What is the rising action in The Scarlet Pimpernel?

The rising action of The Scarlet Pimpernel follows the adventures of Lady Marguerite Blakeney as she tries to save her husband, Sir Percy, also known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, from the French agent Chauvelin. The tension mounts as the characters chase each other and as Sir Percy escapes again and again through his cleverness.

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A story's action rises as its conflicts begin to play out and a tension develops that steadily increases as the plot reaches toward it climax. In The Scarlet Pimpernel, the action rises as the French agent Chauvelin tricks Lady Marguerite Blakeney into helping him discover the identity of the slippery Scarlet Pimpernel, a sly, tricky, clever fellow who has been helping French noble families escape the guillotine. Marguerite has some extra motivation for helping Chauvelin: her brother is at the agent's mercy.

To her horror, however, Marguerite soon discovers that the Scarlet Pimpernel is none other than her own husband, the seemingly dull and uninteresting Sir Percy. It is too late for Marguerite to prevent Chauvelin from following Sir Percy into France, and the audience reads with gusto as Marguerite hurries to save her husband.

The tension continues to mount as Sir Percy, disguised as a priest, slips away from Chauvelin with a clever snuff-that-is-really-pepper trick. Chauvelin, realizing that he has once again been outsmarted by the Scarlet Pimpernel, dashes after him with Marguerite close behind. Along the way, the agent talks to an old Jewish man who takes him to the hut he seeking, but the Scarlet Pimpernel is not there. As Chauvelin rushes off in another direction, the story reaches its climax, and the Jew unmasks himself as Sir Percy, the Scarlet Pimpernel in person.

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