Gwynplaine is not your normal guy. Sure, he was a child slave who was abandoned by his owners when he was yet young. Sure, he adopted a dying infant when he had no family of his own. Sure, he now lives with a misanthrope playwright who would prefer to talk to his wolf than another human. That’s a little out of the ordinary. Still, what is really different, what everyone notices about him, is his face: a cruel, lasting trick of his owners, setting his face into an eternal laugh. Of course, his face sets a stark contrast with his life. He tries to make the best of it, but it’s not easy. The infant he adopted, lovingly named Dea, is now blind. The three of them (Gwynplaine, Dea, and the playwright, Ursus) barely scrape by on the cash they bring in from Ursus’ plays. Unfortunately, after suffering through a miserable life for twenty some years, Gwynplaine is facing an even more difficult issue: one of the heart. For all of his life, he has been in love with Dia. Now, against all odds, Gwynplaine discovers he is the son of a Lord. Rightful husband of beautiful Duchess Josiana (who also loves him), he is given the chance to use his newfound power to fight for the poor. Yet, to do all of that, he must give up Dea. A chance to do what is right, or a chance for love. The choice is no laughing matter.