Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Elyot Chase

Elyot Chase, a handsome, thirtyish man. When the play begins, he is honeymooning at Deauville, France, with his second wife. Five years earlier, he had divorced Amanda, to whom he had been married for three tumultuous years, and then traveled around the world. When he sees Amanda again, he realizes that she is his true love. Together, they flee to Paris. Despite their bickering and fisticuffs, they remain reunited. Elyot, first performed by the playwright himself, represents the witty, irreverent, sophisticated Englishman that the playwright admired and saw himself as exemplifying.

Amanda Prynne

Amanda Prynne, Elyot’s first wife, newly married to Victor Prynne. She, too, is honeymooning at Deauville as the play opens. She is the most vivacious character in the work. She is not only beautiful but also spirited, independent, and unconventional—a fit partner for Elyot.

Sibyl Chase

Sibyl Chase, Elyot’s blond, attractive, twenty-three-year-old bride. Conventional, unimaginative, and innocent, she is Amanda’s antithesis and suggests the playwright’s dim view of the “nice” English girl. She implies to Elyot that she will tailor life to suit his whims.

Victor Prynne

Victor Prynne, a handsome man a few years older than Elyot. Stuffy and stodgy, he lacks a sense of humor. Like Sibyl, he is shocked by the elopement of Elyot and Amanda; when he and Sibyl catch up with the other couple, he chivalrously offers to divorce Amanda even though he deeply loves her. He wants to make over someone’s life and takes it upon himself to do so for his new wife. This drives her back into the arms of Elyot. Sibyl is his true soul mate, and their fierce quarreling at the end of the play, mirroring the battles between Amanda and Elyot, indicates that the conventional Victor will end up paired with her.

Louise

Louise, Amanda’s French-speaking maid. She makes a brief appearance in the third act. Her inability to speak English and her incomprehension of the bizarre occurrences in the apartment provide a number of laughs.

Private Lives Characters

Elyot Chase
The witty and cynical Elyot is the male lead, whose love/hate relationship with Amanda forms the centerpiece of...

(The entire section is 810 words.)