The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… free-spirited on the streets of Paris, dancing and performing.

Profession… gypsy. Esmeralda's street wisdom is unparalleled and, although she might be jaded from living a less-than-perfect life, she's able to see the good within people. At Paris' Festival of Fools ceremony, she defends the unfair humiliation of the hunchbacked bell ringer of Notre Dame, Quasimodo, but ends up making an enemy out of Quasi's evil master, Judge Frollo.

Interests… getting justice for all those who are outcasts of society. Like the Hunchback himself, Esmeralda wants to be accepted by the people of Paris rather than treated as an outsider. Growing up amongst gypsies exposed Esmeralda to the harshness of reality; she and the other gypsies are often looked down upon or mistreated. When she criticizes Frollo for his treatment of Quasi, she makes it clear that she wants acceptance for everyone: "You mistreat this poor boy the same way you mistreat my people. You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help!"

Relationship Status… interested in Phoebus, the captain of Frollo's guard. Though she initially dislikes him, Esmeralda starts to fall for Phoebus when she learns that he’s actually an honorable guy. Unfortunately, the attractive Esmeralda also captures the attention of the obsessive Frollo, who gives her the choice of becoming his wife — or dying at the stake. 

Challenge… escaping Frollo and his men, while making sure that Quasi and Phoebus stay out of harm’s way. Not one to play it safe, she risks life and limb to rescue both of them, knowing they'd do the same for her.

Personality… brave, feisty, witty and loyal. Esmeralda’s outward beauty is matched only by her inner beauty. She's not afraid to stand up to authority, especially in the defense of those who are less fortunate or who can’t or won’t speak up for themselves. Esmeralda has a kind heart and is nonjudgmental; she accepts everyone the way they are and can’t understand why others are so cruel and intolerant. 


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