Cosette Marius Pontmercy
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|Les Misérables character|
Marius sees Cosette for the first time, illustration by Gustave Brion
|Created by||Victor Hugo|
|Full name||Marius Pontmercy|
|Affiliation||Les Amis de l’ABC (Friends of the ABC)|
Marius Pontmercy (French pronunciation: [maʁjys pɔ̃mɛʁsi] ) is a fictional character, one of the protagonists of Victor Hugo ’s 1862 novel Les Misérables . He is a young student, and the suitor of Cosette . Believing Cosette lost to him, and determined to die, he joins the revolutionary association Friends of the ABC , which he associates with, but is not a part of, as they take part in the 1832 June Rebellion . Facing death in the fight, his life is saved by Jean Valjean , and he subsequently weds Cosette , a young woman whom Valjean had raised as his own. 
- 1 In the novel
- 1.1 Marius and his father
- 1.2 The Friends of the ABC
- 1.3 Jean Valjean and Cosette
- 1.4 Éponine
- 1.5 The attack at Gorbeau House
- 1.6 Marius and Cosette
- 1.7 The barricade
- 1.8 Rescue
- 1.9 The wedding and afterwards
- 2 In the musical
- 2.1 Differences in the musical
- 3 Adaptations
- 4 Name and pronunciation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
In the novel[ edit ]
Marius and his father[ edit ]
When Marius first appears, he is living with his rich and monarchist grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand . All his life, he has been told that his father ( Georges Pontmercy , a colonel under Napoleon ) abandoned him to Gillenormand. Shortly after Marius turns seventeen, he is sent to see his father, who is ill. He arrives just after his father dies. His father has left Marius a note, instructing him to help Thénardier in any way possible, since the Colonel believes that Thénardier saved his life at the Battle of Waterloo .
While Marius is visiting church, Mabeuf , the church warden, tells him that his father has been coming to mass regularly, hiding behind a pillar so as to not violate an agreement with Gillenormand that would cause his son to be disinherited. Marius begins looking up his father in the official military histories and after learning that his father was a highly decorated veteran of Napoleon’s army , who had been made a baron and a colonel by Napoleon (though neither the barony nor the rank of colonel is recognized by the current regime). As a consequence, Marius develops a kind of idol-worship of his father. After an argument with his grandfather, Marius moves out and refuses financial assistance from his family. His grandfather instructs Marius’ aunt to send Marius money every month, but Marius always returns it.
The Friends of the ABC[ edit ]
Marius meets Courfeyrac , a fellow student, who introduces him to a society called the Friends of the ABC , a political group committed to republican revolution. Almost immediately, Marius’ Bonapartist beliefs come into conflict with the republican views of the group’s members. Marius nevertheless remains on good terms with them—especially Courfeyrac, with whom he lives for a time. “In a few days,” Hugo writes, “Marius was the friend of Courfeyrac… Marius, in Courfeyrac’s presence, breathed freely, a new thing for him.”  Marius descends further into poverty and, despite all his hardships, manages to complete his studies and become a recognized lawyer. On Courfeyrac’s advice, he learns German and English in order to work for a publisher translating manuscripts into French.
Jean Valjean and Cosette[ edit ]
Marius regularly takes walks in the Luxembourg Garden , where he frequently sees Cosette and Jean Valjean. He becomes enamored of Cosette. Eventually, Marius follows Valjean and Cosette home, where he asks their doorman about Cosette. Valjean learns of this and, fearing that Marius is a spy working for the police inspector Javert, moves away that week.
Éponine[ edit ]
Marius is visited by Éponine .
Having not seen Cosette for months, and not knowing where she might have gone, Marius is tormented over trying to locate her. One early February day, he encounters Éponine and Azelma Thénardier , running away from the police. He recovers an envelope the girls have dropped. Back at his apartment, he examines the four letters it contains and realizes that they are fraudulent pleas for help, all in the same handwriting with the same misspellings, but containing different stories and signatures.
The next day, Éponine visits Marius, gives him a letter and begs for money. Upon reading it, he recognizes it is yet another in the series he read last night. Éponine proves to Marius that she is literate, and tells Marius that he is handsome. Marius hands her back the packet of letters, and she happily takes them. Feeling sympathetic to her, Marius gives her his last five francs.
