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Character Sketch

Character Sketch Princess Flavia

Introduction

Princess Flavia is a character from the novel entitled The Prisoner of Zenda, written by Anthony Hope. She is the only female character who is not directly involved in the conspiracies, which pervade the entire atmosphere of the novel. She is the cousin and fiancée of King Rudolf Elphberg and is the immediate inheritor to the throne. She bears a bewitching personality and fascinates the readers by the elegant attitude.

Her appearance can be perceived by Rudolf Rassendyll’s saying:

“A girl pale and lovely, surmounted by a crown of glorious Elphberg hair.”

Beautiful Aspects of her Role

Princess Flavia is a young, captivating and decent lady. She possesses a character full of virtues and commands great respect and admiration among the people of Ruritania. They wish to see her as the future queen of the country. She is a noble and kind-hearted woman.

“Trust men, and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Soberness and Intelligence

Princess Flavia is a wise woman. Her wisdom keeps her aware of the evil desires of Black Michael, who is not a good man. She very intelligently keeps herself away from all sorts of intrigues. She is a sensible person who has the courage to face the realities of life.

Her intelligence is enlightened when she said to Rassendyll:

“Do be careful,” she went on, “you don’t – indeed you don’t – keep enough watch on him.”

Romance

Princess Flavia is a lady with elements of love in her heart. These elements increase the fascination and temptation in her character. She sincerely and quite confidently admits her inclination towards Rassendyll, being impressed by his personality. She was bold enough to propose Rassendyll but her sensibility restricted her to perform any action below dignity. She gave heart and soul to Rudolf Rassendyll considering him to be the real king. She never mourns her decision even after coming to know that he is a pretender. She confessed that Rudolf Rassendyll was acceptable to him even if he was a beggar.

“The fate of love is that it always seems too little or too much.”

- Amelia Barr

Devotion

The princess was a sincere and devoted lady, always worried about the security of Rassendyll. She advised him time and again to be cautious of the wicked plans of Duke Michael. When Black Michael was successful in injuring Rassendyll, she at once reached Zenda to look after him. This action reflects her sense of responsibility and devotion towards the man whom she loved from the depths of her heart.

She said to Rassendyll:

“Oh, if you were not the king, then I could show you how I love you.”

Duty and Patriotism

Princess Flavia is a responsible lady. She very loyal to her country and knows the difference between love and duty. She sets an example of the greatest sacrifice by giving up her love at the altar of duty. This aspect of her character shows that she is not the slave of her passions.

Here sense of duty is enlightened when she says to Rassendyll:

“Your ring will always be on my finger, your heart in my heart. But you must go and I must stay.”

The Great Sacrifice

In order to maintain peace in Ruritania and not to disgrace the royal family, Princess Flavia took a sensible and daring step. She sacrificed her love for the sake of her homeland and parted with Rassendyll forever. It was a noble and graceful decision in the interest of Ruritania and the Royal family.

“There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.”

- Nadine Gordimer

Conclusion

Princess Flavia proves to be not only the leading female character of the novel but also the most lively and integral personality. She holds the attentions of the readers because of her charm, duty and incredible virtues. She respected the wishes of the people and the country and gave up her love for the sake of her country. She is a complete symbol of love, beauty and sacrifice, which makes her an admirable character.

To love one person with a private love is poor and miserable, to love all is glorious.”

- Thomas Traherne

Character Sketch Rudolf Rassendyll

Introduction

Rudolf Rassendyll is the hero and central character of the novel entitled The Prisoner of Zenda, written by Anthony Hope. The integral character of Rassendyll holds the attention of the readers throughout the exciting events of the novel. Rassendyll possesses a prime personality and is linked with the main incidents of the novel in one way or the other.

Various Aspects of His Role

Rudolf Rassendyll is a tall, young and handsome man, who belongs to a noble family in England. He is an educated man of twenty-nine, who has perfect command over German and French. He is bold, cultural and knows the art of becoming popular. He has red hair, straight nose, blue eyes and a beard. His physical appearance bears striking resemblance to that of the real king, though there were some points of differences. Rassendyll himself pointed out:

“The king’s face was slightly more fleshy than mine, the oval of its contour the least trifle more pronounced and his mouth lacking something of the firmness which was to be gathered from my close-shutting lips.”

