Les Liaisons Dangereuses

by Christopher Hampton

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What is the tragic aspect of letter 143 from Tourvel to Rosemonde in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Laclos?

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In the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) the importance of what is known as the "tragic aspect" reflects on the power of writing and reading as powerful connection tools that open the keys to love, sadness, sex, information, friendships, and break ups. It was the ancient "internet" so to speak, and its power was immeasurable.

What is tragic about this letter is that, Madame de Tourvel is slowly foreshadowing how the end will come to her: The same way it came in love letters, it left her. She basically gives up, and becomes so consumed in the agony and despair of the letter sent to her by Valmont, that she appeals for Rosemonde's pity, as she really has been left with nothing left to live for.

Later on we find out in the upcoming letters that this was in fact the truth. Tourvel is not getting any better, closes herself up in a convent, and her illness continues to take the best of her. In form, Les Liaisons Dangereuses uses the literary technique of epistolary narrative to convey the entire story. Hence, the letter from Tourvel constitutes the climax of the story in typical narrative, and the message it brought with it it would be the tragic aspect of it.

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