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The principal characters The "learned ladies" and their circle* Philaminte, the mother.She directs the little household "academy" and it is she who has discovered Trissotin.
And Philaminte, supported by Henriette's aunt and sister, wishes her to marry Trissotin, a "scholar" and mediocre poet with big teeth, who has these three women completely in his thrall.
For these three ladies are "learned"; their obsession in life is learning and culture of the most pretentious kind, and Trissotin is their special protégé and the fixture of their literary salon.
But Belise here interrupts, saying that he is wrong and in fact Clitandre loves her; Ariste responds by mocking her and pointing out she is always inventing suitors for herself.
Belise leaves; in Scene 4, Chrysale consents to the marriage; when Ariste advises that he talk to his wife about it, Chrysale replies there is nothing to discuss and that he makes the decisions in this household.
Philaminte explains in Scene 4 why she has forced Henriette to stay; she announces her intention that Henriette marry Trissotin.
Armande congratulates Henriette in Scene 5, and reminds her of her duty to obey their mother.Clitandre knows he must flatter Philaminte to gain her consent, but finds her "studies" foolish and cannot hide this.He meets Henriette's aunt Belise in Scene 4 and attempts to speak with her about his wish to marry Henriette, but Belise imagines that this is merely a subtle way of declaring that he loves her (Belise) and ignores what he is actually trying to say.She replies that he betrayed her by falling in love with Henriette instead of continuing to love her (Armande) platonically.Philaminte concludes the conversation by repeating her intention that Henriette marry Trissotin.His quarrel with Trissotin over the quality of Trissotin's poetry reveals the latter's pettiness. He claims to be the master of the house and affirms that women should occupy themselves in the management of the household and nothing else; however, he in fact gives way to his wife when taking decisions. Brother of Chrysale, he is angered by the way Chrysale allows himself to be intimidated by his wife, and gives his support to Clitandre and Henriette. At the beginning of the play, Philaminte sends her away because of a monstrous crime: her bad grammar.The role of Chrysale was played by Molière himself at the first performances. She is the only woman in the family who is not one of the "learned ladies"; she prefers romantic love to their pedantries. She returns at the end and speaks up for Clitandre and Henriette.Act IIIScene 1 opens at the ladies' literary salon, where Trissotin is amusing and instructing them.Henriette wanders in in Scene 2, and Philaminte forces her to stay and listen to Trissotin's reading of his own poems.The weak Chrysale does not know how to reply; the ladies leave.When Ariste returns in Scene 9, Chrysale confesses his weakness to him, but resolves that he will no longer be ruled by his wife.