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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Quotes

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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
by
Victor Hugo
148,498 ratings,
3.99
average rating, 3,760 reviews

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Quotes

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“Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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“I wanted to see you again, touch you, know who you were, see if I would find you identical with the ideal image of you which had remained with me and perhaps shatter my dream with the aid of reality.

-Claude Frollo ”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

tags:
claude ,
frollo ,
obsession
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“When you get an idea into your head you find it in everything.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“Spira, spera.

(breathe, hope)”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“Do you know what friendship is?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ replied the gypsy; ‘it is to be brother and sister; two souls which touch without mingling, two fingers on one hand.’
‘And love?’ pursued Gringoire.
‘Oh! love!’ said she, and her voice trembled, and her eye beamed. ‘That is to be two and to be but one. A man and a woman mingled into one angel. It is heaven.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“…mothers are often fondest of the child which has caused them the greatest pain.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“A one-eyed man is much more incomplete than a blind man, for he knows what it is that’s lacking.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“He reached for his pocket, and found there, only reality”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“One drop of wine is enough to redden a whole glass of water.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
drop ,
glass ,
hugo ,
notre-dame ,
victor ,
wine
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“‎”Dost thou understand? I love thee!” he cried again.”What love!” said the unhappy girl with a shudder.He resumed,–“The love of a damned soul.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“You would have imagined her at one moment a maniac, at another a queen.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“He therefore turned to mankind only with regret. His cathedral was enough for him. It was peopled with marble figures of kings, saints and bishops who at least did not laugh in his face and looked at him with only tranquillity and benevolence. The other statues, those of monsters and demons, had no hatred for him – he resembled them too closely for that. It was rather the rest of mankind that they jeered at. The saints were his friends and blessed him; the monsters were his friends and kept watch over him. He would sometimes spend whole hours crouched before one of the statues in solitary conversation with it. If anyone came upon him then he would run away like a lover surprised during a serenade.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
quasimodo
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“He left her. She was dissatisfied with him. He had preferred to incur her anger rather than cause her pain. He had kept all the pain for himself.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
pain
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“The saints were his friends, and blessed him; the monsters were his friends, and guarded him.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
friendship-and-love ,
loneliness
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“Love is like a tree: it shoots of itself; it strikes it’s roots deeply into our whole being, and frequently continues to put forth green leaves over a heart in ruins. And there is this unaccountable circumstance attending it, that the blinder the passion the more tenacious it is. Never is it stronger than when it is most unreasonable.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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“At the moment when her eyes closed, when all feeling vanished in her, she thought that she felt a touch of fire imprinted on her lips, a kiss more burning than the red-hot iron of the executioner.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
classic-literature
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“His judgement demonstrates that one can be a genius and understand nothing of an art that is not one’s own.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
art
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“To a gargoyle on the ramparts of Notre Dame as Esmeralda rides off with Gringoire Quasimodo says. “Why was I not made of stone like thee?”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
what-love-is
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“If he had had all Peru in his pocket, he would certainly have given it to this dancer; but Gringoire had not Peru in his pocket; and besides, America was not yet discovered. (p. 66)”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
love-at-first-sight
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“The owl goes not into the nest of the lark.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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“The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation’s effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius…”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
architecture
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“Large, heavy, ragged black clouds hung like crape hammocks beneath the starry cope of the night. You would have said that they were the cobwebs of the firmament.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

tags:
book-viii ,
chapter-iv
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“But alas, if I have not maintained my victory, it is God’s fault for not making man and the devil of equal strength.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
frollo ,
hunchback-of-notre-dame ,
quasimodo ,
victor-hugo
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“…in better company, they found among all those hideous carcasses two skeletons, one of which held the other in its embrace. One of these skeletons, which was that of a woman, still had a few strips of a garment which had once been white, and around her neck was to be seen a string of adrezarach beads with a little silk bag ornamented with green glass, which was open and empty. These objects were of so little value that the executioner had probably not cared for them. The other, which held this one in a close embrace, was the skeleton of a man. It was noticed that his spinal column was crooked, his head seated on his shoulder blades, and that one leg was shorter than the other. Moreover, there was no fracture of the vertebrae at the nape of the neck, and it was evident that he had not been hanged. Hence, the man to whom it had belonged had come thither and had died there. When they tried to detach the skeleton which he held in his embrace, he fell to dust.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“by making himself a priest made himself a demon.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
frollo
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“Admirable, however, as the Paris of the present day appears to you, build up and put together again in imagination the Paris of the fifteenth century; look at the light through that surprising host of steeples, towers, and belfries; pour forth amid the immense city, break against the points of its islands, compress within the arches of the bridges, the current of the Seine, with its large patches of green and yellow, more changeable than a serpent’s skin; define clearly the Gothic profile of this old Paris upon an horizon of azure, make its contour float in a wintry fog which clings to its innumerable chimneys; drown it in deep night, and observe the extraordinary play of darkness and light in this sombre labyrinth of buildings; throw into it a ray of moonlight, which shall show its faint outline and cause the huge heads of the towers to stand forth from amid the mist; or revert to that dark picture, touch up with shade the thousand acute angles of the spires and gables, and make them stand out, more jagged than a shark’s jaw, upon the copper-coloured sky of evening. Now compare the two.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

tags:
buildings ,
description ,
houses ,
paris ,
scenery
23 likes
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“And if you wish to receive of the ancient city an impression with which the modern one can no longer furnish you, climb–on the morning of some grand festival, beneath the rising sun of Easter or of Pentecost–climb upon some elevated point, whence you command the entire capital; and be present at the wakening of the chimes. Behold, at a signal given from heaven, for it is the sun which gives it, all those churches quiver simultaneously. First come scattered strokes, running from one church to another, as when musicians give warning that they are about to begin. Then, all at once, behold!–for it seems at times, as though the ear also possessed a sight of its own,–behold, rising from each bell tower, something like a column of sound, a cloud of harmony. First, the vibration of each bell mounts straight upwards, pure and, so to speak, isolated from the others, into the splendid morning sky; then, little by little, as they swell they melt together, mingle, are lost in each other, and amalgamate in a magnificent concert. It is no longer anything but a mass of sonorous vibrations incessantly sent forth from the numerous belfries; floats, undulates, bounds, whirls over the city, and prolongs far beyond the horizon the deafening circle of its oscillations.

