Noli Me Tangere
Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere

Available Only on StudyHippo
Topics:
  • Pages: 5 (2290 words)
  • Published: June 28, 2018
Text preview

The literal translation of the title is touch me not. Rizal derived this phrase from the Bible, specifically the Gospel of St. John 20:13-17, which describes how lepers were made to wear signs bearing these words to warn passers-by of their condition. “Touch me not” were also the warning words spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene upon rising from the dead. In the Gospel of John, Jesus uttered this because he has not accomplished is mission (after rising from the dead, he must ascend to heaven to see God the Father) and hence, cannot be touched. French writer D. Blumentritt says that “Noli me tangere” is in fact the professional nickname used by ophthalmologists (such as Rizal himself) for cancer of the eyelids. Plot summary Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisostomo Ibarra comes back to his motherland after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Capitan Tiago (Don Santiago de los Santos) throws a get-together party, which is attended by Father Damaso, Fray Sibyla, Lieutenant Guevarra, Dona Victorina, and other prominent figures.

In an unfortunate incident, Father Damaso, former curate of San Diego, belittles and slanders the young man. But the ever-gracious and diplomatic Ibarra brushes off the insult and takes no offense; he instead politely excuses himself and leaves the party because of an allegedly important task. Ibarra’s sweetheart, Maria Clara, an extraordinarily beautiful lady is known as the daughter of Capitan Tiago, an affluent resident of Binondo. The day after the humbling party, Ibarra goes to see Maria Clara.

Their long-st

...

anding love is clearly manifested in this meeting, and Maria Clara cannot help but reread the letters her sweetheart had written her before he went to Europe. Before Ibarra left for San Diego, Lieutenant Guevarra (a Guardia Civil), reveals to him the incidents preceding the death of his father Don Rafael. Don Rafael was a rich haciendero of the town. According to the Lieutenant, Don Rafael was unjustly accused of being a heretic, in addition to being a filibuster–an allegation brought forth by Father Damaso because of Don Rafael’s non-participation in confession and mass rites.

Father Damaso’s animosity against Ibarra’s father is aggravated by another incident. Once Don Rafael saw a tax collector and a student fighting. Out of compassion, he helped the child. The tax collector was greatly irked and picked a fight with Don Rafael. Unfortunately, the Spanish tax collector fell, hit his head against a rock, and died. The collector’s death was blamed on Don Rafael, and he was arrested. Suddenly, all of those who thought ill of him surfaced with additional complaints.

He was imprisoned, and just when the matter was almost settled, he got sick and died in jail. Still not content with what he had done, Father Damaso arranged for Don Rafael’s corpse to be dug up and transferred from the Catholic cemetery to the Chinese cemetery, because he thought it inappropriate to allow a heretic such as Don Rafael a Catholic burial ground. Unfortunately, it was raining and because of the bothersome weight of the cadaver, the men in charge of the burial decided to throw the corpse

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

into the river.

Revenge was not in Ibarra’s plans; instead he carries through his father’s plan of putting up a school, since he believes that education would pave the way to his country’s liberation. During the inauguration of the school, Ibarra would have been killed in a sabotage had Elias not saved him. Instead the hired killer met an unfortunate incident and died. The sequence of events proved to be too traumatic for Maria Clara who got seriously ill but was luckily cured by the medicine Ibarra sent her. After the inauguration, Ibarra hosts a luncheon during which Father Damaso again insults him.

Ibarra ignores the priest’s insolence, but when the latter slanders the memory of his dead father, he is no longer able to restrain himself and lunges at Father Damaso, prepared to stab the latter for his impudence. His beloved Maria Clara stops him just in time. As a consequence, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church excommunicates Ibarra. Father Damaso takes this opportunity to persuade the already-hesitant father of Maria Clara to forbid his daughter from marrying Ibarra. The priest wishes Maria Clara to marry a Spanish named Linares who just arrived from Spain.

With the help of the Captain General, Ibarra’s excommunication is nullified and the Archbishop decides to accept him as a member of the Roman Catholic Church once again. But, as fate would have it, some incident of which Ibarra had known nothing about is blamed on him, and he is wrongly arrested and imprisoned. But the accusation against him is overruled because during the litigation that followed, nobody could testify that he was indeed involved. Unfortunately, his letter to Maria Clara somehow gets into the hands of the jury and is manipulated such that it then becomes evidence against him.

Meanwhile, in Capitan Tiago’s residence, a party is being held to announce the upcoming wedding of Maria Clara and Linares. Ibarra, with the help of Elias, takes this opportunity and escapes from prison. But before leaving, Ibarra talks to Maria Clara and accuses her of betraying him, thinking that she gave the letter he wrote her to the jury. Maria Clara explains to Ibarra that she will never conspire against him but that she was forced to surrender Ibarra’s letter to her in exchange for the letters written by her mother even before she, Maria Clara, was born.

The letters were from her mother, Pia Alba, to Father Damaso alluding to their unborn child; and that she, Maria Clara, is therefore not the daughter of Capitan Tiago, but of Father Damaso. Afterwards, Ibarra and Elias board a boat and flee the place. Elias instructs Ibarra to lie down and the former covers the latter with grass to conceal the latter’s presence. As luck would have it, they are spotted by their enemies. Elias thinks he could outsmart them and jumps into the water. The guards rain shots on the person in the water, all the while not knowing that they are aiming at the wrong man.

Maria Clara, thinking that Ibarra has been killed in the shooting incident, is greatly overcome with grief.

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay