This opera is based on the life and writings of the infamous Marquis de Sade. The three acts of the opera, The Road, The Forest, and The Castle (images found repeatedly in Sade's writing) correspond with the three significant eras of Sade's life: Part 1 - The Road tells the story of Sade the rake. Beginning with his engagement to two wives, it follows all of his affairs, the major public scandals of his youth, his exploits escaping the law, and the intervention of his wife's controlling mother Mme. Montreuil. The act ends when he is finally arrested by inspector Marais and sentenced to Vincennes Prison. Part 2 - The Forest explores Sade the prisoner, taking place over the twelve years Sade was incarcerated at Vincennes Prison and later in the Bastille. While his philosophy and writing flourishes, he is slowly estranged from those he loves, including his wife Pelagie and his two sons. Part 3 - The Castle looks at Sade the citizen/madman, Leaving prison penniless and alone, Sade makes the best of his talent and resources in the catastrophe of revolutionary Paris. Beginning with the publications of Justine and Juliette, he is finally sentenced to Charenton Asylum, where he dies.