Jean-Paul Marat - Wikipedia
I only wish that Robespierre had been played by a younger actor, but until . and conclusion, Rétif notes the connection of experiences over the centuries as the the film has stood the test of time, both as an engaging narrative of the Terror. No relationship in the French Revolution offers more eloquent testimony to the The political confrontations between Danton and Robespierre had a personal . All sides of the trap were carefully tested so that Danton could not escape. In the . Georges Jacques Danton was a leading figure in the early stages of the French Revolution, . Their strength was soon put to the test. .. Danton's and Robespierre's relations were also the subject of an opera by American composer John.
The countess and Casanova, separated by decades in age, flirt and openly wish that they had been either older or younger. Accompanying the countess is her hairdresser Jacob Jean-Claude Brialyemasculated through stereotypes involving his gestures and dress. Perhaps the clearest indication, at least to French audiences, was the use of Brialy, one of the first French leading men to be openly gay.
One image is particularly telling.
At a relay, when Casanova asks for some privacy, he is given a stall where he combs his wig and powders his face while relieving himself. There, wig off, with his breeches pulled down to his knees, Casanova appears a very old man.
Dignity has given way to vulnerability. Her sophistication has given way to a kind of monomania. When the film turns to the upper middle classes, it is likewise uncharitable. Here, in the guise of a judge, industrialist, and widow of a wine grower, rich commoners come across as narrow and selfish.Robespierre
Interestingly, the judge — an official of the Old Regime — is treated more harshly than the owner of ironworks, perhaps showing greater approval of capitalism. But it is the widow who receives the most negative treatment. Enamored with Casanova, she propositions him, but he graciously turns her down, invoking his decreptitude.
But she soon discovers that he can still be amorous as she catches him in an embrace. Although the viewer later learns that she was mistaken, the widow feels humiliated.
Neither this film nor the revolution offer her a meaningful role, but, then, the bourgeois men shuffle out of the movie in a similarly unremarkable way. The middling sorts between rich and poor are treated more ambiguously: Both seem extremely masculine and strong. Over the course of the trip, they kiss and caress, and he invites her home with him to meet his family. Appearing as handsome, open to difference, and indeed holding strong revolutionary views, he is also rude and totally unwilling to engage in an open exchange of views if they include a counterrevolutionary perspective.
Likewise the national guardsman is crude and ill-bred. Unkempt, he is a totally unattractive man. The intellectuals and artists receive the most favorable treatment: These characters are shown to advantage by the script and camera lens. Their words offer the justification for the revolution. Paine is the one person in the film who is associated completely with the revolution and who receives an overall positive treatment. Though revolutionary, he is thoughtful and embraces the notion of dissent.
And perhaps in the most beautiful scene of the movie, Casanova and the opera singer display their virtue by singing a snippet from Le mariage de Figaro. As the previous analysis indicates, gender plays a large role in establishing the moral worth of the characters and the groups they represent. Almost without exception, the old regime appears to produce effeminate males; the revolution their opposite.
Interestingly, all the intellectuals, except Casanova who cuts across social lines, are seen as normative in their masculinity, directly or indirectly. It would seem that the filmmaker, like the revolutionaries, signals his preference for domesticated and restrained sexual behavior. As interesting as are the class vignettes, few historians would embrace them as accurate.
The s sexism and homophobia seem especially dated. But these images, it seems to me, capture quite accurately the actual point of view of moderate revolutionaries who prevailed in the Assembly until and even of many Jacobins later on.
Besides recounting the revolution from the perspective of its contemporaries, the movie also treats the time period as disturbing. Rapid scene changes render the film sometimes disjointed but also convey the discomfort of the characters. Boldly turning the tables, Danton made the same accusation against the Girondins.
The break was irreparable. For three months Danton was effectively the head of the government, charged especially with the conduct of foreign affairs and military matters. During this second period in the government he pursued a policy of compromise and negotiation.
Robespierre overthrown in France - HISTORY
He tried in every direction to enter into diplomatic conversations with the enemy. No doubt he could in all honesty think it useful to negotiate in an attempt to dissolve the allied coalition or even to obtain a general peace.
By the spring ofhowever, a policy of negotiation was no longer conceivable: On various occasions he supported the policy of the Committee of Public Safety though at the same time refusing to play a part in it—which would have stabilized the political situation. Danton still reappeared from time to time as the tribune of the people, voicing the demands of the masses.
He quickly showed, however, that he sought to stabilize the Revolutionary movement; very soon—whether he wanted it or not—he appeared as the leader of the Indulgents, the moderate faction that had risen out of the Cordeliers.
During the great Parisian popular demonstrations of September 4 and 5,Danton spoke eloquently in favour of all the popular demands. Yet at the same time he tried to set bounds to the movement and keep it under control.
He demanded, for instance, that the meetings of the hitherto permanent sectional assemblies be reduced to two per week. He did not, however, intervene personally but left it to his friends to criticize the policy of the government. His disapproval of the terrorist repression had become so strong that he withdrew from political life, alleging reasons of health or of family.
On October 12 he obtained leave from the Convention and left for his native town. He returned on November 21, although the reasons for his return remain ambiguous. Danton at once resumed political activity. He vigorously supported the Committee of Public Safety against excesses of the anti-Christian movement and later opposed the abolition of the salaries of constitutional priests and hence the separation of church and state.
