Abraham, the willing servant of God. In spite of internal conflict, on the angel’s command he prepares to sacrifice his beloved young son. His long speeches and prayers disclose his misery over losing his favorite child, but no complaint against God’s command passes his lips. He is tender and frank in his explanation to Isaac about the necessity for the sacrifice.
Isaac, an appealing human child. He is terrified at the prospect of a violent death and asks if beating would not be sufficient punishment for any unwitting misdemeanor he has committed. Finding that God has ordered the sacrifice, he accepts the situation meekly, but he does say that God might have given him a better fate if it had been His will. He asks that his mother not be told about his death, for he hates to see her grieve. First pleading for delay, he changes his mind and requests prompt relief from the terrible suspense. After his reprieve by the angel, he blesses the sheep that is substituted for him and prays thankfully to the Holy Trinity. During the preparations for the sacrifice of the ram, he still fears Abraham’s sword and asks if he is not to be struck while his eyes are averted.
Deus, God, who commands the testing of Abraham and the saving of Isaac.
An angel, the messenger of God. He brings the order to Abraham for the sacrifice of Isaac and later furnishes the ram for the substitute sacrifice.
The doctor, who appears at the end to elaborate on the text and explain its meaning.