The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris) is an 1831 French novel written by Victor Hugo. It is set in 1482 in Paris, in and around the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The book tells the story of a poor barefoot Gypsy girl (La Esmeralda) and a misshapen bell-ringer (Quasimodo) who was raised by the Archdeacon (Claude Frollo). The book was written as a statement to preserve the Notre Dame cathedral and not to 'modernize' it, as Hugo was thoroughly against this. The story begins during the Renaissance in 1482, the day of the Festival of Fools in Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer, is introduced by his crowning as Pope of Fools. Esméralda, a beautiful 16-year-old gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men but especially Quasimodo’s adopted father, Claude Frollo. Frollo is torn between his lust and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to get her. Quasimodo is caught and whipped and ordered to be tied down in the heat. Esméralda seeing his thirst, offers him water. It saves her, for she captures the heart of the hunchback. (From feedbooks.com)
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Part 1 Chapter 1
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is one of the best known French writers. His writings reflect the Romantic movement. He is best known for Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was published when he was just twenty-nine years old. (This annotation contains an image)
What can we infer from the highlighted paragraph?
This paragraph touches upon a important motif in the novel: architecture. As you read, notice how frequently Hugo describes architecture in the novel. One of the reasons Hugo wrote this text was in hopes of preserving Paris' gothic architecture. Watch the video below on motif and look for references to architecture as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the crowd waiting for?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Practice using this feature by looking up the word "furrier."
It appears to be a festival day in Paris. Why do you think Hugo chose to begin the novel on a day such as this?
Although this novel was written in 1831, the story is set in 1482. Hugo reflects this in his dialogue, which will likely sound very archaic to you at first.
This person is bemoaning
The word "bourgeois" describes people who are members of the middle class. You will soon see what a large role social class plays in the novel.
Part 1 Chapter 2
Use the Define feature to look up the word alacrity. Which of the following words is the best antonym for alacrity?
A morality is a kind of play popular in Europe during the middle ages in which moral lessons are taught.
What does Hugo call "the eternal truth"?
Watch the video below on exposition. Part One of this novel contains the exposition. You have already been introduced to the setting (Paris in the late 15th century) and now you are meeting one of the main characters, Pierre Gringoire. (This annotation contains a video)
From Hugo's description and Gringoire's tone, we can infer that Gringoire is
Part 1 Chapter 3
The dauphin (pronounced DAW-fin) was the son of the French king. In 1482, Louis XI was the king, so his son Charles VIII, seen below, was the dauphin. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Gringoire upset by the arrival of an eminent cardinal at his play?
Below is the painting Hugo references. Does seeing the painting help you understand the comparison he is making? (This annotation contains an image)
Part 1 Chapter 4
What has happened with the hosier in this scene and how does it relate to the theme of social class in the novel?
In the hoopla over the cardinal's entrance, the narrator and reader alike have forgotten about Gringoire. What does it tell you about Gringoire's character that being forgotten was "precisely what he feared"?
What keeps interrupting the play?
"Gringoire saw only profiles" means that he could only see the sides of people's faces because no one was watching the play anymore.
Part 1 Chapter 5
Based on context clues, in a "grinning match" people
This is how we are introduced to Quasimodo, the novel's protagonist. While other people are trying to contort their faces to win the grinning contest, he wins based on his natural ugliness, gaining the title of "Pope of Fools." Watch the video below to learn more about protagonists in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Has Hugo succeeded in arousing your sympathy for Quasimodo?
Notice how the people in the crowd seem to equate being ugly on the outside with being ugly on the inside. What do you think Hugo is trying to say with this?
In addition to being ugly and a hunchback, Quasimodo is also deaf. How do you think this affects how he interacts with others?
Quasimodo rings the bells at Notre Dame Cathedral. Watch a few minutes of the video of Notre Dame's bells being rung below. Can you see how this would have caused enough hearing damage to make Quasimodo deaf? (This annotation contains a video)
This comment tells the reader that in European medieval societies, beauty
Part 1 Chapter 6
La Esmeralda, the last character we are introduced to in the exposition, will become Quasimodo's love interest. Notice how the crowd mocks Quasimodo for his appearance, but when Esmeralda's name is mentioned, it produces "a magical effect" and everyone goes running to see her.
