Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Character

This is a simple list (mostly from Sparknotes) of the characters in the books that I have been studying this year.

Paradise Lost:

Satan - Head of the rebellious angels who have just fallen from Heaven

Adam- first human, the father of our race, but falls from grace when Eve convinces him to join her in the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

Eve- made from a rib taken from Adam’s side, eats the fruit of the forbidden tree despite God’s command

God the father- does not prevent their fall, in order to preserve their free will, but he does allow his Son to atone for their sins

God the Son- delivers the fatal blow to Satan’s forces, sending them down into Hell, He offers himself as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of mankind

Devils in Hell:

Beelzebub- Satan’s second-in-command

Belial- One of the principal devils in Hell

Mammon- epitome of wealth

Mulciber- devil who builds Pandemonium, Satan’s palace in Hell

Moloch- argues in Pandemonium that the devils should engage in another full war against God and his servant angels

Sin- Satan’s daughter, who sprang full-formed from Satan’s head when he was still in Heaven

Death - Satan’s son by his daughter, Sin; rapes his mother, begetting the mass of beasts that torment her lower half

Angels in Heaven:

Gabriel - One of the archangels of Heaven, who acts as a guard at the Garden of Eden. Gabriel confronts Satan after his angels find Satan whispering to Eve in the Garden.

Raphael - One of the archangels in Heaven, who acts as one of God’s messengers. Raphael informs Adam of Satan’s plot to seduce them into sin, and also narrates the story of the fallen angels, as well as the fall of Satan.

Uriel - An angel who guards the planet earth, tricked by Satan disguised as a Cherub, lets other angels aware of Satan’s presence

Abdiel - An angel who at first considers joining Satan in rebellion but argues against Satan and the rebel angels and returns to God. His character demonstrates the power of repentance.

Michael - The chief of the archangels, leads the angelic forces against Satan and his followers in the battle in Heaven, before the Son provides the decisive advantage. Also stands guard at the Gate of Heaven, and narrates the future of the world to Adam in Books XI and XII


Oedipus Rex:

Oedipus-protagonist that eventually figures out he has married his mother and killed his father

Jocosta-Oedipus’ mother, wife, and lover who threw him out as a baby for fear of his prophecy

Chorus-tells readers how they should interpret what is going on, tells readers how other characters understand what is going on, and comments on what is going on

Creon- Oedipus’ brother in law who eventually takes Oedipus’ thrown and banishes him

Daughters- play minute role saying goodbye to their father at the end

Felicia- prophesied Oedipus’ downfall


The Inferno:

Dante-the protagonist and a living man who embarks on a journey from Hell to Paradise

Virgil-a poet in hell who represents human reason and leads Dante through Hell

Beatrice-Dante’s love and also the one who asked an angel to find Virgil to lead Dante

Charon-an old man who ferries souls across the river to Hell

Lucifer-Prince of evil and most tortured in Hell



The Hamlet:

Hamlet-prince of Denmark, protagonist, after seeing his fathers "ghost" he must determine whether what it says is true and exact revenge for his father

Claudius-king of Denmark, killed brother and stole brother’s wife for throne

Gertrude-hamlet’s mother, claudius’ wife, perhaps loves Hamlet in an unmotherly way

Polonius-Ophelia and Laertes father, Lord Chamberlain in Claudius’ court, Claudius' right hand man, cares more about Claudius than family or right

Ophelia-once Hamlet’s love, obeys selfish father and brother, goes mad and drowns in river, to me she is the real victim of this play

Laertes-Ophelia’s brother, it seems he loves Ophelia deeply, but doesn’t really care about her feelings, he eventually leads to Hamlets demise when he cuts him with a poisoned sword in a duel

Horatio-Hamlet’s loyal friend

Marcellus and Bernardo - The officers who first see the ghost walking the ramparts of Elsinore and who summon Horatio to witness it. 



The Merchant of Venice:
Shylock- hated/abused jew, selfish father to Jessica, and cruel moneylender to Antonio

Portia-forced to marry whoever passes her laid father’s test, clever, acts in the disguise of a young law clerk and saves Antonia from Shylock

Bassanio- Portia’s love and the one who picks the correct casket, borrowed money from shylock through Antonio for Portia’s test

Antonio-loves friend Bassanio which almost cost him his life at the hands of Shylock

Gratiano- Bassanio’s friend that accompanies him to court Portia, falls in love with Portia’s maid Nerissa and marries her

Nerissa - Portia’s lady-in-waiting and confidante.

Francisco - A soldier and guardsman at Elsinore. 


The Odyssey:


Odysseus-protagonist, Odysseus fought among the other Greek heroes at Troy and now struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope and the father of Prince Telemachus.

Penelope-wife of Odysseus and stays true to him to the end, surviving vicious and rude suitors

Telemachus- comes of age during the novel and wants to avenge his father and eventually does,

Athena- assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic, and she speaks up for them in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus. She often appears in disguise as Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus.

Suitors- Odysseus’s mortal antagonists

Poseidon- divine antagonist, mad at Odysseus for blinding his son the Cyclops

Zeus- king of gods and men, sometimes helps Odysseus or permits Athena to do the same.

Eumaeus - The loyal shepherd who, along with the cowherd Philoetius, helps Odysseus reclaim his throne after his return to Ithaca.

Calypso-nympth that detains Odysseus for years for her sexual pleasure but reluctantly lets him go by Athena's pleading

Laertes - Odysseus’s aging father, who resides on a farm in Ithaca.

Circe - The beautiful witch-goddess who transforms Odysseus’s crew into swine when he lands on her island, convinces Odysseus to live and sleep with her for a year

Polyphemus- Cyclops that imprisons Odysseus and his crew and eat many of them, but Odysseus blinds him through a clever ruse and manages to escape

Alcinous - King of the Phaeacians, who offers Odysseus hospitality in his island kingdom of Scheria