The Tragedy of King Christophe Characters

Aimé Césaire

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Henri Christophe

Henri Christophe (an-REE kree-STOHF), the king of the new nation of Haiti, a former slave, cook, and revolutionary soldier with the great liberator, Toussaint-Louverture. He is named a general and commander of the northern province and then offered the presidency of the new republic. He refuses, preferring to have himself crowned king of the northern province, and sets up a court in imitation of Haiti’s former masters, the French. His throne has a gold sun emblazoned on the back to resemble that of Louis XIV, and he puts the crown on his own head at the coronation, as did Napoleon. After fourteen years of trying to make a world power of Haiti, however, he admits defeat and commits suicide.


Pétion (pay-TYOH[N]), a mulatto who accepts the presidency after Christophe refuses. He rules the other half of Haiti as a republic. He urges the senate to refuse Christophe’s offer of unification and later sends the army to destroy his rival.


Hugonin (ew-goh-NA[N]), Christophe’s agent and “court jester,” who insists that the nobility created by Christophe is a fine way to bestow favors and to secure the king’s authority. Although he is a buffoon and scoundrel, he is appointed as minister of public morality; in this role, he is commanded...

(The entire section is 556 words.)