Part 2 Chapter 1
"The islet appeared to him in the shadow like a black mass" is an example of
Part 2 Chapter 2
Below is a painting of the Place de Greve in 1804. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2 Chapter 3
Watch the video below to see Esmerelda's dance from four different movie versions of the novel spanning almost sixty years. (This annotation contains a video)
How does the crowd react to Esmerelda's appearance as opposed to Quasimodo's? Are appearances still as important today?
Djali is Esmerelda's goat, whom she has trained to do various tricks for their street performances. Below is a painting of Esmerelda with Djali. (This annotation contains an image)
This highlighted passage reveals that Gringoire's character thinks that life is
The lady taunting Esmerelda is Sister Gudule, a bitter nun who hates gypsies. We will soon find out why.
Quasimodo's ugliness is now being celebrated as the Pope of Fools. The crowd is obviously celebrating him ironically, and the highlighted passage suggests that Quasimodo
Frollo, the priest, has been Quasimodo's surrogate father. Seeing Quasimodo at the center of the merry crowd celebrating his ugliness angers Frollo and he makes Quasimodo return home with him.
Part 2 Chapter 4
Why do you think Quasimodo is attempting to kidnap Esmerelda? Who do you think his companion is? Do you think that his companion could have put Quasimodo up to it?
"The warbler has fled, and the bat remains" is ______________ comparing Esmerelda and Quasimodo.
Part 2 Chapter 5
A gamin is a homeless boy, the French version of the boys who were called street urchins in America during this time. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2 Chapter 6
How would you describe the narration of the novel?
The Court of Miracles was the name of a famous Parisian slum. (This annotation contains an image)
How do you think Gringoire is feeling being dragged through the Court of Miracles by the three men? What do you think is happening?
Clopin Trouillefou is known as the King of the Thunes and is the de facto leader of all of the gypsies and vagabonds at the Court of Miracles. He is also the beggar who disrupted Gringoire's play this morning.
Why does Trouillefou want to hang Gringoire?
Gringoire is trying to talk his way out of his upcoming execution. Do you think it will work?
In the quote, "'Many thanks,' replied the poet," we can assume that Gringoire's tone here is
Does it seem odd to you that these vagabonds would have any laws, based on how savage this scene is?
Esmerelda saves Gringoire, making "her pretty little pout with her under lip." How does she feel about Gringoire? What do you think her motivation is?
Part 2 Chapter 7
Hugo is using a technique known as "breaking the fourth wall" here when he addresses the reader.
Why does Esmerelda marry Gringoire?
You will notice that all of the main characters fall in love with Esmerelda... but who does Esmerelda love?
The highlighted statement tells the reader that Esmerelda is
It is very interesting to note that all of the main characters in the novel are orphans: Gringoire, Quasimodo, Frollo and his brother Jehan. Esmerelda was also raised as an orphan, but holds out hope that she will find her parents.
Part 3 Chapter 1
This novel is a work of historical fiction. While the characters and storyline are fictional, Hugo educates the reader about Paris in the Middle Ages as well as in the late 19th century, as seen in the photograph below. (This annotation contains an image)
What has done the most danger to Notre Dame Cathedral, according to Hugo? How does this relate to the motif of architecture in the novel?
Hugo is outlining all of the architectural changes that have been made to the cathedral over the centuries. One of his main motivations in writing this novel was to try to save this building and other examples of gothic architecture in Paris. (This annotation contains an image)
Hugo says that the architectural style of Notre Dame Cathedral
Watch this short video tour of the cathedral below. Due to the attention paid to Notre Dame in this novel, the building was saved by a twenty year restoration project. (This annotation contains a video)
Which literary technique is Hugo using in the highlighted sentence?
