Free College Essays - The Scarlet Pimpernel

Free College Essays - The Scarlet Pimpernel

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The Scarlet Pimpernel


It was an adventurous tale of love and courage. In 1792, during the French Revolution, a figure named the Scarlet Pimpernel saved many aristocrats from the French. Using daring plots and disguises he escaped from the French and his archenemy, Chauvlin.

The richest man in England, Sir Percy Blakenley was married to the most beautiful woman in France, Lady Marguerite Blankenley. Sir Percy was an important character in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The story took place in both England and France. It started in Paris, France at the scene of the guillotine. Some of the story took place at The Fisherman's Rest in Dover, England. Other parts of the story took place at Sir Percy's house in Richmond, England, The Chat Gris in Calais, France, Lord Greenville's Ball and The Covent Garden Theatre in England.

The theme of the story was love and courage. It showed how much Sir Percy cared about and loved Marguerite. Marguerite once loved him, but now took him for granted and thought of him as a fop. It also limned how brave Sir Percy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, was in risking his life for the lives of the aristocrats. The Scarlet Pimpernel and a small band of devoted followers had dedicated their lives and fortunes to saving the innocent aristocrats of the French Revolution and the horror of the guillotine. They risked their lives on numerous occasions and rescued many French noblesse bringing them to the safety and security of England.

Sir Percy Blakenley, one of the wealthiest men in England, was married to Lady Marguerite St. Just who was thought to be the most beautiful and smartest woman in Europe. She was perceived as a traitor to the French cause for having betrayed the Marquis de St. Cyr and his whole family to the bloody guillotine. This she was duped into doing because of her brother, Armond, who was almost killed by them for having dared to love the daughter of an aristocrat. Therefore Sir Percy showed no love toward Marguerite and acted the part of a fool. She thought Sir Percy to be a vain, pompous dandy and could not conceive how she ever married him. In spite of this she still had feelings of love for him. Sir Percy loved her deeply, though he also hated and detested her for what she did.

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He was emotionally torn between love and hate though he would have given or done anything for her, save revealing his true identity as The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The French authorities sent the accredited agent, Monsieur Chauvlin with the fox-like expression to England to capture the League of The Scarlet Pimpernel and their leader. He approached Marguerite for help because of her past cooperation and friendship. She denied his request with disgust. Through a turn of events he acquired damaging information concerning her brother Armond, who was involved with the League. She was forced to assist the clever Chauvlin in his evil task with the promise that her brother would be set free from prosecution. At Lord Greenville's Ball she took a scrap of paper from Sir Andrew, a League member of The Scarlet Pimpernel. This paper revealed the meeting time of the League leader in the supper room. She gave the paper to Chauvlin who hid himself in the room and cleverly deduced that Sir Percy was the leader of the League. He formed a plan to capture the Scarlet Pimpernel.

After Marguerite realized what a terrible thing she did, she told Sir Percy everything about Chauvlin and her brother. Sir Percy assured her he would save Armond and the Comte de Tournay and sailed for France the next day. Next, Marguerite investigated his room and found maps of Paris, a large painting of his mother, a large desk with many papers scattered on it and a ring with the engraving of a scarlet pimpernel on it. Knowing then that the Scarlet Pimpernel was Sir Percy she enlisted the help of Sir Andrew Ffoulkes. Quickly they sailed to Calais to try to warn Sir Percy that Chauvlin knew his true identity and had laid a trap for him. Although unable to warn him, Sir Percy was clever enough to know of Chauvlin's plans and took appropriate measures to deceive and elude him. They eventually escaped his clutches and returned safely to England with their love renewed.

Chauvlin was disgraced and condemned for his incompetence and suffered the consequences of the guillotine. Sir Percy Blakenley was a good looking and well bred Englishman. He was a young man, taller than average, broad- shouldered and massively built. To conceal his identity as The Scarlet Pimpernel he assumed the manners of a fop with a nonsensical conversation and a perpetual inane laugh. In reality, he was the bravest,most honorable, daring and intelligent man in all of Europe, who risked his life for the sake of others. Lady Marguerite St. Just, a member of the artistic Parisian circles was lavishly gifted with talent and beauty. She was thought by many to be the most beautiful and the most clever woman in Europe. She had one fault, her unfathomable love for her brother Armond, whom she raised from childhood. She was a woman of deep emotions and unrelenting pride. This caused her much grief and anguish and despite the extent of her intelligence, she was unable to discern the events that were happening around her.