The attack at Gorbeau House[ edit ]
Marius begins to take an interest in her family, the Jondrettes (who are his neighbors). Peering through a crack in the wall, Marius sees Jean Valjean and Cosette talking with Jondrette about returning to give the family money. Marius asks Éponine to find Valjean and Cosette’s address. He tells her that if she does this, he will give her whatever she wants. After she leaves, Marius overhears Jondrette talking about robbing and killing Valjean. Distressed, Marius visits Javert , who gives him two pistols and instructs him to fire them during the robbery.
When Valjean returns to Jondrette’s house, Jondrette and Patron-Minette attack and bind Valjean. Jondrette reveals that his name is actually Thénardier, a fact that shocks Marius. He does not want Valjean to die, but does not want to betray the man that “saved” his father at Waterloo. Marius surreptitiously warns Thénardier, and Patron-Minette throw a rope ladder out the window and are about to flee when Javert intervenes and arrests them all, except Valjean, who escapes through the window. Marius then moves out of the Gorbeau tenement.
Marius and Cosette[ edit ]
Marius seeks Cosette after he fell in love with her beauty. He assumes her name was “Ursula” after he finds a handkerchief she dropped. He finally sees where their house was and visits often, but doesn’t really talk to anyone except the guard outside. Then, one day, Cosette and Valjean were gone, he asks the guard, but has no idea where they moved. Marius used to see them everyday, but now that they were gone, he falls into depression. After her release from prison, Éponine seeks out Marius. She tells him she found Cosette’s address, and leads him to the house. Marius, after some days of waiting, decides to write a 15-page love letter to Cosette which she finds hidden under a stone. Cosette immediately falls in love and Marius reveals himself as a shadowy figure standing behind her. Their shared love blossoms for about six weeks, but Valjean shatters that bliss when he announces to Cosette that they will be leaving for England in a week. Cosette tells Marius about the move, causing much distress for the pair. Marius goes to Gillenormand to try to reconcile and to get permission to marry Cosette. However, after Gillenormand suggests that Marius make Cosette his mistress, Marius storms out of the house, insulted. Marius returns to Cosette’s house, but finds the house no longer occupied. Advised by a voice (Éponine) that his friends are waiting for him in the rue de la Chanvrerie, he goes to the barricade that the Friends of the ABC have set up, determined to die with them. At this point, Marius saw no point in living, as Cosette was to move away.
The barricade[ edit ]
Marius cradles the dying Éponine at the barricades.
Éponine , disguised as a boy, places herself in front of a musket to save Marius’ life. Marius drives them away by holding a torch to a powder keg, and threatens to blow up the barricade. Afterwards, he finds Éponine lying on the ground, fatally shot. She confesses to Marius that it was she who told him to go to the barricades, and saved his life because she wanted to die before him. She also tells him she has a letter for him. She asks Marius to promise to kiss her on the forehead after she dies, which he agrees. With her last breath, Éponine confesses her love for him, and dies. The letter she had concealed is from Cosette, and reveals her whereabouts and when she will leave for England. Marius writes a letter back to Cosette, saying since she left again with no forwarding address, he would fulfill his promise and die for her. He gives the letter to Gavroche , to deliver; however, Gavroche delivers the letter to Valjean. Valjean goes to the barricade to find Marius, disguised as a volunteer. When Valjean is tasked with executing Javert, Marius assumes that he has done so, and is a murderer.
Rescue[ edit ]
As the barricade falls, Marius has multiple head wounds and is shot in the collarbone. Jean Valjean rescues him, and they escape through the sewer. When they reach the gate of the sewer, Valjean runs into Thénardier, who believes Valjean has killed Marius, and offers to unlock the gate if Valjean will give him the money on Marius’ corpse. Thénardier secretly cuts a piece of Marius’ jacket off which had his family’s crest on it. Jean Valjean unlocks the gate and runs into Javert, who had been waiting to apprehend Thénardier. Valjean convinces Javert to help him bear Marius home to his grandfather.
The wedding and afterwards[ edit ]
After six months of raging fever, Marius regains full consciousness. Gillenormand gives Marius permission to marry Cosette and the two men reconcile. Marius and Cosette are married on 16 February 1833, and the wedding day is a happy one.