Part 3 Chapter 2
Hugo writes that the most important thing about the cathedral is its views. You can see the entirety of medieval Paris from its towers. In many ways, the cathedral is at the heart of both Hugo's novel and Hugo's vision of Paris.
Why does Hugo devote so much time to describing both the cathedral and the city of Paris as it was in the 15th century?
There are many references to people being watched and followed in the novel. Quasimodo, especially, watches everything that goes on from the bird's-eye view offered by the cathedral's towers.
What does Hugo compare the city of Paris to in these paragraphs?
Here is a view of the Seine as it looks today. (This annotation contains an image)
All of the following cities have a rich, lengthy, and diverse architectural history similar to the Paris that Hugo is describing EXCEPT
Below is a drawing of the Place Royale in 1831, the year that Hugo is writing about it. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize what Hugo is saying about the city after the highlighted sentence.
Note the life cycle of the city that Hugo describes here: Roman Paris replaced by Gothic Paris, and so on.
What is Hugo asking the reader to do here?
Part 4 Chapter 1
Quasimodo Sunday is the first Sunday after Easter. Quasimodo also means half-formed.
It is apparent that the church staff who find the baby think he is
It looks as if the group is going to kill the baby Quasimodo until Frollo steps in and adopts him. Frollo is a very complex figure in this novel. He is both an antagonist and the only person who has ever shown Quasimodo any form of love.
Part 4 Chapter 2
What have you learned about Frollo's young life and upbringing?
Hugo tells of how Frollo came to raise his young brother after their parents died. This description sounds very similar to when he adopted Quasimodo.
Why does Frollo decide to adopt Quasimodo?
Part 4 Chapter 3
As Quasimodo grows up, his whole life is the cathedral, to such a degree that he becomes one with the building. He rarely leaves its walls and its bells become his greatest love.
"He was malicious, in fact, because he was savage; he was savage because he was ugly."How does this quote reflect the theme of beauty in the novel? What effect has Quasimodo's appearance had on his life?
This is a very famous quote from the novel. What do you think Hugo means by it?
What effect does Quasimodo have on the cathedral?
Part 4 Chapter 4
Quasimodo's loyalty for Frollo knows no bounds. The only loves in Quasimodo's life are Notre Dame and Frollo, even though Frollo is often cold with him. Since becoming deaf, Frollo is the only person alive with whom Quasimodo can communicate.
Part 4 Chapter 5
What are the two passions of Frollo's life?
Disappointed in how poorly Jehan is turning out, Frollo throws himself into learning about the occult, especially alchemy. Alchemists used rudimentary chemistry in their quest to turn other metals into gold. Below is a picture of a serpent biting its own tail, like the one that fascinates Frollo. These are things that run distinctly counter to the priesthood. (This annotation contains an image)
Notre Dame's priest being secretly engaged in socery is an example of
Part 4 Chapter 6
When Frollo and Quasimodo leave the cathedral together, they are teased. How is the taunt "there's a fellow whose soul is made like the other one's body" accurate?
Quiz One: Parts 1-4
Part 5 Chapter 1
How genuine is the relationship between Frollo and the doctor? Do you agree with Hugo's statement that "it is the same nowadays"?
Can you feel the competition between these two men here? Hugo is creating a tense and mysterious mood in this scene. Watch the video below to learn more about mood. (This annotation contains a video)
The phrase "Every ray of a star is a thread which is fastened to the head of a man" is an example of
Hermetics is anything relating to ancient occult traditions such as alchemy and astrology. Are you surprised to hear them speak of medicine together with these?
Think back to the video on tone and mood you watched earlier in this chapter. Frollo's tone in the highlighted passage could best be described as
Part 5 Chapter 2
What do you think Hugo means by "printing will kill architecture"? Read on to find out.
Why do you think Hugo includes these long passages on architecture and philosophy in the novel? What does he intend to contribute to the text here?
Hugo writes that until the time of the printing press, "architecture is the principal writing." He is referring to how the architecture of a time and place reflects the people, culture, and their heritage. Hugo fears that his modern world is losing that.
What does Hugo contend is the greatest event in history?
