Joseph is a stagehand who has seen the phantom in the opera house’s third basement. He is found hanged in the cellar, but when people go to retrieve his body, the rope is missing. Later in the book, the Persian guesses that the phantom killed Buquet with a device called the Punjab lasso.
Carlotta is the opera’s female lead, for whom Christine Daaé is an understudy. Carlotta is a technically accomplished singer but does not sing with soul. The phantom threatens her if she goes onstage as Marguerite in Faust, but she refuses to be intimidated; as a result, the sound of a croaking frog comes out when she sings.
Christine in Sweden was raised by her father, a traveling violinist. As he was dying, he explained to her that he would remain with her and guide her through the Spirit of Music. As a young singer with the Paris Opera, Christine heard Erik speaking to her from behind a wall; she asked if he were the spirit that her father had told her about, and for a while he said that he was. He taught her to sing well, so that, given her first chance for public attention, she sings so beautifully that much of Parisian society takes notice of her. That night, though, she runs into Raoul de Chagny, whom she met and fell in love with as a child; her love for Raoul makes Erik jealous, who does what he can to make her his. He promises her the freedom to leave him but then, unable to let her go, kidnaps her and gives her a short time to consent to marry him before killing her. She tries unsuccessfully to fool him into thinking that she will love him, but he is still moved by her love for Raoul enough to let them leave.
Philippe de Chagny
Forty-one-year-old Count de Chagny, whose given name is Phillippe-Georges-Marie, is the oldest of his family and since the deaths of his parents has been responsible for one of the oldest families in Europe, which includes his brother Raoul, who is almost half his age. He disapproves of his brother’s romance with Christine Daaé, so that when she disappears from the opera stage Count de Chagny is a primary suspect. Later, he is found drowned in the lake that protects the phantom’s house from the outside world, but the phantom denies any responsibility for his death, saying that Philippe fell out of his boat by accident even before any of the lake’s traps could get to him.
Raoul de Chagny
As the youngest member of the prestigious de Chagny family, Raoul has been raised by a sister and old aunt. At the time of the novel he is twenty years old and scheduled to go into the navy and, while waiting for his orders, is spending a few weeks in Paris with his brother Phillippe. He sees Christine Daaé on the stage of the opera and remembers her as the little girl whom he met and fell in love with years earlier, when her scarf blew into the water and he dove in to retrieve it. He can tell that Christine loves him, too, but she tries to send him away frequently, worried that Erik, the phantom, will hurt him. He and Christine agree to a secret engagement, but when their engagement becomes publicized the phantom abducts Christine. The novel’s last chapters are about how Raoul, with the help of the stranger known as the Persian, infiltrates the phantom’s hidden underground house in an attempt to free Christine. They fail, and Raoul is in danger of drowning before the phantom has a change of heart and agrees to let Christine leave with him, even though it breaks his heart and he dies as a result.
With Monsieur Poligny, Debienne is one of the directors of the Paris Opera who is retiring in the opening chapters of the novel.
Erik is the name that the phantom of the Opera has taken for himself; his real name is never revealed in the book. He was born deformed, and it was his mother, whom Eric refers to several times, who gave him his first mask. He was born in a little town near Rouen but ran away as a young man, sometimes exhibiting his gruesome looks at country fairs under the title of the living dead man. As a performer, he learned to become proficient as a musician, a...
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