COMMENTARY: Moliere's The Misanthrope is one of the great studies of comic character in world drama. Alceste is selfrighteously opposed to the superficiality of the society in which he lives and to some degree he is right .. The world in which he moves is full of gossip, slander, lawsuits and false love and Alceste is himself being sued in the courts for libel, which only compounds his misanthropy. He is in love with celimene whose flirtatiousness with other men and tolerance of society's foibles only adds to his despair. She is his comic flaw and their incompatibility leads to his departure from Paris at the end of the play on a very sour note.