Hugo writes that as printing grows, architecture declines. People are now putting their thought and creativity into words rather than buildings.
"Assuredly, it is a construction which increases and piles up in endless spirals" is a metaphor about
Part 6 Chapter 1
In the beginning of this chapter, Hugo sets the scene for why Quasimodo will not be getting a fair trial for his attack on Esmerelda.
The court's auditor presiding over Quasimodo's case is also deaf. Do you think that means that he will have more empathy for Quasimodo? Why or why not?
Florian, being deaf, does not know that Quasimodo is not answering his questions because he is deaf and cannot hear them. The crowd has figured out what is going on and thinks it's hilarious, while Florian, still in the dark, assumes that people are laughing because the prisoner is being disrespectful.
Based on his description of this scene, it is apparent that Hugo thinks the medieval justice system to be
When Florian is informed that Quasimodo is deaf, Florian cannot hear what is being said and assumes that it is something bad, so he adds another hour of torture to Quasimodo's sentence. How does this whole scene make you feel for Quasimodo?
Part 6 Chapter 2
Below is a portrait of Madame Roland. (This annotation contains an image)
The purpose of the vault is for
Part 6 Chapter 3
Yes, these women are hurrying to watch Quasimodo be tortured. Can you believe that was a form of entertainment in medieval times?
What do the bourgeois women think of gypsies? Cite examples from the text to support your answer.
Keep in mind the beautiful satin booties that Paquette sewed for her baby. These will become significant later in the novel. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Paquette hate the gypsies?
Paquette went missing, assumed to be drowned, and the deformed foundling was left on the steps of Notre Dame. Do you have any idea who this could be?
Oudarde's attitude towards the recluse is one of
The recluse, Sister Gudule, turns out to be Paquette.
How does the child's voice affect Sister Gudule?
Sister Gudule is referring to the gypsies when she says Egyptians.
Part 6 Chapter 4
What is ironic about Quasimodo being sentenced to be tortured at the Place de Greve?
Jehan knows Quasimodo-- his older brother raised both boys when orphaned. Does this lack of sympathy on Jehan's part shock you?
What does Hugo think of the Middle Ages?
Quasimodo sees Frollo watching him being tortured and insulted by the crowd and does nothing. Remember that Quasimodo is there because Frollo most likely put him up to kidnapping Esmerelda. What does this say about Frollo's character?
Below is a still from the 1923 movie version of this scene. (This annotation contains an image)
Quasimodo is so touched by Esmerelda's act of kindness that he sheds the first tear of his life. How is Quasimodo's character changing?
Part 6 Chapter 5
Sister Gudule is cursing at Esmerelda, which scares the crowd since they all fear Sister Gudule.
Part 7 Chapter 1
When does Part Seven of the novel open?
Below is a picture of how bourgeois women like the ones in this scene would have dressed during this time. (This annotation contains an image)
Dame Aloise is delighted in thinking that the handsome Phoebus is courting her daughter, Fleur-de-Lys, but really he is telling Fleur-de-Lys that
Hugo wants the reader to know that Phoebus is handsome and, therefore, thought to be of good character according to society, but he really isn't. This goes along with the ideas of beauty and appearances in the novel.
The bourgeois girls want Phoebus to ask Esmerelda to join them. How do you predict the girls will treat Esmerelda?
"The welcome accorded to the gypsy was marvelously glacial" is another way of saying that the girls were incredibly cold to Esmerelda.
The tone of the bourgeois girls is one of
Watch the video below on conflict in literature. This scene between Esmerelda and the bourgeois girls is an example of external conflict. What kind of internal conflict do you think Esmerelda is having as a result of this external one? (This annotation contains a video)
What can we infer from the goat spelling out Phoebus' name?
Part 7 Chapter 2
Here we see again the theme of the cathedral as being the center of Paris, and a place where everything in Paris can be seen from. The picture below shows how Paris looks from the top of Notre Dame today. (This annotation contains an image)
We have seen Frollo watching Esmerelda and now he is asking Gringoire about her. What do you think Frollo's motives are?
