|ASTERIX & PUNISHMENT||
Hardly any punishments are seen in the Asterix stories, except, of course, for the Romans, who pay the price each time they come up against their Gaulish adversaries. Nevertheless, there are some examples of unforgettable punishments, that are the delight of lions and crocodiles, and where pride, cowardice and impertinence are strongly admonished.
The only time we see the Gaulish chiefs mete out punishment on one of their own is in Asterix and the Cauldron. Asterix is entrusted with a cauldron full of Sestertis, which are all the taxes collected by Whosemoralsarelastix, a shady Gaulish chief. Even though he watches over it carefully, Asterix finds it empty the next morning. The punishment is stern: he is banished from the village, and he has to find the money to regain his dignity and the confidence of his peers.solo.
In other lands, commitments are taken very seriously. If success is lacking, punishment is inevitable, and blackmail is a serious crime. In Asterix and Cleopatra, Edifis the architect must build a luxurious palace for Julius Caesar in Alexandria. If he fails, Cleopatra will have him thrown to the crocodiles.
Since he has no crocodiles, Caesar uses lions. One of his favorite activities is giving them live meals. But those who end up on the menu seem to enjoy it a bit less . . . Especially when they are victims of his favorite type of blackmail: arresting Gauls and threatening to throw them to the hungry lions in the Roman Circus.
But Caesar's deceit can backfire on him. In Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield, his arrogance is punished. He plans to parade on the very shield that belonged to Vercingetorix, but, stunned and ridiculous, watches "the triumph of Vitalstatistix" instead, as the chief of the village rides the legendary shield. Vanity has a high price . . . and its punishment is uncompromising!
Fortunately, centurions punish legionaries reasonably. They often have to do basic chores, such as washing, cooking or the dishes. While some of them complain constantly, others take it stoically - it's much better to wash the dishes than to meet up with a Gaul in the forest.
However, our Gaulish friends just love running into Romans in the forest and hate doing the dishes. Especially when strangers order them around. Of course, everyone knows Gauls can't be forced to do anything . . . So, if we see them obeying a punishment, this means that something is up. This is what happens in Asterix and the Goths, where they accept the harsh life of the Goth soldiers in order to free their druid Getafix.
In Asterix the Gladiator, Caius Fatuous, the gladiator trainer, is in a bad way. He thought he could fill his pockets with Sestertis by fooling everyone, and finds out that things are not as they seem. Asterix makes him pay by rowing in Ekonomikrisis's galley. A fine lesson!
Our Gaulish friends have three favorite activities: eating, drinking and bashing Romans. What is surprising is that they are never sick, except, of course, for Vitalstatistix. In Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield, we see that he has gone overboard a bit too much, and is paying for it with liver problems. Undergoing a radical diet in a spa, to pay for his excesses, he suffers this torture with great courage, and, when he leaves, is a new man: he has become thin! But this doesn't last long. He gains back all his pounds, very easily, by stopping often in the many restaurants along the way back.
Cacofonix, the bard, is always punished. No one understands him, and he is beaten up at the slightest note that leaves his mouth. When his fellow Gauls don't attack him, it's the rain that does. At each banquet, he's tied to a tree, and condemned to keep his dreadful vocal cords under wraps.