M. Butterfly

A friend from Gallimard’s youth. Marc is unapologetically lascivious and encourages Gallimard to take sexual advantage of the women around him without regard for their feelings or even their consent. Marc represents unfettered masculine sexuality in Gallimard’s mind, and Gallimard thinks of him whenever he struggles with questions of sexual ethics and desire. Marc plays Sharpless, a sensitive American diplomat, in the reenactment of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Marc Quotes in M. Butterfly

The M. Butterfly quotes below are all either spoken by Marc or refer to Marc. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Plume edition of M. Butterfly published in 1989.
Act 1, Scene 9 Quotes

It’s an old story. It’s in our blood. They fear us, Rene. Their women fear us. And their men — their men hate us. And you know something? They are all correct.

Related Characters: Marc (speaker), Rene Gallimard, Song Liling
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 11 Quotes

This is the ultimate cruelty, isn’t it? That I can talk and talk and to anyone listening, it’s only air — too rich a diet to be swallowed by a mundane world. Why can’t anyone understand? That in China, I once loved, and was loved by, the Perfect Woman.

Related Characters: Rene Gallimard (speaker), Song Liling, Marc
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Marc Character Timeline in M. Butterfly

The timeline below shows where the character Marc appears in M. Butterfly. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 3
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
...opera. Stage directions note that Sharpless should be played by the same actor who plays Marc, a character audiences have not yet met. (full context)
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Playing the roles of Pinkerton and Sharpless, Gallimard and Marc paraphrase a conversation from Puccini’s opera. While the opera is written in elegant, early twentieth-century... (full context)
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Gallimard, speaking as himself again, introduces the actor playing Sharpless as Marc, his friend from school. In Puccini’s opera, Gallimard notes, Sharpless provides a sensitive and level-headed... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Gallimard flashes back to 1947, when he and Marc were still young men studying at the Ecole Nationale, a French university in Aix-en-Provence. Marc... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Gallimard tells Marc that making advances toward women always makes him nervous, because he is afraid of being... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Marc reappears, playing the role of Sharpless. He has been sent to tell Butterfly that Pinkerton... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 9
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Marc appears in Gallimard’s dreams that night. He is jubilant, toasting Gallimard with expensive wine and... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Gallimard insists a romance with Song is impossible because he is a foreigner. Marc tells Gallimard that the taboo nature of the relationship will draw Song to him. He... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Song appears onstage, wearing a sheer robe. Marc says Gallimard has spent his entire life waiting for the love of a beautiful woman.... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 11
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Marc, dressed as a bureaucrat, appears onstage next to Gallimard. He is holding a stack of... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Marc asks whether Gallimard remembers a girl named Isabelle. It turns out that this girl was... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 11
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Marc appears onstage, holding two drinks. Gallimard begins to tell him about the magnificent life he... (full context)