However, in spite of these differences, Colonel Sapt could not help mentioning to Rassendyll:

“You’re an Elphberg, every inch of you.”

Adventure

Rudolf Rassendyll is very fond of adventures and loves to roam about instead of sticking to a job. He is also a good mastermind who handles difficult situations seeming effortless. The desire to participate in sensational events is always there in his heart. This desire was fulfilled by his play-acting of King Rudolf Elphberg, who was very identical to him. His likeness with the king of Ruritania helped him to make his mission a success. He pledges in strong and unequivocal terms:

“I have been an imposter for the profit of another, but I will not be one for my own; and if the king is not alive and on his throne before the day of betrothal comes I will tell the truth, come what may.”

Wisdom and Prudence

Rudolf Rassendyll proves himself to be a man of outstanding attributes and full of wisdom. He plays the role of the king very intelligently. Once he gets entangled in Ruritanian politics, he becomes conscious not only of the significance of his royal position but also of the responsibility, which lies on his shoulders. He is a wise, cool minded and responsible man.

Faithfulness and Sincerity

Rudolf Rassendyll is a sincere man. He does not want to keep the throne to himself. He carries out all his responsibilities with firmness and confidence. He realizes that it is his duty to restore the real king to the throne and he never tries to take undue advantage as a pretender. His veracity and sincerity is outstanding as he declares:

“If I’m found out, I’ ll make a clean breast of it, and fight it out with the Duke.”

Boldness and Courage

Rudolf Rassendyll is supposed to be gifted with extraordinary courage and chivalry, and does not fall short of our expectations in this matter. He is an expert rider and an excellent sword man. When time and fate offered Rassendyll a challenge, he accepted him as a brave man. His stay in Ruritania unfolds his marvelous sense of responsibility, boldness and wisdom. The role played by him in Ruritania to save the throne from Black Michael was really an act of gallantry and wisdom.

Romance

The romantic aspect of Rassendyll’s personality shows that his heart throbs for Princess Flavia but the sense of duty and devotion to the throne is far stronger in him. The circumstances urge him to express love to Princess Flavia but bot to feel it. Being deeply conscious of his responsibility and dedication, he declares:

“I had to keep the princess devoted to me and yet indifferent to me; I had to show affection for her and not feel it.”

The Great Sacrifice

In order to maintain peace in Ruritania and not to disgrace the royal family, Rudolf Rassendyll took a sensible and daring step. He sacrificed his love at the altar of duty and left Ruritania with tears of regret in the eyes of Princess Flavia, words of gratitude on the lips of king, applause and appreciation from all the countrymen and feeling of satisfaction on his own part.

“There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.”

- Nadine Gordimer

Character Sketch Colonel Sapt

Introduction

Colonel Sapt is one of the most significant and momentous characters of the novel entitled Prisoner of Zenda, written by Anthony Hope. Being the most loyal servant of the kind, Colonal Sapt was the man behind the impersonating of King Elphberg by Rudolf Russendyll. It was due to his guidance that Rassendyll could successfully play the role of king Elphberg.

Colonal Sapt has played the character of an honest person who has sincere wishes to save the throne for the real king of Ruritania. A single glance over the mentioned qualities will bring to light the noble character of Colonal Sapt.

Courage and Bravery

Colonal Sapt is a brave man whose gallantry keeps him motivated for taking personal risks. He shows great valour on all events. He is also very loyal to the king and serves the throne with dedication and faith. Being a sovereign authority, he has enough experience in the art of governing people. His only objective in life is to reinstate King Elphberg. For this achievement, he uses all the persons including Countess Flavia as pieces of chess board.

Sapt’s courage and determination is enlighted when he said to Rassendyll:

“If we’re detected, I’ll send Black Micheal down below before I go myself.”

Wisdom and Sensibility

Colonal Sapt is a wise man. His superb prudence made him sensible enough not take reckless steps. He uses his mind and intelligence on the battlefield of life. It was merely due to his witticism that Rassendyll’s identification was not revealed. Although the Colonal does not accept advises from others, his gorgeous mentality enables him to crush all the obstacles that come in the path of his aim. Due to these qualities, he exalted himself in the eyes of the king and Rassendyll.

