The Scarlett Pimpernell
’s Relationship Towards The French Revolution Essay, Research Paper
The Scarlett Pimpernell’s relationship towards the French Revolution
The fictional story “The Scarlett Pimpernell” by Baroness Orczy portrayed many factual events pertaining to the French Revolution and also created an interesting story to captivate an audience. All the characters showed the attitudes of society both in France and in England during the Reign of Terror (1792). The story of the Scarlett Pimpernell reflected on the idea of a secret identity saving the nobles from Madame Guillotine. The story was told through the French counterrevolutists, the French Revolutionists and the English. With the meeting of the Estates-General on May 5, 1789, the Revolution began. The representatives of the Third Estate led the way. Some of the nobles and many of the clergy joined with them. They changed the name of the gathering from Estates-General, which represented classes, to National Assembly, which represented the people of France. When the king shut them out from their usual place of meeting, they took the famous Oath of the Tennis Court (June 20, 1789), pledging themselves not to separate until they had given France a constitution. At the start of the French Revolution the French people overthrew their ancient government in 1789. They took as their slogan the famous phrase “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”–Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Equality, or doing away with privilege, was the most important part of the slogan to the French revolutionists. For equality, they were willing to sacrifice their political liberty. They did this when they accepted the rule of Napoleon I. Fraternity, or brotherhood with all men, was also sacrificed. However, they did win equality before the law.
The CounterRevolutionist was the people who revolted against Robespierre. There were many people in the Scarlett Pimpernell who at first, were loyal and obedient to Robespierre and the friends of the republic, but then realizing the unjustness of the Revolution, decided to rebel against him and his council, and take the side of the Scarlett Pimpernell which in actuality was Sir Percy Blakeney. Armand St. Juste former confidante of Chauvlin dishonored the French republic when he was asked to join the Pimpernell’s crew. Marguerite St. Juste also represented a CounterRevolutionist. At first, she sided with Chauvlin because she was his lover, but then after she met Sir Percy Blakeney, she fell in love with him and had come succumb to his ideas on the revolution. Many people felt the same way as Marguerite, but could not speak their opinions because they feared being sent to the guillotine to an awful and gruesome death. Unlike Percy, there many people who were afraid of Robespierre. This is why even if the French citizens didn’t support the republic, nothing was said because if one was to perhaps overhear negativity of the republic they could report the person to the agent of public safety and have the person sent to the guillotine on the sentence of treason.
The Revolutionist was the people for the republic. Paul Chauvlin, the agent of Public Safety, was a typical portrayal of the revolutionist. He was willing to do anything for the republic. His main job in the plot was to find the Scarlett Pimpernell and have him executed. The character Robespierre had a tyrannical and arrogant attitude. As were the attitudes of the friends of the republic during the time of the real French Revolution. Both Robespierre and the friends of the republic were strongly disliked by the French citizens. Because of the Law of Suspects order that he enforced, many more people were being sent to the guillotine. This was to cleanse the system of all the people who did not agree with the republic or the revolution. Robespierre turned his government into a dictatorship where he was in full control of everything. He thought that he was the most powerful person and that the republic was incorruptible, but he was wrong because the people revolted. The French citizens turned against him and used his men and his monster mechanism, Madame guillotine, the machine that had killed about 41,000 people with and used it against him. This showed that Robespierre was not as powerful as he had thought he was and the power of the people was underestimated.
The English wanted to put a stop to the mass killings the Madame Guillotine had caused. Sir Percy Blakeney is self-assured, worry-free, and egotistical personality reflected how the English citizens felt about and acted towards the French. He created and led a group of people who wanted to rebel against the republic also known as the counter-revolutionists. This group also fought to save the innocent people who were being convicted and beheaded by Robespierre. Percy thought that everything from how the French dressed, to their form of government could not compare to that of the English because the English had far more class and could not be even compared with the distasteful French. He thought that the French republic was preposterous and would never succeed because of the radical tyrants of that time. Percy tried to escape the dauphin from the prison because he believed that France should be ruled as a monarchy. Percy Scarlet Pimpernel who was always planning ahead of Robespierre and risked his life for many people such as the Count and Countess de Beaulieu , Louise Longet and many other people with their life in danger. Percy’s exuberance never failed even when the situation had become terribly difficult. Percy also won Marguerite St. Juste’s heart from the villain Chauvlin. Chauvlin tried to gain back Marguerite’s love, but he continuously failed because she had become a counter revolutionist. She was in love with his rival, Percy Blakeney, and he had absolutely no choice other than to stop her from loving him. The Scarlett Pimpernell accurately portrayed the critical role of the English in the real French Revolution.
In conclusion, The Scarlett Pimpernell portrayed many factual events pertaining to the French Revolution and created an interesting story to captivate an audience. All the characters showed the attitudes of society both in France and in England during the Reign of Terror (1792). It can be said that Few events have so powerfully influenced the political and economic development of the modern world as the French Revolution.