The Hunchback of Notre Dame Summary Sample

What was the reason of Pierre Gringoire’s decision to live with vagabonds in ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ by Victor Hugo?


Pierre Gringoire is a character, who is described as impatient and egotistical person. He is a playwright and a philosopher, who values himself very much and considers his life as the most important thing on the planet. He is also an ignorant person, since he doesn’t realize how bad is he at being “the man of the letters” (Shmoop, n.d.)

At the beginning of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”, the vagabonds want to hang Gringoire, but he is saved by Esmeralda, who accepts to be his wife for four years. Later, he joins the vagabonds and helps Frollo hand Esmeralda to the authorities.

The reason why he joined the vagabonds is mainly because of his ignorance and because of his similarity with them. Pierre, just like the vagabonds, values himself very dearly, but, in fact, he is ignorant about everything aside from himself. Frollo convinces him with philosophical arguments and tricks him into believing that he is destined to die saving Esmeralda. The vagabonds, also, have high opinion of themselves, but actually, they have no clue what are they doing (SparkNotes, n.d.).

Gringoire thinks that he is so much more clever than any other person, and that belief led him to join those who wanted to kill him earlier, and also to help a man who doesn’t speak the truth and has other aims in his head. Pierre allowed to be tricked easily. He didn’t even care about Esmeralda that much, but he immediately believed Frollo when he said that that is his destiny and he joined the vagabonds without thinking twice.

Despite the fact that he is a philosopher, Gringoire is unaware about everything next to himself. He is a comic relief throughout the book, and his complete ignorance is something to laugh at.


SparkNotes. (n.d.). The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. SparkNotes. Retrieved from

Shmoop. (n.d.). The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Shmoop. Retrieved from”

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