The conclusion of Novel Princess De Cleves as a Victory

The conclusion of Novel Princess De Cleves as a Victory



The conclusion of Novel Princess De Cleves as a Victory

The conclusion of the novel princess de cleves by Madame de lafayette has sparked many controversies since its publication, the story’s centralized around a 17th century setting is about two star crossed lovers tragedy when a princess is forced to marry Prince de Clèvesm a man she does not love and is more than twice her age, the twist is that she takes her position seriously and plays the part of as a wife till the end, even though she is secretly in love with Duc de Nemours and due to this they have to hide their love which would cause a controversy if revealed. In an overview it can be said that the story from her perspective princes de cleves emerges the victor since she efficiently managed to maintain her virtue and lived on as a married woman out of obligation, even though it lacked any sense of happiness and fulfillment till the end. It is in this regard that this article addresses the different aspect of the main characters sense of duty, belief and rational thinking that help support the above claim.

Throughout the story the main character has been victorious even when tempted as depicted by her desire to remain virtuous through her beliefs, to not give in to her infidelity even though she was tempted. The fact that she revealed the truth to her husband that she was attracted to another man and went ahead to find ways of overcoming the infidelity desire and not letting it control her is one aspect that reflects well on her personal beliefs, which forbid infidelity. Even though she was still attracted to Monsieur de Nemours she still had a sense of duty to remain loyal to her husband even after death and this eventually forced her to enter a convent as a way of preventing any infidelity this environment of self-imposed purgatory forces her to be virtuous and is another achievement on her part since she managed to overcome the temptation of cheating. The belief theme in the story helps demonstrate the princess situation when she chose the option of entering the convent in that she believed that the right choices should not lead to unhappiness and in this aspect even though it made her virtually unhappy she made the difficult choice which was the right one and this is a victory for her since she managed to uphold her obligation as a married woman till the end.

The princess De Cleves advanced form of Cartesian thinking which she effectively applied to her everyday actions helped her reason her way out of difficult situations, and through its application she managed to work through her emotions while not leaving room for them to control her actions unlike other characters in the book, and this controlled sense of emotion and actions helped her not act rash since, she was aware how society harshly views the nobility’s actions and as such had to maintain perfect control even though she had problems and this acts in itself is as a central theme demonstrated throughout the novel. An example of this is shown by Monsieur de Nemours when he stated that, At least, Sire, if I embark on such an extravagant adventure on your Majesty’s advice and in you service, I beg you to keep it secret until success justifies my ambition in the public eye (9) which shows how he was more worried more about the public and aristocrats opinions of him as compared to his view or even his proposed wife’s opinions. These rush actions made Nemours by the end of the novel become one of the least rush characters as shown by his emotions overtaking his senses as he openly confessed his feelings for de cleves.

The self- centered actions of the various characters in the Princesse De Cleves only help magnify her victorious aspect since they magnify the honorable and virtuous aspects of the character in the literature by stressing on the fact that she is the only character that demonstrates any rational thinking in the story. Princess de cleves in the entire story demonstrated that before she takes any action she thinks things through, and as a result she was regarded with honor in the society, which is the highest possible reward. She also demonstrated this by the aspect that she used rational thinking to justify and review on how she unfairly reacted and treated her husband. This is seen when she asked herself why she had done something so perilous, and she concluded that she had embarked on it almost without thinking. The singular nature of such a confession, for which she could find no parallel, brought home to her all the risks it entailed. (98).

Her honorable virtues are depicted by the fact that even though she had the infidelity issue in the background and the hard choices she had to make about her happiness and future she still took the time to rationally question her actions and finally chose something that did not favor her happiness but helped uphold her status and pride in the society as seen when she finally ended up in a convent, this means that she chose to stay alone as shown in the last line of the novel that states her life, which was quite short, left inimitable examples of virtue;(156).Even the author applauds the fact that de cleve strong character helped her effectively manage and control her emotions and remain virtuous till the end through rational thinking which compared to the other characters in the same surrounding was a remarkable achievement through this analysis and thinking it is clear that the escape from the infidelity maintains the victorious aspect of the main character.

The 17th century much admired concept of good and family upbringing is effectively demonstrated by the fact that the main character chose the path of solitude over engaging in infidelity and she accredits this to her personal beliefs, this gradually influences the reader’s previous view of the main character as she demonstrates her maturity through her sound judgments and composure, however not much emphasis should be placed on the Christian morality since her decisions and later actions are not based on her religion or Christian conscience telling her it is a sin to engage in infidelity but mostly on the aspect that her reasoning warned her on what the possible repercussions of her actions would be which was most likely the loss of her self-respect, and honor in the society.

In conclusion the La Princesse de Cleves novel can be said to be more of a victory since it has helped demonstrate the different aspects and hard decisions the main character had to deal with to uphold her honor and beliefs in their society. The fact that even though she ended up lonely she made the right decisions eventually and that is a positive aspect on her part. In addition the novel reflects the often ignored struggle between duty and love in many fundamentally good people in today’s society, and in addition this novels highlighted aspect makes the literature remain relevant even today when many females are at the mercy of the increased immoral male characters.


Madame de Lafayette (1925) The Princesse de Cleves. Cambridge University, Press