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The Bishop’s Candlesticks Short Summary by Norman Mckinnell in English

The play's plot revolves around themes of love and redemption. The play shows how the Bishop's love and compassion transformed a convict into a man with a promising future. The Bishop was a kind-hearted Christian humanist. He'd give everything to help the poor. Even after selling everything for others, he felt bad that he could do so little while the world suffered. 

He sold his saltcellars and gave the money to Mere Gringoire for rent. Sibling. Persome was neither selfless nor noble like her brother. She didn't like that her brother lived for others. She thought people abused his generosity. The Bishop thought that if the people pretended to be poor and deceived him, they were the poorer in spirit. His door was always open. 

A convict entered the Bishop's house as he was going to bed. He demanded food from the Bishop at knifepoint. He was calm. He asked Persome to feed the prisoner. The convict wondered why the Bishop kept his doors and windows open and if he feared thieves. The Bishop said he wasn't afraid but felt sorry for them as poor sufferers. He loved and respected the convict as a fellow sufferer. He considered him a friend. He influenced the prisoner. 

Man becomes a beast if treated as one. A beast becomes a man if treated as such. Men are what we expect. The convict told the Bishop he was caught stealing food for his ill wife. He got 10 years in prison. Authorities didn't care that he stole to feed his sick, starving wife Jeanette. For ten years, they treated him like a born criminal and a beast. He escaped, but society didn't change. 

Nobody would hire a prisoner. Police pursued him. He fled hungrily. Again, he stole food. Society's wrong attitude denied him a good life. Hungry, he entered the Bishop's home. Kind Bishop gave him a bed. He slept. Alone in his bed, the convict stole the Bishop's silver candlesticks. Then he left. The door slammed behind him. 

Persome woke up at the sound and discovered the convict had stolen the silver candlesticks. Persome attacked. She was angry and yelled. The Bishop is upset, but he blames himself for tempting the convict. The Bishop was sad to lose his mother's candlesticks. He felt responsible for the convict's behaviour like a true Christian. By displaying them, he tempted him. The Bishop once valued the candlesticks highly. Wealth addiction is sinful. 

The candlesticks may be useful to the convict, so everything worked out. Gendarmes arrested the convict and candlesticks. The sergeant caught the sneaking convict. They found the Bishop by his candlesticks. The bishop said the accused was his friend and he gave him the candlesticks. The cop released the prisoner and left. The convict was overwhelmed by the Bishop's love and now thinks he's kind and loving. He regained faith in humanity. 

He regretted stealing candlesticks. He felt like a human again. The kind Bishop gave him candlesticks and told him the secret route to Paris. The candlesticks were the Bishop's mother's dying gift. He thought of her. When given to a convict, they represent hope and life. The convict now believes in life's goodness and lives steadily. The body is God's temple, he told him. The convict promised to remember the Bishops' last words and left.



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