Fleur de Lys in the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame doesn’t have a big part, in fact she has a very small part as she in only in one scene and is only discussed in another. So she appears less in this movie than she does in the 1923 version. So why is she getting her own post?
Because I think she might be the most interesting and complex character in this movie. Which is a little sad.
At first glance, Fleur de Lys might be consider a bitch. She baits Phoebus into recognizing Esmeralda and then orders him to make her leave the public square to prove that he loves her. Of course he uses that chance to arrange a meeting with Esmeralda so the joke is on Fleur de Lys.
In her brief scene we know a few things about her, she loves Phoebus but is insecure and masks it but acting haughty, which I think is relatable. This also makes it believable when her mother says that she was deeply hurt by Phoebus‘ wanton behavior but that she also longs to see him. She is self-realized enough to know she is jealous but instead of letting it consume her, she confronts Phoebus. This make her not passive . Though her affections for Phoebus are a bit naive as she does believe that he chased Esmeralda as proof of his love and not used it as arranging a meeting.
Perhaps being surrounded by characters that are less than 3-dimensional makes her seems more relatable and interesting than she is meant to be. Though maybe the beauty of her characterization is that she is only one scene so the film couldn’t muddle it. However for me she is most likable and the most real character in the movie.
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