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June 6, 1832 (aged 26)
|Cause of Death||
Executed by the soldiers alongside Grantaire taking eight bullets to the torso (novel & 2012 film & 2019 BBC miniseries)
Only son of rich parents
Grantaire (possible love interest )
Enjolras (pronounced: [ɑ̃ʒolʁas]) is a character in the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. He is the youthful, handsome, and charming, though "capable of being terrible," leader of Les Amis de l'ABC . A "priest of the ideal", Enjolras is devoted to the revolution and his republican ideals. He is a skilled combatant during the June Rebellion, facing a battalion of the National Guard alone, but he sustains no wounds or injuries prior to his death. Enjolras is killed by a firing squad in the Corinthe, holding the French flag.
Enjolras was born into a wealthy family in 1806. He believes in democracy and freedom and is willing to do anything to achieve it. Hugo tells the reader that Enjolras is a very charming young man who is also capable of being terrible. He is described as having blonde curls and blue eyes. Despite his good looks, however, he has no interest in women.
After the death of General Lamarque, Enjolras and his followers take part in a rebellion that breaks out after soldiers fire on civilians during General Lamarque's funeral convoy. Victor Hugo writes: “Within less than an hour twenty-seven barricades had sprung up in the quarter of Les Halles alone. At the centre was the famous house no. 50 [should be 30] which became the fortress of the workers’ leader, Charles Jeanne, and his 106 followers.” The rebellion is very unsuccessful. On Enjolras's barricade, all but two people are killed (excluding the five insurgents Enjolras orders to leave out of necessity when it becomes clear that the barricade is doomed). He is a passionate leader and fighter that cares about the people of France; when he is forced to shoot a man, he not only regrets it but the shooting of Le Cabuc is symbolic of Enjolras' capability of being terrible, as well as the Amis' realization that they're all going to die at the barricade.
Les Amis l'ABC
Enjolras is the passionate leader of Les Amis de l'ABC, a group of students and workingmen dedicated to making political changes in France. In the musical he is shown to have a closer bond with his fellow revolutionaries, including young Gavroche. Enjolras devoutly believes in democratic freedom, which leads him into an argument with the Bonapartist Marius Pontmercy. Enjolras strives to realize democracy and equality. He declares "Patria" or "Homeland" as his mistress and only has eyes for his cause. This makes him a foil of the character Grantaire, who is cynical and believes in nothing (besides Enjolras himself). Despite the differences in their characters, Grantaire looks up to Enjolras.
June 5, 1832
During the funeral of Lamarque, a popular defender of the people, the monarchy dispatches troops to keep the peace. As shots are fired, Enjolras and the rest of the Amis de l'ABC spring up and build a barricade outside of a wine shop in the Rue Mondetour. They build the barricade out of common items, arm themselves and prepare for the coming fight. Gavroche points out that Javert, posing as a revolutionary, is actually a spy for the army. The men take Javert prisoner and tie him to a pole in the Corinth restaurant. After a revolutionary shoots an innocent bystander, Enjolras promptly executes him as penalty. It's mentioned that the executed revolutionary was not only Claquesous, one of the four heads of Patron-Minette, but that he had been hired to stir up anarchy amongst the revolutionaries. The students mourn the death of Mabeuf, who was shot attempting to return the red flag of the revolution to its post, having volunteered to do this task. Enjolras gives Mabeuf a kiss on the forehead, and later on the hand: Victor Hugo states that those are the only two kisses Enjolras has bestowed in his entire life. He then erects Mabeuf's coat in place of the flag to honor his courage. After discussing the matter, the students decide to keep Javert as a hostage. Enjolras sends five men away from the barricade, realizing that those at the barricade will die. Valjean arrives at the barricade. Enjolras orders Javert's execution following the execution of Jean Prouvaire at the hands of the National Guard; Valjean leads Javert away with permission to do this task and sets him free instead.
The barricades fall and as the army presses onwards, Enjolras retreats into the wine shop. He alone is left untouched by bullets and wounds, but with no other weapon in hand except for the barrel of his carbine. Cornered by the National Guard, Enjolras himself orders them to shoot him. He throws away the stump of his carbine, folding his arms and presenting his breast. In the final moment as the guardsmen are about to shoot him, Grantaire wakes from his drunken stupor and asks to be shot with Enjolras, saying: "Vive la république! I'm one of them." Grantaire asks Enjolras's permission to die beside him. Enjolras takes Grantaire's hand as a reply and smiles at him, and the soldiers execute both of them together. Enjolras, pierced by eight bullets, remains backed against the wall, as if the balls have him there. The only difference in his posture is that he nails his head.
(In the 2012 film, his body is flung back out of the window, except for his foot which is caught inside the room. The final image of him that we see is his body sprawling upside-down from the window, a fallen flag over the ruin of his barricade.)
- It is possible that "Enjolras" is derived from an Occitan surname "Enjeura", meaning to terrify. It also could be a pun of French "ange" meaning angel, making Enjolras a terrifying angel.
- Despite being one of the musical’s most iconic characters, Enjolras’ name is never said in the original libretto of the musical.
- Enjolras’ relationship with his fellow revolutionaries is debated, there’s a bit of proof in the novel he did have feelings for Grantaire. Some people believe he had feelings for Éponine, but he most likely simply respected her quite a bit.
- Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones)
- At the Barricade (Upon These Stones)
- Javert's Arrival
- Little People
- Night of Anguish
- The First Attack
- Drink With Me
- Dawn of Anguish
- The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche)
- The Final Battle
- Empty Chairs At Empty Tables (silent)
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