This post is mainly dealing with musical Marius, but might add some facts about book Marius as well.
We first meet Marius in 1832. The very first we learn about him is that he is this young, revolutionary student, who is rallying people to support the upcoming uprising. In the book, he has a political struggle with his grandfather. His grandfather raised Marius because Marius’ father has different political views than his grandfather. Marius believes that his father does not even love him, but he soon learns that his father did love him and that has Marius look up more about the political person that his father supports. He leaves his grandfather and decides to live a life of poverty and does not want help from his grandfather even if his grandfather sends him money.
He is close friends with Enjolras, the leader of the uprising. Marius is a law student and also a romantic. One day he bumps into Cosette and instantly falls in love with her despite the fact that Eponine is in love with Marius. Marius has a close relationship to Eponine and is completely oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him. Falling in love with Cosette has Marius struggle between the cause he believes in and the love of his life.
He does ask Eponine to help find Cosette for him because he knows she is streetwise due to being involved in her father’s schemes. Marius still cannot figure out that Eponine loves him. As a matter of fact, Marius is the only person in Eponine’s life who ever shows her kindness. Marius is quite a sweet and nice person despite how oblivious he is to Eponine’s love.
A lot for what Marius does is either for the sake of Cosette or for the sake of the cause that he believes in. He eventually is able to confess his love to Cosette after Eponine shows him Cosette’s house. Thenardier tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius and Cosette are confessing their love for each other. Eponine, Thenardier’s daughter, alerts Valjean of the danger. Marius thanks for preventing the robbery and introduces her to Cosette. He discovers that Cosette and her father are about to leave for London. Marius is conflicted on whether or not he should become a part of the rebellion due to his love for Cosette. Marius does decide to get involved in the rebellion with his friends.
At the beginning of Act two, Marius notices that Eponine has joined the revolutionaries. In order to protect her, he asks her to deliver a letter to Cosette. Marius does not want her to return to the barricades because he does not want her to get hurt. But Eponine still returns to the barricades.
While climbing over, she gets caught in the crossfire and as a consequence she gets fatally wounded. Marius automatically asks her if she saw Cosette without realizing that she is terribly wounded, but that’s because Eponine was trying to cover up her wound. But once she collapses in Marius’ arms, he finally realized how hurt Eponine truly is. This completely devastates Marius and he does not want her to die, but he decides to be compassionate and stay brave for her. He does not leave her side and offers her comfort. Eponine finally learns that she did mean something to Marius. Marius views Eponine as a friend and does love her, but not in the romantic sense.
Valjean arrives at the barricades in order to protect Marius because his daughter loves him. At the time of “Drink With Me”, Marius is still devastated about Eponine’s death. All of the students feel completely hopeless during this scene. They saw what they were up against at the time of Eponine’s death and knew they were outnumbered and knew that they most likely going to die.
Valjean is worried that Marius will not survive the night and prays to God to save him. The next day during the final battle, Marius gets seriously wounded and falls unconscious and Valjean carries Marius through the sewers in order to save Marius’ life and takes him back to his grandfather’s. Marius has lost all of his friends at the barricade including Eponine. It takes Marius several months to recover and the events that happened at the barricade matured Marius. He does go through survivor’s guilt and wishes that he died as well even though he still has Cosette.
Marius and Cosette do eventually get married. This when the Thenardiers try to scam Marius out of money. He learns during this scene that Valjean saved his life at the barricades and Marius take Cosette to see Valjean. Too late because Valjean is dying, but he got to die with Marius and Cosette by his side. At the end, Marius and Cosette have lost everything expect for each other.
Marius gets a lot of hate by Les Mis fans. They call him a jerk just because he stays oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him and does not realize that she loved him until her death. But I don’t think Marius ever treated Eponine like that. He was the only person who even showed Eponine any sort of kindness. People think that Marius and Cosette have their happily ever after, but in reality not really. Cosette had a terrible childhood and later her father dies. Marius faced a lot of trauma at the barricade because he watched all of his friends die. Marius is in fact capable of compassion, which is especially shown during Eponine’s death. He stays with her even though he is devastated.
He always showed Eponine kindness. Marius is not even a jerk at all and it is unfair to call him that because he does not know Eponine loves him. But Eponine never told him her feelings for him until the time of her death. I think Marius and Cosette make a lovely couple and of the characters who survive, Marius and Cosette are my favorite characters.
Part of what Marius is based off is young Victor Hugo. A big reason why I love Marius and Cosette together is because their relationship is based off of young Victor Hugo and his first love.
The next analysis is for Eponine Thenardier.