Hellfire project

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Information about Hellfire project

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: AshleyToups



Senior year we were assigned to find a poem or song and explicate it. I chose the song "Hellfire" from the Disney movie "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Hellfire by Stephen Schwartz Ashley Toups

Background on Stephen Schwartz • Stephen Schwartz was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. • He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968. • His first major accomplishment was the title song for the play Butterflies are Free.

Background on Stephen Schwartz • Stephen Schwartz runs musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles and serves on the ASCAP board. • He is also currently president of the Dramatists’ Guild. • Some of his famous works are in Pippin, Godspell, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt, Wicked, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Background on Stephen Schwartz • Stephen Schwartz has won 3 Oscars, 4 Grammys, 4 Drama Desk Awards, a Golden Globe Award, 2 Broadcast Film Critics Awards, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Broadway Hall of Fame. • He has recently been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hellfire • It is a lyric poem. • I chose this song because it is in one of my favorite Walt Disney movies: The Hunchback of Notre Dame. • It is probably one of the most darkest Disney songs. • It is a very deep and beautiful song.


Hellfire • Beata Maria You know I am a righteous man Of my virtue I am justly proud • Beata Maria You know I'm so much purer than The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd • Then tell me, Maria Why I see her dancing there Why her smold'ring eyes still scorch my soul • I feel her, I see her The sun caught in raven hair Is blazing in me out of all control • • • • Minister Frollo is praying to Mary whom he calls Maria, who is the mother of Jesus Christ. He is praising himself and telling Mary how good of a man he is. So he does not understand why he is having this problem if he is so righteous. He uses imagery when he talks about the gypsy woman, Esmeralda, when he says, “Why I see her dancing there/Why her smold’ring eyes still scorch my soul/I feel her, I see her/The sun caught in raven hair.”

Hellfire • Like fire Hellfire This fire in my skin This burning Desire Is turning me to sin It's not my fault • I'm not to blame • It is the gypsy girl The witch who sent this flame • It's not my fault • If in God's plan • He made the devil so much Stronger than a man • Symbolism: Fire = his sin which is lust. His sin is growing and consuming him like a fire. • Shift: “This burning/Desire/Is turning me to sin/It’s not my fault/I’m not to blame.” He sounds almost guilty and about to admit his sin but then quickly changes his mind and says it is not his fault and blames it on the gypsy and God.

Hellfire • Protect me, Maria Don't let this siren cast her spell Don't let her fire sear my flesh and bone Destroy Esmeralda And let her taste the fires of hell Or else let her be mine and mine alone • Hellfire Dark fire Now gypsy, it's your turn Choose me or Your pyre Be mine or you will burn • This man is clearly troubled. He has a passionate, burning, and dangerous lust for this gypsy. • He is selfish. He does not care for or truly lover her. He just cares about her pleasurable beauty. • Shift: “Destroy Esmeralda/And let her taste the fires of hell/Or else let her be mine and mine alone.” First, he wants Mary to kill her, but then he changes his mind and says to destroy her UNLESS she belongs to him. He is giving the gypsy a choice to choose either him or her fire, death. If he can not have her, no one can.

Hellfire • God have mercy on her • God have mercy on me • But she will be mine Or she will burn! • Shift: “God have mercy on her/God have mercy on me/But she will be mine/Or she will burn!” He almost sounds like he feels guilty for what he is doing but then he quickly turns back into a selfish and evil man.

Purpose and Theme • I think the purpose of this poem is to show how sin can overcome someone and anyone. • The theme is pride can blind. Minister Frollo is totally “blind” to his sin because he is prideful and believes he is a great and holy man when he says, “Beata Maria/You know I am a righteous man/Of my virtue I am justly proud/Beata Maria/You know I’m so much purer than/The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd” (Schwartz l. 5-7 and 9-11).

Sources • • • • • • •

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