His wisdom is enlighted when he said:

“… If you do not go I swear to you Black Micheal will sit tonight on the throne, and the king lie in prison or his grave.”

Friendly Attitude

Colonal Sapt is not only a good advisor, but also a sincere friend of Rassendyll. He became Rassendyll’s friend as soon as they both met. Colonal Sapt served his friend on every difficult stage. A good example of sincere friendship is seen at the Summer House, when Russendyll was in a dangerous situation among the enemies.

Bachelorship

Colonal Sapt appears to be a confirmed bachelor having low opinion about women. He never trusts in ladies, but believes that women spoil everything. Even the princess does not come in exception to his hatred for the opposite gender.

When Mme de Mauban invites Rassendyll to the Summer House, he said:

“I do not believe any woman and you shall not go.”

Discipline

Colonal Sapt is a well-disciplined man. He has some firm rules, which are strictly followed by him. This discipline and devotion leads the colonal to serve the king and his country.

When Rassendyll went to Marshall for some help without consulting him, Sapt angrily said:

Sapt likes to be consulted before hand, not informed afterwards.”

Loyalty

Colonal Sapt is a colonal in the Ruritanian Army. He is the oldest of all the hot-blooded armymen. The colonal is a devoted servant of the king. His loyalty is for the cause of monarchy and not for any particular person. He has a highly productive mind, which enables him to act daringly to restore the throne. He succeeded in liberating who was the actual inheritor to the throne.

Colonal Sapt says:

“I have eaten the King’s bread and I am the King’s servant.”

Conclusion

The character performed by Colonal Sapt is worth-reading. Readers get fascinated by his wisdom, loyalty, courage and good principles.

Character Sketch Rudolf Elphberg

Introduction

Rudolf Elphberg is one of the central characters of the novel entitled The Prisoner of Zenda created by Anthony Hope. He is the prisoner in the castle of Zenda. He is son of late king of Ruritania and heir to throne.

Appearance

Rudolf Elphberg is a young, tall and handsome man. He is an educated man. He has red hair, straight nose, blue eyes and a beard. His physical appearance bears striking resemblance to that of Rudolf Rassendyll, though there were some points of differences, which are pointed by Rudolf Rassendyll:

“The king’s face was slightly fleshier than mine, the oval of its contour the least trifle more pronounced and his mouth lacking something of the firmness which was to be gathered from my close-shutting lips.”

However, in spite of these differences, Colonel Sapt could not help mentioning to Rassendyll:

“You’re an Elphberg, every inch of you.”

Lack of Responsibility and Common Sense

Rudolf Elphberg, the king is a happy-go-lucky type of young man. He is a pleasure loving man and wishes to pass a happy and care free life. He is devoid of a sense of responsibility and lacks even common sense. He is indiscreet and trusts even his half brother, Black Michael. He does not care even the coronation and drinks excessively. He also drinks the wine sent by his wicked brother. He does not even think or suspect about it. It is well known to the people of Ruritania that Black Michael intends to get through the access to the throne and wants to marry Flavia, but Elphberg is not aware of this fact.

A Weak Man

He has not the quality to face the dangers and odds boldly. His behavior in prison throws a shadow upon his person. He becomes completely demoralized and losses all grill. His health suffers and he becomes partially insane. He requests Detchard to persuade his brother, Black Michael to kill him. He becomes hopeless and sobs on his fate.

Not a Bad Man

Rudolf Elphberg cannot, however, be called a bad man. He may be a weak king, but as a man, he has some very good qualities. He is a pleasant tempered man, a sincere and good friend. He stands by his friends and has a great trust and faith in them. There is in him a peculiar charm of personality, which inspires confidence in the heart of those who come into contact with him. He loves and admires Flavia. He is sincere, kind and open-hearted.

Conclusion

Although he remains captive throughout the novel and we cannot see him in action, but the whole story revolves round him. He attracts our attention in the forest as a charming and gay person. He reigns in the readers mind although remains behind the scene.

Character Sketch Black Michael

Introduction

Black Michael is the villain of the novel entitled The Prisoner of Zenda created by Anthony Hope. He is stepbrother of King Elphberg. He is not the legal heir to the throne because he is the son of the king’s second and morganatic marriage. Black Michael is the owner of castle of Zenda and the surrounding estate. Being the favourite of the late king of Ruritania, he was appointed as the Duke of Strelsau. He is schemer and evil by nature.