After the wedding, Valjean visits Marius and reveals his past. Marius, horrified, agrees with Valjean that it would be best if Valjean never sees Cosette again. Valjean wishes not to be permanently separated from Cosette, so Marius grants him one visit per evening. Marius thinks of Valjean as a criminal, and slowly pushes Valjean out of Cosette’s life. While Marius quietly searches for the real origin of Cosette’s money, Valjean loses the will to live. A few weeks later, a disguised Thénardier comes to Marius’s residence to visit the Baron Gillenormand, attempting to blackmail Valjean. Marius sees through the disguise and asks what Thénardier wants. Thénardier inadvertently reveals to Marius that Valjean had earned all his money honestly, and that Javert committed suicide—Valjean did not kill Javert. Thénardier tries to convince Marius that Valjean is a murderer , showing Marius the piece cut off the coat of Valjean’s “victim” as proof. Pulling out the old bloodied coat that he had been saving in a safe, Marius accurately matches the piece of cloth to that of the coat he wore in the barricades, and announces that he is the man who Valjean supposedly murdered. He then gives Thénardier a large sum of money, repaying his father’s death, and orders him to leave France for America. Realizing that Valjean is an honest man who saved Marius’ life, Marius and Cosette rush to reconcile with Valjean. They arrive at Valjean’s and apologize; Valjean forgives them. Having been very ill, he wanted to see Cosette one last time before he dies just minutes later.
In the musical[ edit ]
Marius is a principal character in the stage musical based on the novel of the same name .
Differences in the musical[ edit ]
Marius’ role in the musical is notably different.
- The musical omits the subplot involving Thénardier and Marius’ father.
- Éponine and Marius, in the musical, appear to be best friends, and he is heartbroken by her death. In the novel, Marius pays little attention to Éponine prior to her death.
- Marius’ grandfather M. Gillenormand is omitted from the musical, as is Marius’ early life.
- In the novel, Marius is not particularly involved with the Friends of the ABC prior to his appearance at the barricade. In the musical, Marius appears to be a committed member of the society.
- In the novel, Marius’ closest friend among the students is Courfeyrac. In the musical, he appears to be closer to Enjolras , though he participates in friendly interactions with others.
- Marius’ political opinions play a larger role in the novel, where he is a Bonapartist, which is a point of conflict between him and the Friends of the ABC.
- Marius’ romance with Cosette progresses more rapidly, and it appears that he first sees Cosette, meets her, and prepares to leave for the barricade in the space of one day. In the novel, his feelings for Cosette develop more gradually, and he is separated from her for about six months before he finds her again.
- Marius’ lodging at the Gorbeau House is not mentioned in the musical, and the scene in which he spies on the Jondrettes is omitted.
- In the musical, when Valjean tells Marius of his past as a convict and that he must leave, lest he embarrass them at their wedding. Marius is shocked at his revelation, but, knowing that Valjean has done so much for Cosette, and that it would crush her if he were to suddenly leave, tries to persuade Valjean to stay. Eventually, he reluctantly accepts Valjean’s decision, and agrees to Valjean’s request that he never tell Cosette. In the novel, Marius is rather shrewd and cruel, saying that Valjean would only embarrass both Cosette and himself and tells him to go, granting him a little time with Cosette each night.
- In the musical, Marius and Cosette visit the dying Jean Valjean right after their wedding.
Adaptations[ edit ]
Since the original publication of Les Misérables in 1862, the character of Marius has appeared in a large number of adaptations of the novel, including books , films ,  musicals , plays and games .
Name and pronunciation[ edit ]
Marius is best known as the name of a Roman general, Gaius Marius . The name derives from Mars , the Roman god of war. The French pronunciation of Marius Pontmercy is [maʁjys pɔ̃mɛʁsi].
References[ edit ]
- ^ a b Hugo, Victor. Tr. Charles E. Wilbour. Les Misérables. Random House, New York: 1992.
- ^ Marius (Character) at the Internet Movie Database
External links[ edit ]
| Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Les Misérables at Project Gutenberg
- Marius at the Internet Movie Database
- Search for Marius at the Internet Broadway Database
- Les Misérables characters
- Fictional French people
- Fictional characters introduced in 1862
- Fictional revolutionaries
- Fictional nobility
- This page was last edited on 30 November 2018, at 21:34 (UTC).
- Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License ;
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Yesterday, I talked about why I am not bothered by “love at first sight” in a musical. Today, I will talk about a couple that falls in “love at first sight”. Those two characters are Marius and Cosette from Les Mis. A lot of people think that they shouldn’t have been a couple because they fall in “love at first sight” and that Marius should have ended up with Eponine. Well, in this post I will explain why I love Marius and Cosette together.
When you first meet Cosette, she is lodging with the Thenardiers and she is eight at the time. You learn that she is horribly abused by them and is forced to be a servant. But Jean Valjean comes to the rescue after promising Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own after she dies.