But he also wanted to slow the Revolutionary drive of the government. Danton defined his moderate political line on December 1,when he informed the Revolutionary radicals that their role was ended.
From then on, whether such had been his intention or not, he was looked upon as the leader of the moderate opposition. At the beginning ofDanton and his friends took an even more critical attitude, with the Revolutionary journalist Camille Desmoulinsof Le Vieux Cordelier, serving as their spokesman.
He afterwards spoke of himself as in some sense the author of this revolution, because a little while before, stung by some trait of factious perversity in the Girondists, he had openly cried out in the midst of the Convention, that if he could only find a hundred men, they would resist the oppressive authority of the Girondist Commission of Twelve. At any rate, he certainly acquiesced in the violence of the communeand he publicly gloried in the expulsion of the men who stood obstinately in the way of a vigorous and concentrated exertion of national power.
Danton, unlike the Girondists, "accepted the fury of popular passion as an inevitable incident in the work of deliverance. The authors of the Britannica see him at this time as wishing "to reconcile France with herself; to restore a society that, while emancipated and renewed in every part, should yet be stable; and above all to secure the independence of his country, both by a resolute defence against the invader, and by such a mixture of vigour with humanity as should reconcile the offended opinion of the rest of Europe.
In the Constituent Assembly, its members had been a mere 30 out of the of the third estate. In the Legislative Assembly, they had not been numerous, and none of their chiefs held a seat. In the first nine months of the Convention, they were struggling for their very lives against the Girondists.
In Junefor the first time, they found themselves in possession of absolute power. Men who had for many months been "nourished on the ideas and stirred to the methods of opposition" [ Britannica] suddenly had the responsibility of government.
Both were chosen out of the body of the Convention. The drama of the nine months between the expulsion of the Girondins and the execution of Danton turns upon the struggle of the committees especially the former, which would gain ascendancy to retain power: Danton, immediately after the fall of the Girondins, had thrown himself with extraordinary energy into the work to be done.
He was prominent in the task of setting up a strong central authority, taming the anarchical ferment of Paris. It was he who proposed that the Committee of Public Safety be granted dictatorial powers and that it should have copious funds at its disposal. He was not a member of the resulting committee: His position during the autumn of was that of a powerful supporter and inspirer from outside the government which he had been foremost in setting up.
Reign of Terror[ edit ] The French National Convention during the autumn of began to assert its authority further throughout France, creating the bloodiest period of the French Revolution in which some historians assert approximately 40, people were killed in France. Danton also proposed that the Convention begin taking actions towards peace with foreign powers, as the Committee had declared war on the majority of European powers, such as Britain, Spain, and Portugal.
Indeed, it would eventually end with the Thermidorian Reaction 27 Julywhen the Convention rose against the Committee, executed its leaders, and placed power in the hands of new men with a new policy. But in Germinal —that is, in March —feeling was not ripe. The committees were still too strong to be overthrown, and Danton, heedless, instead of striking with vigor in the Convention, waited to be struck.
His wife had died during his absence on one of his expeditions to the armies; he had her body exhumed so as to see her again. As he attempted to shift the direction of the revolution, by collaborating with Camille Desmoulins through the production of Le Vieux Cordeliera newspaper that called for the end of the official Terror and dechristianization, as well as launching new peace overtures to France's enemies, those who most closely associated themselves with the Committee of Public Safety, among them key figures such as Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Couthonwould search for any reason to indict Danton for counter-revolutionary activities.
Toward the end of the Reign of Terror, Danton was accused of various financial misdeeds, as well as using his position within the Revolution for personal gain. Many of his contemporaries commented on Danton's financial success during the Revolution, certain acquisitions of money that he could not adequately explain. Although the Swedish government never ratified the treaty, on 28 June the convention voted to pay 4 million livres to the Swedish Regent for diplomatic negotiations.
It was later revived inbacked by royal patronage. The Company was soon liquidated while certain members of the Convention tried to push through a decree that would cause the share prices to rise before the liquidation. Danton continued to defend Fabre d'Eglantine even after the latter had been exposed and arrested. Arrest, trial, and execution[ edit ] On 30 MarchDanton, Desmoulins, and others of the indulgent party were suddenly arrested. The trial was less criminal in nature than political, and as such unfolded in an irregular fashion.
The jury had only seven members, despite the law demanding twelve, as it was deemed that only seven jurors could be relied on returning the required verdict. Danton made lengthy and violent attacks on the Committee of Public Safety and the accused demanded the right to have witnesses appear on their behalf; they submitted requests for several, including, in Desmoulins' case, Robespierre.
Hermanwas unable to control the proceedings until the aforementioned decree was passed by the National Convention, preventing the accused from further defending themselves. These facts, together with confusing and often incidental denunciations for instance, a report that Danton, while engaged in political work in Brussels, had appropriated a carriage filled with two or three hundred thousand pounds' worth of table linen  and threats made by prosecutor Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville towards members of the jury, ensured a guilty verdict.
Danton and the rest of the defendants were condemned to death, and at once led, in company with fourteen others, including Camille Desmoulins and several other members of the Indulgentsto the guillotine.