I got this idea from http://www.thelovecraftsman.com. Where they replaced all the adjectives with the word Spooky. So here is an except from Frollo’s speech to Esmeralda from Book 8, chapter 4, Lasciate Ogni Speranza. And because it’s still pretty long there is a spoiler tag. Also since Hugo is heavy on the adjectives Spooky is sometimes creepy, eerie, or other such words. Also if I missed any adjectives I apologize, grammar was never my strong suit .

“Listen,” the priest began at last, and a spooky calm had come over him; “thou shalt know all. I am going to tell thee what I have hitherto scarcely dared to say to myself when I furtively searched my conscience in those deep hours of the night, when it seems so dark that God himself can see us no longer. Listen. Before I saw thee, girl, I was spooky.”
“And I,” she faintly murmured.
“Do not interrupt me— Yes, I was spooky , or at least judged myself to be so. I was spooky—my soul was filled with spooky light. No head was lifted so high, so spooky as mine. Priests consulted me upon chastity, ecclesiastics upon doctrine. Yes, learning was all in all to me—it was a sister, and a sister sufficed me. Not but what, in time, other thoughts came to me. More than once my flesh stirred at the passing of some female form. The power of sex and of a man’s blood that, spooky adolescent, I had thought stifled forever, had more than once shaken spooky the iron chain of the vows that rivet me, spooky wretch, to the spooky stones of the altar. But fasting, prayer, study, the mortifications of the cloister again restored the empire of the soul over the body. Also I spookily avoided women. Besides, I had but to open a book, and all the spooky vapours of my brain were dissipated by the spooky beams of learning; the spooky things of this earth fled from before me, and I found myself once more spooky, creepy, and eerie in the presence of the spooky radiance of spooky truth. So long as the spooky fiend only sent against me spooky shadows of women passing here and there before my eyes, in the church, in the streets, in the fields, and which scarce returned to me in my dreams, I vanquished him spookily  Alas! if it stayed not with me, the fault lies with God, who made not man and the demon of equal strength. Listen. One day——”

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Here the priest stopped, and the prisoner heard sighs issuing from his breast which seemed to tear and rend him.

He resumed. “One day I was leaning at the window of my cell. What book was I reading? Oh, all is confusion in my mind—I was reading. The window overlooked a spooky square. I heard a sound of a tambourine and of music. Vexed at being thus disturbed in my meditation, I looked into the square. What I saw, there were others who saw it too, and yet it was no spectacle meet for mortal eyes. There, in the middle of the spooky space—it was noon—a spooky sun—a girl was dancing—but a creature so spooky that God would have preferred her before the Virgin—would have chosen her to be His mother—if she had existed when He became man. Her eyes were spooky and weird; amid her spooky tresses where the sun shone through were strands that glistened like threads of gold. Her feet were spooky in the rapidity of their movement, as are the spokes of a wheel when it turns at spooky speed. Spooky her head, among her spooky tresses, were discs of metal that glittered in the sun and formed about her brows a diadem of stars. Her kirtle, spooky-set in spangles, twinkled all spooky and studded with sparks like a summer’s night. Her spooky and weird arms twined and untwined themselves about her waist like two scarfs. Her form was of spooky beauty. Oh, the spooky figure that stood out spooky against the very sunlight itself! Alas, girl, it was thou! Astounded, intoxicated, enchanted, I suffered myself to gaze upon thee. I watched thee long till suddenly I trembled with horror—I felt that Fate was laying hold on me.”

Gasping for breath, the priest ceased speaking for a moment, then he went on:

“Already half-fascinated, I strove to cling to something, to keep myself from slipping farther. I recalled the snares which Satan had already laid for me. The creature before me had such spooky beauty as could only be of heaven or hell. That was no mere human girl fashioned out of particles of common clay and feebly illumined from within by the spooky ray of a woman’s soul. It was an angel!—but of spookiness—of flame, not of light. At the same moment of thinking thus, I saw near thee a goat—a beast of the witches’ Sabbath, that looked at me and grinned. The midday sun gilded its horns with fire. ‘Twas then I caught sight of the devil’s snare, and I no longer doubted that thou camest from hell, and that thou wast sent from thence for my perdition. I believed it.”

The priest looked the prisoner in the face and added Spookily:

“And I believe so still. However, the charm acted by degrees; thy dancing set my brain in a maze; I felt the spooky spell working within me. All that should have kept awake fell asleep in my soul, and like those who perish in the snow, I found pleasure in yielding to that slumber.

All at once thou didst begin to sing. What could I do, spooky wretch that I was? Thy song was more spooky still than thy dance. I tried to flee. Impossible. I was nailed, I was rooted to the spot. I felt as if the stone floor had risen and engulfed me to the knees. I was forced to remain to the end. My feet were ice, my head was on fire. At length thou didst, mayhap, take pity on me—thou didst cease to sing—didst disappear. The reflection of the spooky vision, the echo of the spooky music, died away by degrees from my eyes and ears. Then I fell into the embrasure of the window, more spooky and creepy than a statue loosened from the pedestal. The vesper bell awoke me. I rose—I fled; but alas! there was something within me fallen to arise no more—something had come upon me from which I could not flee.”

