Philippe du Plessis-Bellière: The Study of the character

The most amazing, the darkest, the most beautiful, the most evil man, the incomparable Marshal of Plessis, who walked on his red heels among the gentlemen and the ladies, hiding under his satin clothes his brutal and sad heart.

The character is extremely fascinating, original and complex but, precisely because of its diversity and contradictory nature, it has often been misunderstood or misinterpreted. Philippe du Plessis-Bellière is both hateful and irresistible and his most evident characteristic is ambiguity, or rather duplicity: he is a demonic archangel, bisexual, polished and barbaric, silly and intelligent, absent-minded and shrewd, modern and traditionalist , selfish and generous, cruel and good, insensitive and loving, cynical and sentimental, dissolute and pure, experienced and naive, calculating and impulsive, cold and passionate, vain and heroic.

The aim of this commentary is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the character by analysing the various facets of his peculiar and unique psychology. In the first part we will try to shed light on the genesis of some aspects of Philippe’s character as he appears at the beginning of the story, before his first meeting with Angélique, or in any case on aspects that remain unchanged. In the second and third parts, all the sequences of the relationship between Philippe and Angélique will be retraced in order to highlight the profound psychological changes and the evolution of the protagonist’s personality.

Philippe du Plessis-Bellière: Timeline and sequences
The three sections of the cycle of "Angélique" which are titled: Ces dames du Marais (Those ladies of Marais), La cour (The court) and Philippe ou la guerre en dentelles (Philippe or the war in lace collar) constitute a sort of novel inside the novel. It is actually a completed and independent story, different from all the rest of the cycle both in the theme and in the male protagonist: it is the extraordinary love story between Angélique and the Marquis Philippe du Plessis-Bellière.

Philippe du Plessis-Bellière: Part I.
This part focuses on a physical description, social extraction, language and education as well as on Philippes sexuality, dandyism and another aspects of his personality. Another parts present e.g. his mentality as a marshal and his mentality in his relation to the king.

Author: Annalisa Cagnoli