El Filibusterismo: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 23 (A Corpse)

Summary:
Basilio is studying at Captain Tiago’s house.  Simoun arrives and tries to convince the youth to join in the revolution that the jeweler is planning.  However, all his efforts are in vain and Basilio refuses to take any part in it.  Simoun then further explains that the revolution is a necessary step if he were to rescue Maria Clara from the nunnery.  Basilio then tells him that the lady is dead.  Simoun leaves Captain Tiago’s house deeply grieved and tormented.

Points of Note:
The last paragraph of this chapter is a very beautiful flow of poetry that plays through the mind of Basilio as he ponders over what had happened to Maria Clara in the convent, and how there could have been no miracle to have ever stopped it.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why does Basilio still strive to cure Captain Tiago of his illness when the youth is already exhausted in doing so?
Answer: Basilio is a man of honor.  He is always thinking about the future he might have with Juli, and how he refuses to stain that future with a dark past.

Question: Why does Simoun liken Captain Tiago to the Philippine government?
Answer: Just like Captain Tiago who is slowly being consumed by the poison of opium, the Philippines is also about to die any moment because of the widespread corruption in the country.

Question: Why does Simoun need Basilio in the revolution he is planning?
Answer: Apart from Captain Tiago and Simoun, Basilio alone is able to recognize Maria Clara, whom they have to save from the nunnery.  Simoun will be busy organizing his troops, so he greatly needs Basilio if he is to rescue the woman he loves.

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