Act II Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 315

The second act opens with an imagined scene in the National Assembly where Marat questions the actions of those in power after the revolution, saying they are as bad as before the revolution. His words are received with mixed emotions. Some cheer him on while others question his facts and intentions, including Duperret. Coulmier can take it no longer and jumps up, demanding Sade cut these parts from the play. Roux interrupts and further incites the patients.

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Marat, exhausted, is in his bath again, tended to by Simonne. He is once again attempting to commit his thoughts to paper. Sade, to the side, questions the revolutionary's writing, claiming that nothing can be achieved by scribbling. Marat defends himself, saying that he always wrote with action in mind and that it wasn't a replacement for action, only a preparation. But Sade doesn't let up and asks him to look at the sorry state of the revolution. Marat is confused and exhausted.

Corday prepares herself for her final visit to Marat's bath. She takes her dagger in hand, while Duperret suggests she throw it away and give up on this goal. He begs her to go away with him. She refuses and resolutely goes to Marat's door. Sade interjects his idea about sensuality at this point and stirs up the patients to sing "what's the point of a revolution without general copulation." Corday knocks at Marat's door and is invited to enter.

The Herald engages in a brief recitation of history, claiming fifteen glorious years since the revolution and the rise of Napoleon. Marat is killed in his bath by Corday.

Coulmier tries to bring a conclusion, again insisting "we live in far different times." The patients, however, are aroused and march around the stage. Coulmier enlists the nurses to strike them down. As the nurses violently beat the patients, Sade looks on laughing. The play ends.

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Act I Summary