The Forty Days of Musa Dagh Characters

Franz Werfel

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Gabriel Bagradian

Gabriel Bagradian, a loyal Armenian, although he is an officer in the Ottoman reserves. Married to a Frenchwoman and long a resident of Paris, he has returned to his native village, Yoghonoluk, in order to settle some business affairs managed by his older brother Avetis, who has just died. Gabriel has never been able to forget his Armenian home and ancestry. The mountain, Musa Dagh, is as dear to him as if it were a relative. War is imminent, and the Turkish plan is to exile all the Armenians of the district. After Gabriel assumes leadership of the community, the Armenians vote to defend Musa Dagh and take their position on that natural fortress. Their bravery is unmatched, but they have little food and insufficient ammunition for a siege. After forty days, the last attack is planned by Gabriel, and they have set fire to the mountainside. Three days of starvation have weakened the people, and they fly a flag of distress, which the French boat in the harbor sees. Immediately, it fires a protective barrage, which stops the Turks from their planned advance. After the survivors have been placed aboard the French ship, Gabriel climbs the mountain for one last farewell beside his son’s grave. A Turkish sniper shoots him, and he falls across the grave of his son; the last of the Bagradians lies on the bosom of Musa Dagh.


Juliette, Gabriel’s French wife. A woman with strong love for her own...

(The entire section is 544 words.)