(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Don José de Montoria

Don José de Montoria (hoh-SEH deh mohn-TOH-ree-ah), who is in charge of the defense of Saragossa in the siege of 1808-1809. By force, he seizes grain hoarded by Candiola. The death of his son, Manuel, brings about a change in him, and he asks for Candiola’s forgiveness, which is not granted.


Augustine (ow-gews-TEEN), Montoria’s son, who is preparing for the priesthood, though he is in love with Mariquilla. He fights side by side with Araceli in the front lines. He tells Araceli of his love for Mariquilla. When he is put in charge of the firing squad that is to execute Mariquilla’s father, she breaks completely with him. After her death, he asks Araceli to help him bury her. Don José tells him to forget her, but he says that he intends to enters a monastery as soon as she is buried.


Manuel (mahn-HWEHL), the older brother of Augustine. He is killed in the siege.


Mariquilla (mahr-ee-KEE-yah), Candiola’s daughter. She speaks disparagingly of Don José when Augustine comes to see her; earlier, Don José hit her father for his refusal to sell his wheat. She does not realize at first that Augustine is Don José’s son. She later begs Augustine to save her father from execution, then finds out that he is to be on his firing squad. Don José then appears, and she realizes their relationship. She begs Augustine to spare her father; he breaks his sword and walks away. She dies of grief.


Candiola (kahn-dee-OH-lah), Mariquilla’s father, a miser and grain hoarder. He does nothing to help the city during the first siege. His house is destroyed by a bomb. He refuses to leave it for fear that looters will steal something from the rubble. He later helps the French tunnel into the city and is condemned to death as a traitor.

Manuela Sancho

Manuela Sancho (mahn-HWEH-lah SAHN-choh), a heroine who battles the French at a breach in the wall. Her action inspires the Spanish soldiers to hold their position against the French.


Araceli (ahr-ah-SEH-lee), a friend of Augustine who goes to Sarogossa to help defend the city.