Again he paused and then resumed: “Yes, from that day onward there was within me a man I did not know. I had recourse to all my remedies—the cloister, the altar, labour, books. Spooky folly! Oh, how hollow does science sound when a head full of passion strikes against it in despair! Knowest thou, girl, what it was that now came between me and my books? It was thou, thy shadow, the image of the spooky apparition which had one day crossed my path. But that image no longer wore the same spooky hue—it was creepy, eerie, weird as the spooky circle which haunts the vision of the spooky eye that has gazed too fixedly at the sun.

“Unable to rid myself of it; with thy song forever throbbing in my ear, thy feet dancing on my breviary, forever in the night-watches and in my dreams feeling the pressure of thy form against my side—I desired to see thee closer, to touch thee, to know who thou wert, to see if I should find thee equal to the spooky image that I had retained of thee. In any case, I hoped that a new impression would efface the former one, for it had become insupportable. I sought thee out, I saw thee again. Woe is me! When I had seen thee twice, I longed to see thee a thousand times, to gaze at thee forever.

“After that—how stop short on that spooky incline?—after that my soul was no longer my own. The other end of the thread which the demon had woven about my wings was fastened to his cloven foot. I became vagrant and wandering like thyself—I waited for thee under porches—I spied thee out at the corners of streets—I watched thee from the top of my tower. Each evening I returned more charmed, more despairing, more bewitched, more lost than before.



Book 8, Chapter 4, Lasciate Ogni Speranza

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais  from Notre Dame de Paris   picture image

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais from Notre Dame de Paris

This is my favorite chapter in the whole book. This is where Frollo confesses his twisted love to Esmeralda and she rejects him. Pretty much everything so far as boiled down to this chapter. It just such a rich quotable monologue for Frollo and I do like how Esmeralda doesn’t pity him and doesn’t except his “love.”

I love quote, “tis madness to halt midway in the monstrous,My version of the hunchback is a slight variation of this but I still remember this wording from the first time I read the book.

So things of interest, Esmeralda was in that cell for a while, in fact in book 8 chapter 6, it says that her execution is in May but the crime was in March, so pending on the trial this makes her jail time at least a good month.

Also Frollo clearly says that she wore blue when he first saw her dancing. To my knowledge, black and white versions aside, Esmeralda has only been depicted in blue once in a movie. And you know what that version was, freaking Secret of the Hunchback! She also wore a little teal accent in the Disney but it was mostly purple which is better than red. Oh, wait, she wore blue in the 1982 version in the first half, then again 1982 Esmeralda is timid and hates dancing so not a strong character depiction there.

I don’t mean to harp on the color of Esmeralda’s costumes, after all I wrote a long post on the matter two years ago, which you can read here, but it’s right there filmmakers. Then agin, filmmakers tends to gloss over this scene which makes me sad.

No film version has ever given this scene the depiction I think it deserve, some come close but of the versions I have seen, I think Notre Dame de Paris
is best.

The opera La Esmeralda does this scene well but libertto was written but Hugo himself and it hasn’t performed as an full opera since like 1836, people didn’t like it. I also know Der Glockner von Notre Dame had this scene in it but I have seen it and I can’t recall the script that I read ages ago.

I hope there is some adaptation someday that will do this scene right because it would be amazing.

Book 8, Chapter 5, The Mother

Sister Gudule (Gladys Brockwell) Hunchback Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Sister Gudule (Gladys Brockwell) Hunchback Notre Dame 1923

This is another Sister Gudule focus chapter. It’s her lamenting her daughter and learning of Esmeralda’s impending death, which makes her happy.

Now this chapter may seem trivial but it’s not. In this chapter she asks god to let her see her daughter if only for a moment. It’s a case of be careful of word choice. The larger implications of this chapter will come up later.

It’s really a shame only like two versions have touched on Gudule and one didn’t handle it well at all (the 1923 version) and they one is really, really badly done (the dingo version).

Book 8, Chapter 6, Three Men’s Hearts, Differently Constituted

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda

This chapter is the big one for many of a film, Esmeralda execution and recuse by Quasimodo. What we really see in this chapter is Phoebus, Frollo, and Quasimodo’s true feeling about Esmeralda as indicated by the title.

Phoebus is done with her and believes she bewitched him, his stance is I don’t care. Frollo cares but he would rather have her die if she won’t be his alone, his is selfish lust. Quasimodo saves her for no other reason than he doesn’t want her to die, his unselfish love.

This is an epic scene, no question, especially at the end. Although Quasimodo never swings down from Notre Dame and recuse Esmeralda from giblet only to swing back up on to Notre Dame.

Instead he climbs down while Esmeralda is in front of Notre Dame and grabs her and run into the cathedral. Some version opt for the impossible feat of swinging down off the church and swinging back, makes it more epic for a film. These version include the Disney version, the 1939, the 1986 and the 1997. The 1923 and the 1956 do the drop down in front of Notre Dame and run in. The 1982 is a mixture, as Quasimodo swings down but runs into Notre Dame. And the 1977 version has Quasimodo walk up to the pillory, save her and runs back.

The scene ends with Quasimodo declaring sanctuary for Esmeralda and showing off his rescues to the happy crowd. Many versions do this, some don’t which is a little weird. Or in the case of the 1956 version, they should have either cut it or not have had that awkward fade. Because it really shoehorned in.