What does Hugo imply about Frollo's character that his glance makes Gringoire feel "searched to the bottom of the soul"?
What does Esmerelda think of Frollo?
Here, the mood of the cathedral matches the tone of Frollo. This is interesting to note because earlier, Hugo had written about how Quasimodo was one with the cathedral. The cathedral takes on the qualities of those who inhabit it.
Part 7 Chapter 3
Whom is Quasimodo speaking to?
Part 7 Chapter 4
The Petit-Chatelet, shown below, was torn down at the end of the 18th century. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is the Rembrandt etching which Hugo alludes to. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the etching above help you to visualize what Jehan is seeing? Why do you think Hugo decided to include it in the description of Frollo's chamber?
Frollo doesn't realize that Jehan has entered his chamber and is delivering a monologue about how gold is the physical embodiment of sunlight. Frollo is obsessed with alchemy.
Jehan most likely thinks Frollo sounds like a
What does this exchange tell you about the relationship between the two brothers?
What is the meaning of the word that Jehan watched Frollo inscribe on the wall?
Is Jehan being honest with Frollo? Is he planning on doing charitable acts with Frollo's money?
Does it seem hypocritical to you that Frollo is lecturing Jehan about amending his ways? Is Frollo behaving the way a priest should?
Part 7 Chapter 5
Watch the video below on point of view. In the the third-person omniscient narration, Hugo gives us insights into many different characters. How does this help shape the novel? (This annotation contains a video)
Whom is Charmoule speaking of apprehending for witchcraft?
The spider's web and the fly that has been trapped are symbolic-- at first, Frollo thinks of Esmerelda as the fly that he, the spider, has trapped. Then he realizes that he is actually the fly, since she has ensnared him.
Part 7 Chapter 6
"My head is humming like a bell tower" is an example of
The phrase, "My head is humming like a bell tower," is an example of
Jehan is going to use Frollo's money to drink with Phoebus rather than use it for charitable acts, like he told his brother he would.
Frollo is following Jehan and Phoebus. What are some other instances of people being followed in the novel? How does this speak to the motif of observation?
Part 7 Chapter 7
A mantle refers to a style of cloak popular in the Middle Ages. Below is a photograph that would look similar to Frollo's disguise. (This annotation contains an image)
When an author addresses the reader like this, it is called
Note how Frollo's jealousy is so great that it takes over his physical being.
Phoebus agrees to
Why would Phoebus agree to this? He is definitely lacking in common sense.
Part 7 Chapter 8
How does the highlighted sentence add to the mood of tension in this scene?
While Esmerelda is so infatuated with Phoebus that she has trained her goat to spell out his name, he either doesn't know her name, or doesn't care enough to get it right! What does this say about the fate of their relationship?
Esmerelda's love is clearly not requited. The three main characters in the novel each have a weakness that will become their downfall. Is Esmerelda's weakness her love for Phoebus? What do you think Frollo's and Quasimodo's weaknesses are?
In the highlighted selection, Phoebus can best be described as
Frollo has stabbed Phoebus, but it is Esmerelda who is blamed.
Part 8 Chapter 1
The young woman on trial is
Here is another reference to the brutality that was commonplace in the Middle Ages.
Compare and contrast Esmerelda's trial to Quasimodo's. What do you think Hugo is trying to say about the justice system in medieval Europe?
Even while on trial for her life, Esmerelda thinks only of Phoebus.
Who is the second person on trial?
The judge is annoyed at Esmerelda because the torture he has sentenced her to is interfering with his dinnertime.
Part 8 Chapter 2
The tone of Esmerelda's torturers could best be described as
This is the second torture scene in the novel. While Quasimodo's torture was a punishment, Esmerelda's is to coerce a confession. Have you noticed, however, that Frollo is the person responsible for both of the crimes.
The torturer proclaims, "Behold justice enlightened at last!" What is ironic about this statement?
Part 8 Chapter 3
Hugo is breaking through the fourth wall again.
Part 8 Chapter 4
Yet again, we see the ___________ of architecture in the novel.
