The Elder Statesman Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Lord Claverton

Lord Claverton, formerly Richard Ferry, the “elder statesman” who occupies the center of this drama. He has spent his life climbing the social ladder, first through marriage to Lady Claverton, whose name he adopted, and then through politics and public service. Unfortunately, this climbing has led him to discard or step on people as he has found necessary and has resulted in his becoming a hollow man. As a young man, he ran over a corpse with his car and never faced the police to clear himself. He also had a brief affair with Maisie Batterson, whom he later refused to marry, at the price of a lawsuit that was settled out of court. At the beginning of the drama, he is disillusioned about his accomplishments as a public servant. As he encounters his ghosts from the past—including Fred Culverwell, Maisie Batterson, and Michael Claverton-Ferry—he learns to confront his own hollowness, confesses his sins, and becomes a more real person. In the end, he becomes like Oedipus at Colonus as he was translated from this life to the next.

Monica Claverton-Ferry

Monica Claverton-Ferry, Lord Claverton’s daughter, whose name means “nun” in Italian. She represents selfless love as she postpones her engagement and marriage to help her dying father. Monica proves herself to be deeply loving of her father when she discovers his past failures and still accepts him. She represents Lord Claverton’s capacity...

(The entire section is 576 words.)