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Enjolras is the charismatic leader of the Friends of the ABC in the Victor Hugo book and musical adaptation of Les Misérables.

Novel

The Friends of the ABC

Enjolras is the leader of the Friends of the ABC, a group of students dedicated to making political changes in France. Enjolras devoutly believes in democratic freedom, which leads him into an argument with the Bonapartist Marius Pontmercy. Enjolras is a firm believer in democracy and equality. He declares "Patria" or "fatherland" as his mistress. This makes him the opposite of the character Grantaire who is cynical and believes in nothing. Despite the differences in their characters, Grantaire looks up to Enjolras and often refers to him as a Greek god.

June 5, 1832

During the funeral of General 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 Friends of the 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. After a drunken revolutionary shoots an innocent, Enjolras promptly executes him.

The students mourn the death of Mabeuf and plan what to do with Javert. They decide to keep him 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; Valjean leads Javert away, and sets him free instead.

Death

As the army presses onwards, Enjolras retreats into the wine shop. Grantaire, awakening from his drunken stupor, comes downstairs, asking to be shot with Enjolras. The soldiers execute both of them.

Musical

Enjolras’ role in the musical is relatively unchanged. In the musical, Enjolras remains the leader of the Friends of the ABC and the revolutionary students. After news of General Lamarque's death, he rouses the revolutionaries and declares that now is the time to strike. The students build a barricade in the street. During the first attack, Enjolras is nearly killed by a sniper who is in turn killed by Valjean, saving Enjolras' life. To thank Valjean, Enjolras allows him to the privilege of executing the police spy, Inspector Javert, but Valjean lets the inspector go free, as in the novel. In the end, Enjolras is not executed by soldiers, but is shot at the barricade while waving a red flag as his symbol of revolution. This actually happened to Monsieur Mabeuf in the book, but this was changed to make the barricade plot easier to follow.

It should be noted that at no point in the libretto of the play is Enjolras's name mentioned (possibly due to difficulty in pronouncing it). On the Complete Symphonic Recording, however, it is shouted at the beginning of the song "Red and Black," as well as in the Paris Revival Cast Recording (1991), it is heard at the beginning of "Le Café Des Amis De L'ABC."

Songs



Adaptations

Actor Version
Jean Angelo 1913 Adaptation
Paul Guidé 1925 Adaptation
Robert Vidalin 1934 Adaptation
John Carradine 1935 Adaptation
Serge Reggiani 1958 Adaptation
Jean-Luc Boutté 1972 Adaptation
Timothy Morand 1978 Adaptation
Hervé Furic 1982 Adaptation
David Burt 1985 London Musical
Michael Maguire 1987 Broadway Musical
1995 Concert
Lennie James 1998 Adaptation
Steffen Wink 2000 Adaptation
Dean Collinson 2003-2004 Danish Tour Cast
Aaron Lazar 2006 Broadway Revival
Freek Bartels 2008 Original Dutch Cast
Kevin Houle 2008-2009 Québec French Cast
David Thaxton 2008-2010 West Endmarker Cast


External links




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