Poor Esmerelda. Both she and Quasimodo are treated so unfairly by society.
When she remarks, "The day belongs to everyone, why do they give me only night?" Esmerelda is commenting on
Frollo is so obsessed with Esmerelda that he is unable to see how his actions have affected her. He is surprised to learn that she thinks he hates her after he has been menacingly following her around and stabs her lover.
How does Frollo describe his feelings for Esmerelda?
Frollo, while confessing his love, tells Esmerelda he was at her trial. If he truly loved her, do you think he would have let her confess to and be tortured for a crime that he committed?
In this section, Frollo's tone can best be described as
Part 8 Chapter 5
Here we see the baby bootie again. It won't be the last time, either! In this passage, Hugo talks about all of the wonderful and horrible things that a baby bootie can symbolize.
Hugo writes that a mother's grief
Sister Gudule says that she hates Esmerelda more than anything and is delighted to hear that she will be hanged.
Part 8 Chapter 6
Phoebus is not dead, he has been in hiding! When he thinks back to his affair with Esmerelda, he feels "ashamed as a fox who has been caught by a fowl." What does Hugo mean by this simile?
The medieval justice system is so awful that Esmerelda is sentenced to be put to death for the murder of someone who isn't dead. What does it say about Phoebus that he has not come forward out of embarrassment?
This quote highlights the central idea of _________ in the novel.
In the Catholic tradition, a confessor is a priest to whom one confesses their sins.
Phoebus' response to discovering the witch to be hanged is Esmerelda is to
What emotions do you think Esmerelda is feeling at this point in the story? Cite examples from the text in your answer.
Frollo is still trying to woo Esmerelda even as he is presiding over her execution for a crime that he committed.
Why does Esmerelda faint?
The two men who have professed their love to Esmerelda do nothing to save her, but Quasimodo, who was so touched by her act of tenderness towards him when he was on the pillory, does. Quasimodo's brave act in saving Esmerelda is so profound that, momentarily, it makes him beautiful.
Quiz Two: Parts 5-8
Part 9 Chapter 1
This description here is the exact opposite of what you would hope from a priest.
Do you feel any sympathy for Frollo or do you think he has brought his misery on himself? Why?
Watch the video below and note the imagery Hugo uses here. Does the writing help you to more vividly picture this scene where Frollo moves miserably and aimlessly around the city? (This annotation contains a video)
Hugo writes about the merry young man to _____________ Frollo's present circumstance.
Do you remember when Frollo left Jehan drunk in the street to follow Phoebus? Now it is Frollo's turn to be left in the street by Jehan. It is also ironic that Jehan thinks that Frollo is "a fellow who has been leading a jolly life, to-day."
This is not the first time we've seen the church come alive to reflect the moods of the people who inhabit it. In the highlighted paragraph, Hugo is using ____________ to describe the church.
The Book of Job is a book from the Bible that addresses the question "Why do the righteous suffer?" (This annotation contains an image)
Frollo thinks that he and Esmerelda are both spirits, but they are very much living people. What do you think about Frollo's level of sanity in this chapter?
Part 9 Chapter 2
Hugo writes that ____________________ was a common thing in the Middle Ages.
Quasimodo has saved Esmerelda's life and they will be living in the cathedral together. If Esmerelda leaves, she will still be executed. This is all still part of the rising action of the book. We are fast approaching the climax. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 9 Chapter 3
Why does Quasimodo retreat even though Esmerelda is asking him to come closer?
In keeping with the novel's central ideas of beauty and appearances, Quasimodo compares his ugliness to Esmerelda's beauty. They are both beautiful on the inside.
Part 9 Chapter 4
Esmerelda's metaphorical blindness is similar to Quasimodo's physical deafness. What is Esmerelda blind to? Reference the highlighted paragraph in your answer.
In keeping with the motif of observation in the novel, Quasimodo wishes he were one of the gargoyle statues in Notre Dame so he could constantly watch over Esmerelda unnoticed.
The highlighted statement reflects the central idea of ____________ in the novel.
