What is implied by "the Monsigneur could swallow a great many things with ease" in A Tale of Two Cities?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The statement that the Monsigneur, who is one of the powerful lords in the Royal Court, is able "to swallow a great many things with ease" is satiric as it mocks the powerful lord who is able to live with the starvation of the peasants and other cruelties dealt to them, but he cannot swallow his morning chocolate without the aid of no less than four servants.

Further, Dickens satirizes Monseigneur's insistence upon these four servants to serve him as he ingests his chocolate. 

Deep would have been the blot upon his escutcheon if his chocolate had been ignobly waited on by only three men; he must have died of two.

Here, too, Dickens ridicules Monseigneur’s reverence for the symbol of what the lord believes his inherent nobility, the escutcheon, with comments upon the Monseigneur's ridiculous fear that he might harm his reputation if he is not sufficiently flamboyant in this frivolous act of taking his morning's chocolate.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial