Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Tito Melema (TEE-toh meh-LEH-mah), an adventurer and pleasure-seeking young Greek who arrives in Florence in 1492. He quickly acquires a fortune through his talents, his charm, and the fact that he sells a number of gems that rightfully belong to his benefactor, Baldassare Calvo. He impresses the famous blind scholar, Bardo, so much that the latter willingly gives his daughter to Tito for a wife. At the same time, Tito is connected with a peasant woman with whom he has made a mock marriage in a carnival ceremony. Becoming powerful in Florentine politics, he carefully avoids aligning himself with either the Medici or the reformer, Savonarola. Because of his double dealing, he is both personally and politically discredited. He is chased by a mob and then strangled by Baldassare Calvo, the benefactor whom Tito had deceived, stolen from, and left confined in prison.
Romola de’ Bardi
Romola de’ Bardi, Bardo’s daughter and Tito’s wife. A sheltered young woman, she easily falls in love with handsome, charming Tito. Disillusioned when Tito attempts to sell her father’s library and antiquities, she leaves him, but Savonarola convinces her that her duty is to return to her husband. At first, she is strongly attracted to Savonarola’s moral reforms. Later, when her godfather, a supporter of the Medici, is executed, she loses faith in the...
(The entire section is 1234 words.)
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