In Les Mis, Cosette is supposed to represent hope and light. True, she isn’t as developed as many of the other characters, but she grew up in a very sheltered and protected environment. Valjean only sheltered her because he is an ex-convict and if he is out much, he has the danger of being caught by Javert. Yes, I love Eponine the most out of the three despite how horrible and dark her life is. Yes, in a way it would be happy if Eponine ended up with Marius, but if that was the case it would not make sense at all and Eponine just wouldn’t seem like the Eponine we come to love.
One interesting plot point in Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette. Cosette had a horrible childhood, but her life improved after Jean Valjean rescued her. The rescue of Cosette is one place where you begin to understand that Cosette is supposed to represent hope. In the case of Eponine, she starts out by being spoiled by her parents and appears to be loved by her parents however that is not always going to be the case. After Cosette is rescued by Jean Valjean, Eponine gets the same treatment that Cosette got and her parents teach her the ways of being a criminal and her family falls into extreme poverty. So due to the switch, it makes perfect sense why Cosette ends up with Marius and why Eponine ends up with unrequited love for Marius.
Les Mis is played out so nicely that it truly works that Marius and Cosette get together. If it wasn’t for Eponine, Marius would never have met Cosette after he fell in love with her. True, when Marius fall in love with Cosette, he was conflicted between his passion for the rebellion and his passion for Cosette. He does decide to fight in the rebellion after believing that Cosette is leaving. As a matter of fact, if Marius never loved Cosette, he most likely would have died during the rebellion because Valjean would not have come to the barricade to protect him. During the rebellion, Valjean learned that Cosette loves Marius and due to that, he heads over to the barricades to protect Marius.
Marius faced a lot of trauma at the barricades. First, Eponine was fatally wounded and that left him quite upset. But he still showed compassion by being with her till she died. In an odd way, it even makes sense that Eponine died because it makes perfect sense why Marius would be the only survivor. The real June Rebellion was highly unsuccessful, which is why it makes sense that Eponine, Gavroche,Enjolras and all the students died during the rebellion and it makes sense that Marius survived because if he died, Cosette would not be able to represent hope and light and Jean Valjean would have had less of a spiritual journey and Les Mis just wouldn’t be Les Mis. “Bring Him Home” is Valjean praying to God to protect Marius and allow him to survive. After Marius fall unconscious, Valjean carried Marius to safety. Marius suffered from survivor’s guilt after discovering he is the only one alive. Cosette did care for Marius while he was recovering so Cosette does show that she loves him even if it is hard to notice.
Due to Cosette representing hope and light, Marius needed to survive. Cosette and Marius did survive during all of Les Mis and did get married. Of all the Les Mis characters who survived (which isn’t many), Marius and Cosette are my favorite characters. Les Mis is such a tragic tale and as a result, I love that Cosette represents hope and light. That is why it makes sense that she got married to Marius and that both she and Marius survived all of Les Mis. True, Marius knew Eponine longer than Cosette, but why should that be a factor into who Marius falls in love with? I love “A Heart Full of love”, the love song in the piece and most of it focuses on Marius and Cosette and later it focuses on all three. This love triangle isn’t silly because love is one of the biggest themes in the musical and it means love in different forms and the love triangle forms two types of love.
In relationship to this post, below I have a link to a post I wrote about the love triangle in Les Mis.
What are your thoughts on Marius and Cosette as a couple?
I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog mainly is about musicals. Every so often I talk about spirituality. Sometimes I add in movie reviews, book reviews, and about my life in general. I hope you find my blog inspiring.
View all posts by mphtheatregirl
16 thoughts on “Is Marius and Cosette a Wonderful Couple?”
I definitely think that Marius and Cosette are a good couple! They’re definitely well-matched, I think! While their relationship on its own isn’t all that important to the story, the things that happen because of their relationship are very important! We see things like Éponine’s character arc become important because of the relationship that they share. Then, if it weren’t for the fact that Marius and Cosette were in love, Marius very likely wouldn’t have survived the rebellion as he was saved by Valjean. Valjean would probably not have gone to the barricades at all if it weren’t for the fact that Cosette loved Marius.
Everything makes sense when it comes to the two of them. Cosette is the light and hope so in a way her relationship with Marius shows that. Marius and Cosette are two lead characters so they are quite important to the storyline. Cosette is highly important to many storylines it seems (maybe more than Marius’) and Marius is highly important to both Enjolras the students storyline and Eponine’s storyline.
