Absalom and Achitophel Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

David

David, the king of Israel, a poetic representation of Charles II, king of England. Many dissatisfied Jews (Whigs) wish to rebel against him and secure the succession of his illegitimate son, Absalom (the duke of Monmouth), to the throne. The wiser Jews (Tories) see no cause for revolt against a just ruler.

Absalom

Absalom, the illegitimate son of David, king of Israel, and a poetic representation of the duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, king of England. The dissident Jews (Whigs) seek to make him heir to his father’s throne.

Achitophel

Achitophel, the chief of the rebellious Jews (Whigs) and a poetic representation of the earl of Shaftesbury, who attempts to persuade Absalom (the duke of Monmouth) to seize his father’s throne.

Zimri

Zimri (Buckingham),

Shimei

Shimei (sheriff of London), and

Corah

Corah (Titus Oates), rebellious Israelite (Whig) chieftains whose characters are sketched by the poet.

Barzillai

Barzillai (the duke of Ormond),

Zadoc

Zadoc (the archbishop of Canterbury),

The Sagan of Jerusalem

The Sagan of Jerusalem (the bishop of London),

Adriel

Adriel (the earl of Mulgrave),

Jotham

Jotham (the marquis of Halifax),

Hushai

Hushai (Laurence Hyde), and

Amiel

Amiel (Edward Seymour), loyal Israelite (Tory) chieftains who convince King David (Charles II) that his son Absalom (the duke of Monmouth) is being used as a tool by Achitophel (the earl of Shaftesbury).