Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary

Hippolyte Character Analysis

The stableman at the Golden Lion, a quiet, hardworking man afflicted with clubfoot. Homais convinces him to undergo an experimental operation, because he thinks the operation would bring prestige to Yonville and to himself. The experimental method is a hoax; Hippolyte develops gangrene, and his leg has to be amputated. Though Homais promised that the operation would be painless and effective, Hippolyte never complains. When he is able to walk with an artificial leg, he resumes work at the inn.
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Hippolyte Character Timeline in Madame Bovary

The timeline below shows where the character Hippolyte appears in Madame Bovary. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 11
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...implement an experimental new cure for club-foot. Emma and Homais convince Charles to operate on Hippolyte, the club-footed ostler (stableman). Charles sends away for the description of the cure and studies... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
The day of the operation comes. Following the manual’s instructions, Charles cuts Hippolyte’s Achilles tendon and straps him into a special wooden box. The same day, Homais writes... (full context)
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Five days after the operation, Hippolyte is in great pain. Underneath the wooden machine, his foot is swollen, dark, and gravely... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
They listen to Hippolyte’s horrible scream, which carries all the way across town. Charles asks Emma for some comfort... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
...guilty when he kisses her hello. Over dinner, Emma thinks mainly of her own boredom. Hippolyte brings in her luggage, tapping painfully with his wooden leg, and she thinks that he... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 10
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Emma’s stricken father comes to Yonville for the funeral. Hippolyte is there, wearing his “best new leg,” and Justin watches palely for a moment before... (full context)