I wouldn’t have the love triangle any other way. I will always love Marius and Cosette together and as crazy as this sounds Eponine with the unrequited love because it perfectly makes sense in the way it turns out. After all that switch is a highly fascinating part of Les Mis and is one unique thing that Les Mis is home to
Absolutely! The Les Miz love triangle works out perfectly. If it were even slightly altered, it could mess up a lot. For example, it would mess up a lot of character development if Marius ended up with Éponine.
If it was the other way around, the switch that happens between the girls wouldn’t really be existent and Cosette would not have fully been able to show the light and hope she is supposed to represent. There would have one more death because Marius would died because Valjean would not have come to his rescue and honestly we don’t need another character to lose their life at the barricade.
Definitely. And, if Cosette and Marius didn’t fall in love, there’d be a serious disconnect in the story. Without Cosette and Marius’s relationship, Valjean and Cosette would feel pretty out-of-place in 1832.
Valjean and Cosette never would have separated and Cosette never would have met Marius. So much would not be right. All of the characters impact each other. You need Marius and Cosette together to help with other plot lines like those of Valjean’s, even the students since Marius is one of them, even Eponine’s, literally. All of the characters shape each other it seems. Marius and Cosette while I don’t like them as much as I love Eponine, I still want Marius and Cosette together or else I may not have loved Eponine as much as I do
Absolutely! Éponine’s story would kind of lose its appeal if it weren’t for the love triangle. In fact, Éponine likely wouldn’t be a very big deal if it weren’t for the love triangle.
Never thought of it that way. I have loved Eponine since the second time I saw the movie. A lot of her charm comes from how she responds to the unrequited love situation because she responds by showing true love towards Marius. Another part comes from that spark of goodness you find in her despite being a Thenardier. Cosette life drastically improves over the years since she no longer was with the Thenardiers and Eponine’s life gets even worse and that is one of the thrills of Les Mis
100% agree. I remember my surprise when Éponine showed up in the 1832 storyline the first time around. I hadn’t really been expecting it and I was really interested in the switch that happened with Cosette and Éponine
It took some time until I saw the switch in Les Mis and took some time until I became fascinated by it
One of my most favorite movies 🙂 I still have to read the book!
It is also one of my favorite movies. Due to my love for the musical, it led me to reading the book. My knowledge of the musical helped me read through and allowed me to finish it. It was my goal to finish the unabridged in one summer and I finished it in less than one summer. What was a coincidence was that I read the book in 2015, the same summer I saw the musical in the West End
Like Liked by 1 personReply
That is so cool you saw the musical!! I bet that was so incredible to see it in person!
I actually saw the stage show four times. The other three were at community college. I prefer seeing a musical live over a musical movie
Like Liked by 1 person
Oh wow thats awesome! Yea seeing it live is a thousand times better.
It is coming to my hometown in December and hoping I go. Les Mis played such an impact on my musical. It turned my love of musicals into a passion. It changed my entire perspective on musicals.
Well all the musicals I grew up with were happy so I believed all musicals will stay that way. But Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. Growing up I already knew sad was common in a musical, but was 100% blind to heartbreak
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Les misérables – Époque 4: Cosette et Marius ( 1913 )
24 January 1913 (France)
See full synopsis »
Albert Capellani (scenario), Paul Capellani (adaptation) |
1 more credit »
Maria Fromet , Gabriel de Gravone , Henry Krauss |
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|Gabriel de Gravone||…||Marius|
|Henry Krauss||…||Jean Valjean|
|Émile Mylo||…|| Monsieur Thénardier |
|Eugénie Nau||…||Madame Thénardier|
|Maria Ventura||…||Fantine Thénardier|
|Rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
The rebellion of 1832 is on. There is rioting and barricading in the streets. Marius in despair, and in the hope that a bullet will soon end his life, joins the mob and becomes a fighter in the ranks of the insurgents. Javert gets orders to investigate the extent of the insurrection. He assumes a disguise, and goes to a tavern, the headquarters of the rebellion, He is quickly recognized and seized. They search him and tie him to a wooden pillar. Documents on him reveal his identity, and the rioters condemn him to die if the barricade is taken. Martial law is proclaimed, and the people are ordered to disperse. They refuse, and a volley is fired. Eponine, in the mob, dies at the first fire. Marius thinking his death to be at hand, writes a note to Cosette, telling her where to find his body in case he is killed. Gavroche is sent with the note, but Valjean gets it at his home. He sees that this love affair is deeper than he bad supposed, and he goes to the scene of the rioting to find …
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24 January 1913 (France)
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Also Known As:
Les Misérables, Part 4: Cosette and Marius
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