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The attitude or philosophy of Alceste is more idealistic, although it may seem pessimistic. Alceste is highly critical of humanity because of their many obvious faults, whereas Philinte, his friend, believes in being understanding, tolerant, and, of course, diplomatic. Philinte is a realist in contrast to the idealistic Alceste. Philinte gets along very well in the treacherous and immoral royal court, while Alceste gets himself into trouble with both men and women because he insists on telling the truth. Eventually, Alceste has carried his principles so far and made so much trouble for himself that he decides to retire to the wilderness where he will not have to deal with humanity. He is a "misanthrope" only because others do not understand or appreciate his high moral standards. Philinte is an extrovert and is quite at home at the court; Alceste is an introvert and perhaps belongs in an isolated cottage.
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