Nevertheless, this sea of harmony is not a chaos; great and profound as it is, it has not lost its transparency; you behold the windings of each group of notes which escapes from the belfries. ”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“There are plenty who regard a wall behind which something is happening as a very curious thing.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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“When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door.”



Victor Hugo,


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

novel by Hugo
Written By:

  • Karl Lampl
See Article History
This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. Learn more .

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Alternative Title:
“Notre-Dame de Paris”

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, historical novel by Victor Hugo , published in French as Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre DameCharles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), directed by William Dieterle.© 1939 RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

SUMMARY: The novel is set in 15th-century Paris and powerfully evokes medieval life in the city during the reign of Louis XI . Quasimodo is the hunchbacked horribly deformed bell ringer at the cathedral of Notre-Dame . Once beaten and pilloried by an angry mob, he has fallen in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, who took pity on him during this ordeal. When the scheming archdeacon Frollo, who is also obsessed with Esmeralda, discovers that she favours Captain Phoebus, he stabs the captain, and Esmeralda is accused of the crime. Quasimodo attempts to shelter Esmeralda in the cathedral, but she eventually hangs; in his grief and despair, Quasimodo throws Frollo from the cathedral tower. Later, two skeletons are found in Esmeralda’s tomb—that of a hunchback embracing that of a woman.

DETAIL: Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a historical novel in the tradition of Scott ’s Ivanhoe . It presents a vivid tableau of life in fifteenth-century Paris, a city teeming with noble festivities, grotesque revelries, mob uprisings, and public executions, all of which take place around Notre-Dame. Hugo devotes two chapters to the description of the Gothic church, bringing the reader into the very soul of Notre Dame. From the dizzying heights of its stony gaze, he offers the reader a subjective view of Paris. The word anankhe (“fate”), etched on one of the walls, reveals the driving force of the gothic plot.

Quasimodo’s fate is sealed when he is abandoned at birth by his mother on the steps of Notre Dame. Adopted by the Archdeacon Claude Frollo, Quasimodo becomes bell ringer of the tower, hiding his grotesque, hunchbacked figure away from prying Parisian eyes. Frollo is consumed by forbidden lust for the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, who dances on the square below the cathedral . He convinces Quasimodo to kidnap her, but his attempts are foiled by the captain of the King’s Archers, Phoebus, who also falls for Esmeralda. Quasimodo is imprisoned for the crime, and is abused and humiliated by his captors. After a particularly brutal flogging, he is tended to by Esmeralda, who gives him water. From this point on, Quasimodo is hopelessly devoted to her. With all three characters under her spell, a dramatic tale of love and deceit ensues. The love-obsessed Frollo spies on Phoebus and Esmeralda, stabbing the former in a jealous rage. Esmeralda is arrested and condemned to death for his murder, and, despite a brave rescue attempt by Quasimodo, is later hanged. Quasimodo, seeing Esmeralda hanging lifeless from the gallows, cries out, “There is all I loved.” The theme of redemption through love struck a universal chord.

Karl Lampl

Learn More in these related Britannica articles:

  • Kedleston Hall

    Western architecture: France
    …when he published in 1831 Notre-Dame de Paris, the explicit purpose of which was the glorification of Gothic as a national and Catholic style of architecture. But it was the Protestant statesman François Guizot who first gave real impetus to those ideas promoted by Hugo. In 1830 he inaugurated the…
  • Hundred Years' War

    French literature: The historical novel
    …Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris (1831; The Hunchback of Notre Dame). In it Hugo re-created an atmosphere of vivid, colourful, and intense 15th-century life, associating with it a plea for the preservation of Gothic architecture as the bearer, before the coming of the book, of the cultural heritage and sensibilities of…
  • Victor Hugo, photograph by Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon).

    Victor Hugo: Success (1830–51)
    …1831 with his historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris (Eng. trans. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), an evocation of life in medieval Paris during the reign of Louis XI. The novel condemns a society that, in the persons of Frollo the archdeacon and Phoebus the soldier, heaps misery on the hunchback Quasimodo…
  • Quasimodo
    >The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831). He became a classic symbol of a courageous heart beneath a grotesque exterior.…
  • Dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell for the first edition of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, published by the Hogarth Press in 1927.

    novel
    Novel, an invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience, usually through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting. Within its broad framework, the genre of the novel has encompassed an extensive range of types…

More About The Hunchback of Notre Dame

5 references found in Britannica articles

Assorted References

    • character of Quasimodo
      • In Quasimodo
    • contribution to Gothic Revival
      • In Western architecture: France
    • discussed in biography
      • In Victor Hugo: Success (1830–51)
    • film adaptation
      • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • place in French literature
      • In French literature: The historical novel

    Article History

    Article Contributors



    Related Topics
    • Victor Hugo
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • Novel
    • French literature
    • Quasimodo
    • Historical novel



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