Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Jurgen, a middle-aged pawnbroker who, searching for his lost wife, returns twenty years to the days of his youth, in which he thought himself a very clever fellow. After a year, during which he becomes a duke, a prince, a king, an emperor, and a pope, he asks to be returned to plain, practical, and moderately peaceful middle age with his wife, who is rather well suited, after all, to a man such as himself.

Adelais (Dame Lisa)

Adelais (Dame Lisa), his shrewish wife who, contemptuous of poetry and romance, converted a poet into a pawnbroker.

Dorothy la Désirée

Dorothy la Désirée, his childhood sweetheart, second sister of Count Emmerick. She is Jurgen’s Heart’s Desire who married Heitman Michael. She also appears for a time to be Helen of Troy.

Mother Sereda

Mother Sereda (also Aesred and Res Dea), an old woman, Jurgen’s godmother, who takes the color out of things and who controls Wednesdays. Her shadow follows Jurgen everywhere after she has restored to him a year of his youth, following which time she makes him the middle-aged man he is.

Queen Guenevere

Queen Guenevere, with whom Jurgen has a love affair before her marriage to King Arthur. She does not recognize him after he has returned to middle age.

King Gogyrvan Gawr

King Gogyrvan Gawr, her father, to whom Jurgen returns her after murdering King Thragnar.

Dame Anaïtis


(The entire section is 634 words.)