Quasimodo's deafness greatly hinders him in this scene. First, because he is deaf he cannot tell that he has been waiting outside of Phoebus' and Fluer-de-Lys' wedding festivities. Secondly, his deafness is inhibiting him from communicating effectively with Phoebus here.
Quasimodo feels guilty because
These vases with flowers that Quasimodo leaves for Esmerelda are very symbolic. The beautiful crystal vase is filled with dead flowers, while the ugly clay vase is filled with beautiful flowers. The crystal vase symbolizes Phoebus, who is beautiful on the outside, but ugly on the inside, and the other vase symbolizes Quasimodo, who is ugly on the outside, but pure and beautiful on the inside.
Which flower does Esmerelda choose to wear? What are the broader symbolic implications of this choice?
Part 9 Chapter 5
Frollo spends all of his time shut in the tower spying on Esmerelda, and becoming jealous of Quasimodo for his loyalty to her.
Part 9 Chapter 6
What saves Esmerelda from Frollo's attempted rape?
In the darkness and being deaf, Quasimodo does not realize it is Frollo who was attacking Esmerelda. Once he discovers he is about to kill his master, his loyalty for Frollo overpowers his love and loyalty for Esmerelda. Quasimodo hands Frollo the knife and tells Frollo to kill him before he goes back in to take advantage of Esmerelda.
Part 10 Chapter 1
Which of the following characters does Gringoire think about the most often?
Hugo revisits the motif of architecture here in Gringoire's speech.
Which character trait of Frollo's does the highlighted question reveal?
Below is a close-up of Notre Dame's flying buttresses. The buttresses were not part of the cathedral's original design. They were added during construction to support the walls which were showing signs of stress. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you trust that Frollo really went to Gringoire because he wants to save Esmerelda? Why or why not?
Even though Frollo is supposed to be a man of God, we keep seeing him compared to the devil. Hugo wants the reader to be aware of the large gap between Frollo's character and what is expected of his position.
Part 10 Chapter 2
"Both vexed and content, like a dog who had been stoned with marrow bones" is an example of
Part 10 Chapter 3
We now find ourselves back in the Court of Miracles presided over by Clopin Trouillefou, the King of Thunes. The last time we were here, Esmerelda saved Gringoire's life by agreeing to marry him.
What are the vagabonds preparing to do?
Hugo is using Gringoire's fascination with the fire here to foreshadow what will happen during the siege. Watch the video below on foreshadowing in literature to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 10 Chapter 4
How is Hugo building tension in the beginning of this chapter? Cite the actions of Frollo, the thoughts of Quasimodo, and the language used by the author in your answer.
Hugo explains that sieges such as this one were not uncommon in medieval Paris. Feudalism gave landowners powers of governance so there was no central police force. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Quasimodo not recognize that the vagabonds are there to save Esmerelda?
The candle flames at the windows as the people of Paris wake up to watch what is happening at the cathedral reflect the scene from the previous chapter of Gringoire watching the embers of the fire against the black hearth.
"... before Marie's voice could have uttered a single clamor..."Who is Marie?
Quasimodo is doing an unbelievable job defending the cathedral from the mob. This is another example of his great loyalty.
Who do the vagabonds think is defending the church? Why?
Hugo inserts some comic relief here. In the middle of the siege, Jehan still has the ability to brag about his way with women!
What happens to Jehan?
Part 10 Chapter 5
The Bastille was a fortress in Paris most notable for becoming a symbol for the Republic during the French Revolution. (This annotation contains an image)
At a pivotal moment during the siege, Hugo switches the setting to
Hugo was an outspoken critic of the monarchy. He was born shortly after the French Revolution and held on to their ideals about the Republic. As you read this, can you sense that Hugo is critical of the king? (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Hugo chose to shift the setting from the cathedral to the king's chamber during the climax of the novel?
This scene, in which the king inspects the workmanship of a cage while ignoring the plaintive cries of the prisoner trapped inside of it, is meant to highlight both the brutality of the times and the insensitivity of the monarchy.
