dame
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, there are many interesting characters, However, I think Claude Frollo is a good one to talk about. In the book Claude is a priest who sees a beautiful girl and thinks unpure thoughts about her. Since he is a priest he feels he has to do something about these freaky thoughts he is having, so he tries to have her hanged by committing a murder and framing her. Then it turns out the victim really isn’t dead, but because times were so messed up back then they still convicted her of murder. The girl, Esmeralda, is a gypsy girl so a lot of people in the town did not like her. Although Claude Frollo is a priest he is a trifling man whose sexual desire turns him into an evil, scheming, obsessed man,ruining his life.
Claude Frollo was evil because of the things he did to Esmeralda and Quasimodo, the foster son he adopted when he was only sixteen. When Claude Frollo first saw Esmeralda dancing in the streets with her goat Dijali he yells obscene comments to her, because he is trying to hide the fact that he really wants her. He also used Quasimodo to try and kidnap her, knowing that Quasimodo would do anything right or wrong for him. He wanted her so badly that he came into her room one night and tried to rape her. He was touching her in ways that she did not find appealing “She felt a lascivious hand wandering over her body”(215), but Quasimodo would not let him rape her. He wanted Esmeralda hanged because he could not control his own passions.
The schemes of Claude Frollo were as stupid and childish as the schemes of any man who let his desire for sex control his life. In one scheme he and Quasimodo tried to carry Esmeralda off against her will… “A statue of the Virgin Mary on the corner enabled him to see the girl struggling with two men who were trying to stifle her cries”(29). The next time he tried to do something to her it was frame her for murder. He knew she had an appointment with a man and hid in a little room by where they were going. When they got there he came out of the room and stabbed the man she was with in his back. She was arrested and convicted of murder. She was sentenced to hang in the gallows. Claude Frollo’s schemes controlled his life and decided the fate of the little gypsy girl.
His obsession with Esmeralda also determined the hideous fate of his life. He was obsessed with her because of her beauty and because she made him feel things he had never before felt and things he should not have felt because he is a priest. He was considered obsessed because he could not be near her with out feeling psychotic:
His nights were horrible. Since he had learned that she was still alive the cold ideas of specter and tomb which had obsessed him for a whole day vanished and he began to feel the prickings of the flesh once more. Feeling the dark-haried girl so near to him made him writhe on his bed(213).
Claude Frollo’s obsession with Esmeralda is also clearly seen when he watched her being tortured he cut his chest with a dagger and when she screamed he plunged it into his flesh. He said if she had screamed again he would have put it into his heart. He would do anything to be with her. He offered to keep her from getting hung if she would be with him, but she did not want anything to do with him. His obsession is what caused him to be killed by Quasimodo. They both loved Esmeralda so when Quasimodo realized that because of Claude Esmeralda was hanged, he threw him off the towers of Notre Dame.
Claude Frollo’s obsession, his schemes, and his evilness turned him from a man passionate about being a priest to a man whose only passion was for a woman. This great change caused him to lose all the things he has ever loved. It caused him to lose his dignity, his respect, his love from Quasimodo, and all things in his life. The theme of this story is that against all odds true love prevails, and what Claude Frollo thought was true love really wasn’t.