Selfish and Hypocrite

Black Michael is a selfish man. He loves Princess Flavia just to get the throne. He is a hypocrite and makes a false show of love towards Madam Mauban. He has become popular among a small number of people of the country by his hypocrisy. He is over ambitious and greedy.

A Wicked Person

Black Michael is a sinful man. He makes plot to get the throne with the help of his companions, but always tries to delude them. That is why his followers betray him, when he is expecting complete victory. He invites Rassendyll to the Summer House through a conspiracy, but fortunately Rassendyll survives. This sharp and evil act shows his wickedness.

A Cruel Man

Black Michael is indeed a cruel person. When the king has been in his noose, he treats him in a very harsh and inhuman manner. He does not feel pity for his brother even. Black Michael is a coward man. He wants to save his life at any cost. He does not come out to handle the situation at any time.

A Cool-Minded Criminal

Black Michael is a wicked but a cool minded and genius criminal. When he sees that Rassendyll has impersonated the king of Ruritania he does not make it known to the people to keep his villainy secret. We see that even Rupert’s interest and love for Mauban do not irritate him. It shows that he is a controlled emotion criminal.

A Slave of Lust for Power

Black Michael becomes utterly blind for power. At any rate he wants to usurp the sovereignty form his brother. His lust for power corrupts him and brings his decline.

The Tragic End

Black Michael always deceives his close companions. That is why he is killed by one of his own followers. Thus, the villain of the novel receives a tragic end.

Character Sketch Antoinette – De - Mauban

Introduction

Antoinette-de- Mauban is the character of the novel entitled Prisoner of Zenda written by Anthony Hope. Mme-de- Mauban was a widow, rich, beautiful and clever lady. She deeply loved Black Michael, the Duke of Stralsau.

Personal Motives

She was sincerely devoted to the Duke and by this genuine attachment. She followed him at his request from Paris to Ruritania but she was not aware that the Duke whom she thought to be a man of strong passions was actually a cruel, cunning and selfish man who was content to take all but give nothing.

Peace Acceptance

She was a quite person who had decided to spend a quite and peaceful time in Ruritania with the Duke. With this intention she accepted the Duke’s request. Only to discover at her arrival that things were contradictory to what she had though. It did not take her long to find out that the Duke wanted to kill the King and seize the th5one for himself but Mme-de- Mauban did not desire his triumph for she detested his crime and mainly because she knew that if Michael was made the king he would marry Princess Flavia.

Possessive Woman

She was a possessive woman and found her rival and would not bear to see the Duke abandoning her by marrying the Princess so she betrayed Black Michael to Rassendyll by warning him of his plan to kill him in the Summer House. For she knew that in case of Rassendyll’s Death the Duke would become the king and would eventually marry Flavia.

Conscientious

She wrote a letter to Flavia as king and warned her not to accept the Duke’s invitation in case, she would come in the power of the Duke. She was a pretty lady and at the Zenda, Rupert, one of the king’s six men was caught by her beauty. But Mauban hated him for she was sincerely devoted to the Duke. Being aware of Rupert’s intentions she had warned Michael of him. Mauban was a compassionate woman and when she learnt of the full measure of his cruelty, she was touched with compassion for the King and from that day she became a well-wisher of Rassendyll and his party.

Duke’s Intriguer

Gradually she found herself entangled into the Duke’s plan, but she was not a weak woman, tired of quarrels and ills between the Duke and Michael and disappointed by Black Michael’s cruel plans and selfish motives. She begs Rassendyll to rescue her from the Duke and rupert but she still loved Black Michael and hoped to gain his life if not his pardon from the king.

Emotional Woman

She was a woman ruled by her emotions and when Michael was killed by Rupert, she heaving taunts came froth to avenge him.

End to the Drama

This conduct proved that no knowledge of the man’s real character was enough to root her regard, for him out of her heart. After these tragic events she withdraws herself entirely from society. She recognized the king’s generosity and kindness and so she did not betray the king’s trust by letting out the secret.

 

Prepared By: Danish Ansaari (+92333-3144722)