In this highlighted paragraph, the king's tone can best be described as
Louis XI ruled France from 1461-1483. He was known as being devious and earned the nickname the Universal Spider. (This annotation contains an image)
When told about the uprising by the cathedral, the king seems
In the world of this novel, everyone is connected somehow. Thus, it is no surprise that Gringoire was picked up out of the crowd and is now speaking to the king.
What is the king's logic in releasing Gringoire?
This is an example of an idiom. An idiom is a common phrase that has a literal meaning that is different from its figurative one. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the king actually happy about the fire burning by Notre Dame? (Hint: the answer has to do with feudalism versus central power.)
Here Hugo is foreshadowing the storming of the Bastille in 1789 during the French Revolution. (This annotation contains an image)
When the king learns the exact nature of the rebellion, his response is one of
Louis XI orders Esmerelda to be hanged, despite the sanctuary. He then drops to his knees and prays for forgiveness for violating the holiness of the church's sanctuary law, promising that he will only do it this once.
Part 10 Chapter 6
Use the Define feature to look up the word predestination. The best antonym for predestination is
Part 10 Chapter 7
Even when all hope for his own safety seems lost, Quasimodo can only think of Esmerelda. Besides Quasimodo, there are three other men who have professed love for her. They have all been in situations where they could risk their lives to save hers. Quasimodo is the only one of the four men whose love stands up to the ultimate test.
Disney released an animated version of this novel in 1996. Watch the trailer below and then answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Were you surprised at how different the movie looks from the book you have been reading? Why do you think Disney altered the story?
Part 11 Chapter 1
Gringoire is more excited to see Djali than he is Esmerelda!
Based on the highlighted sentence, who do you think the cloaked stranger might be?
Gringoire is describing Jehan's death. How does the stranger's response give him away to Esmerelda?
Hugo still has not told us the identity of the stranger. Based on context clues, Esmerelda is most likely alone in the boat with
The image comparing Esmerelda to "a Holy Virgin at the foot of the cross" means that she is an innocent who will likely be sacrificed.
Who does Frollo blame for Jehan's death?
Sister Gudule said previously that she hates Esmerelda more than anything because Esmerelda is the same age as her daughter, who was stolen by gypsies, would have been.
What has happened between Sister Gudule and Esmerelda? Did you see this coming?
This is a happy reunion, but is it too late for the pair?
Which of the following words best describes Sister Gudule in the highlighted paragraph?
Sister Gudule, a raving lunatic for most of the novel, pulls it together enough to fool the guards. She knows it all depends on her.
Why do the guards believe Sister Gudule?
Esmerelda's blind love for Phoebus becomes her undoing, just as Quasimodo's deafness became his.
The climax of the novel began when the vagabonds attacked the cathedral and lasts through the night. Now, the dawn is coming. What do you predict for the rest of the story's climax?
Can you feel Sister Gudule's desperation and misery in this scene?
Based on the sentence, "The executioner who was shedding large tears upon her, drop by drop, was about to bear her away in his arms," the mood of this section can best be described as
Part 11 Chapter 2
Here Hugo writes of another example where Quasimodo's deafness leads to misunderstanding.
This selection highlights which character trait of Quasimodo's?
A balustrade is a low railing on a roof, balcony, or bridge. The photograph below shows one of Notre Dame's balustrades. (This annotation contains an image)
Earlier in this chapter, Quasimodo is torn between his loyalty for the man who raised him and his love for the only person who had ever shown him any kindness. What must be going through Quasimodo's mind as he pushes Frollo?
Quasimodo has now lost everyone that he has ever loved. This is such a tragic ending.
Part 11 Chapter 3
Now we come to the novel's falling action: Hugo checks in on all of the minor characters. The next chapter is the final chapter and it contains the resolution.
Part 11 Chapter 4
What happened to Quasimodo?
Quiz Three: Parts 9-11
Quasimodo's body is found embracing Esmerelda's inside her coffin. It is interesting to note that the novel ends with Quasimodo's body turning to dust, yet the cathedral walls of Notre Dame remain.