Monsieur Chauvlin was a representative of the French Republican Government, whose duties were to find out about the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and deliver the members to their punishment. Chauvlin was nearly forty years of age, with deep sunken yellow eyes, a fox-like expression and a non prepossessing little figure. Above all, he was intelligent, shrewd and clever. He would stop at nothing to attain his end. He would use any sinister method, any cruel device, any despicable act in his quest to capture the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

The Scarlet Pimpernel was a tale of adventure, danger and supreme excitement. It showed what love can do to people under different circumstances. Marguerite's love for her brother made her betray her compatriots, Sir Percy and her own morals. Conversely, her love for The Scarlet Pimpernel made her risk her life to save him. Sir Percy's love for justice and honor compelled him to risk his life to save the French aristocracy. His love for Marguerite made him sail to France despite the fact he knew that Chauvlin and his spies were waiting for him. The story shows that love has no bounds, similarly that evil has none either.

Compare and Contrast  Let's start with comparing Percy and Chauvelin. Something that they have in common is that they both are smart and creative. For example, Percy showed his creativity by outwitting Chauvelin at the Chat Gris. When Percy offered Chauvelin the snuff, but it really was pepper, that was definite creativity. Chauvelin shows his smarts when he holds Armand hostage and blackmails Margueritte. Really, how else can you think of that would make Margueritte do anything for Chauvelin?

Another way that the two are alike is that they both are fighting for what they believe in. Percy is trying to free the aristocrats, while Chauvelin is attempting to prevent the aristocrats from leaving. Both are totally devoted to their job and are fighting for what they believe. Like how Percy could get killed at any time if he gets caught by Chauvelin. Speaking of Chauvelin, he himself is not a liked man ; there are many that wouldn't mind his little head on a stick, eh?

The third way that Chauvelin and Sir Percy are alike is that they both use disguises in the book. Percy uses a disguise when he is trying to smuggle out aristocrats. His was of an old hag, and it allowed him to bypass the guards. He said that he was toting along his son who had the plague. Percy also had many accessories with his tricks. This time he used a rope of braids that Percy said were from the men who's heads got cut off. Yikes! Chauvelin's disguise was of a clergyman, used while he was tracking down the Scarlet Pimpernel. This disguise allowed him to not be recognized immediately by Percy, but still he recognized Chauvelin eventually.

Moving on to contrast, Percy and Chauvelin do not think alike. Yes, they are both very smart, but Chauvelin plays dirty while Percy sticks to the rules. For example, Chauvelin will kidnap people and blackmail them. He kidnapped Armand and made Margueritte lead him to the Pimpernel or else Chauvelin would kill Armand. Percy, on the other hand, plays fair and is very polite. Like the time when Percy's life was in danger at the Chat Gris. When he was leaving, and minutes away from his death, did he dash out the door? No, he politely paid for his meal and left. Now that's nice ! Another thing that the two characters do not have in common is how they direct their men. Chauvelin is more of a guy who will tell his men to do something, yet Chauvelin doesn't do anything but direct. He will say, "Men, shoot at that hut when the tall man comes!" But does he have a gun in hand? Nope. Percy, though, will tell his men to do something, and you can bet that he will be up there. Like when he rescues aristocrats, Percy is the one leading the cart passed the guards, risking his own life. The third thing that these two men don't have in common is their view's on aristocrats. Sir Percy is fighting for his life to save these poor French souls, but Chauvelin is trying his best to kill them all. Chauvelin's job is to find deliver the aristocrats that are sinning on their country to Madame La Guillotine. Totally opposite is Percy's job of rescuing these doomed French from death during their revolution.

In conclusion, it's easy to see that these two men have a lot in common. They are both smart and creative, they both fight for what they believe, and they both use disguises sometimes. On the other hand, these men don't really think alike, they are two different directors, and their views are different on aristocrats. All in all, these two men share many similarities, but their differences outweigh the similarities.
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